• March 19 // Maryland Senate approves bill to allow evidence of past offenses in sexual assault trials

    With little discussion, the Maryland Senate on Friday unanimously approved legislation that would allow prosecutors to introduce evidence of past offenses when trying defendants accused of sexual assault. Similar legislation has already cleared a key hurdle in the House of Delegates. The bill has broad support, including that of Gov. Larry Hogan. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Bill to create automatic voter registration clears Maryland Senate

    The Maryland Senate has passed a bill that would create automatic voter registration for people who are eligible and agree to be registered. The Senate passed the measure 32-12 Friday. It now goes to the House. The bill designates three state agencies to register a resident to vote or update a resident's voter registration record, unless the applicant declines to register or is determined not to be eligible. (AP) Read Full Article

  • Senators pass bill stripping 'Maryland, My Maryland' of 'official' status

    State senators on Friday approved a bill that strips “Maryland, My Maryland” of its designation as the “official” state song and re-brands the pro-Confederate anthem as Maryland’s “historical” tune. Supporters of the measure hope the proposed legislation, which now moves to the House of Delegates, can put some distance between modern Maryland and the song’s 157-year-old lyrics that refer to Unionists as “Northern scum” and label President Abraham Lincoln a “despot.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Lawmakers call on Senate to confirm Maryland's U.S. Attorney nominee after delay over Russia probe questions

    Members of Maryland’s congressional delegation called on the Senate to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee to be Maryland’s U.S. Attorney after revelations he is being held up over questions about oversight of the Justice Department. The confirmation of Robert K. Hur, nominated in November to take over for former U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, is being delayed as Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee seek information about oversight of the investigations into the 2016 presidential election, The Baltimore Sun reported. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Center Maryland


    As we get closer to the end of the legislative session and the 2018 election, we expect there will be an explosion in polling. Center Maryland would like to help Maryland see the numbers. Please send us an email alongside your polling memo. It must be from a reputable pollster, explain the methodology and include the questions being asked - accompanied by a reasonable amount of data. Today’s poll by Mason Dixon on behalf of the Maryland Catholic Conference is a good example to follow.

  • NEW POLL: Maryland Voters Favor Increasing Funding For Boost Scholarship Program

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (March 13, 2018) – Nearly two-thirds of all Marylanders, including 82 percent of the voters in Baltimore City and 79 percent of all African-Americans polled, support an increase in funding for the State of Maryland’s Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Scholarship Program, according to a new poll released today.Read Full Article

  • Minister Duane Williams, Jr. - Baltimore’s Baffling Ban Makes Take-Out Containers Criminal

    I'm from Baltimore. I'm a former Baltimore City Police Officer and currently an educator at a Baltimore City Public School, and for as long as I can remember, Baltimore has had a littering problem. In a single day, our famous Mr. Trash Wheel has collected as much as 38,000 pounds of trash from the Jones Falls Watershed.Read Full Article

  • UnitedHealthcare says it will pass on rebates from drug companies to consumers

    In response to growing consumer frustration over drug prices, UnitedHealthcare, one of the nation's largest health insurers, said on Tuesday that it would stop keeping millions of dollars in discounts it gets from drug companies and share them with its customers. Dan Schumacher, the president of UnitedHealthcare, said the new policy will apply to more than seven million people who are enrolled in the company's fully insured plans, beginning next year. (NY Times)Read Full Article


  • March 19 // Maryland senators advance incentives luring Amazon to Montgomery County, but add expiration date

    The Maryland Senate has advanced Gov. Larry Hogan's proposal to offer Amazon billions of dollars in tax breaks if it builds a headquarters in Montgomery County — but gave the bait an expiration date. Senators gave initial approval Friday night to what Hogan has described as a $3 billion package of tax credits and exemptions. Nonpartisan legislative analysts have estimated the package’s cost at $5.6 billion through 2054. They adopted an amendment offered by Sen. James Rosapepe, a Prince George’s County Democrat, that terminates the offer on Jan. 1, 2022. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland House sets goals for State Center project renewal, including Baltimore community input

    Legislation advancing in the House of Delegates would require neighborhood participation in any effort to revive the stalled redevelopment project at State Center in midtown Baltimore. Delegates gave preliminary approval Saturday to a bill sponsored by Del. Cheryl Glenn spelling out the General Assembly’s goals for the 28-acre parcel, now occupied by a state government office complex whose more than 50-year-old buildings are in a poor state of repair. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Md. governor, legislative leaders say they have a solution to soaring health-care premiums

    Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Maryland’s Democratic legislative leaders have reached agreement on a one-year plan to stabilize skyrocketing individual health insurance premiums by taxing insurance companies and using the money to pay the biggest claims. Legislation that won initial approval in the state Senate on Friday would levy a surcharge of about $380 million on insurance companies that do business in Maryland, which are paying about that much less in federal taxes this year because of a one-time exemption provided by the recent overhaul of the U.S. tax code. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Pier Six Pavilion getting new tent, seats as part of multimillion-dollar renovation

    The Pier Six Pavilion along the Inner Harbor is undergoing a multimillion-dollar overhaul, with a new tent and seats set to debut for the 2018 concert season. The city approved in late 2016 a 10-year contract for SMG and Live Nation to take over control of the waterfront venue. The bid included a guarantee of upgrades to the 37-year-old pavilion. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article


  • Johns Hopkins University wants its own police department. What would that mean for Baltimore?

    After a string of 16 gunpoint robberies around Johns Hopkins' main campus in Homewood last fall, university President Ron Daniels began to think the school's force of 1,000 security personnel and the tens of millions of dollars it spends on security each year might not be enough. Daniels cleared his schedule for two weeks in November, gathered up four aides and traveled across the country to learn how other large, private, urban schools protect their campuses and communities. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Improper pay raises documented for four in Prince George’s school system

    Four Prince George’s County school system employees who were given raises improperly will revert to their correct pay level, but no one will be forced to repay the money spent on the raises, officials said Friday. Officials in Maryland’s second-largest school system estimated the undue raises cost the system $28,000 over eight months. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Cardin says Montgomery County student protest made him proud to represent Maryland

    U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin acknowledges that the gun control discussion is somewhat worn, with one call to action after another fading without significant progress. But on Friday, he told a group of Richard Montgomery High School students that this time would be different. Why? Because of them. “Americans are with you. You have captured their imagination and support,” he said, sporting a Richard Montgomery T-shirt as he spoke to the teens. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • Klauber named HCC president

    James S. Klauber Sr. has been named the next president of Hagerstown Community College, officials announced Friday. The college's Board of Trustees said in a news release that Klauber, a community college president in Alabama, was selected from three finalists to be the fourth president in college history. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • With deep lacrosse roots, Calvert Hall star Jacob Kelly the latest to blossom on family tree

    The Calvert Hall lacrosse jersey easily stretched to the ground, and when the helmet was on, every bit of 4-year-old Jacob Kelly was buried in the home team’s colors. Completing the ensemble were oversized gloves and cleats his father, Bryan, the Cardinals coach, wore during his playing days. At every game, Jacob Kelly would be playing along the sideline, usually lugging a goalie stick over his shoulder and looking right at home. To get an understanding of how Kelly got so good at lacrosse — he’s now a senior attackman at Calvert Hall and was last year’s All-Metro Player of the Year — those younger days provide a start. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Maryland regulators approve Potomac River gas pipeline

    Maryland regulators will allow a Canadian energy company to route a controversial natural gas pipeline through the state and beneath the Potomac River, but will subject the project to safeguards they say will protect the river and groundwater. The state’s decision was announced Friday, the deadline for acting on the environmental permit application that Columbia Gas, a subsidiary of TransCanada, submitted a year ago. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Last year, zero Baltimore County residents weighed in on a $3B budget. So the county plans to add more hearings.

    Baltimore County has more than 826,000 residents. None of them spoke up last year on how the county should spend its $3.5 billion budget. The county council is trying to change that. Council members are poised to pass a bill Monday that will require the county executive to hold two public meetings before proposing the budget each spring. The hope, backers say, is that county residents will feel more empowered to speak up while the county executive is still deciding what to include in the budget. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • At mayor's request, city design panel is restructured and renamed

    After complaints by developers whose detailed schematic drawings are often scrutinized during public meetings, the city's design panel is being restructured at the order of Mayor Catherine Pugh. The shakeup of the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel began in late February and included the ouster of two veteran architects, Gary Bowden and Richard Burns, two of the most outspoken members of the group, said Thomas Stosur, the city's planning director. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article


  • Kim Keenan: Maryland can’t fix net neutrality

    Now, some in Annapolis want laws that would try to set separate rules for Maryland. (At least four bills related to net neutrality are pending in the General Assembly.) That would be a mistake – for Maryland's consumers and for the internet itself. Any state law would be limited and ineffective beyond state lines. It is obvious that the internet crosses borders at lightning fast speeds. The most important issue is determining which path will best enable the fastest-possible broadband internet to reach the largest number of Americans to promote opportunity, innovation, and entrepreneurship, while also ensuring privacy protections for consumers. The goal has to be how we can create an internet ecosystem that makes this happen in a way that is consistent and platform neutral. (Daily Record)Read Full Article

  • Barry Rascovar: Comeuppance for Franchot

    Peter V.R. Franchot, a 20-year veteran of the Maryland General Assembly who now is in his 12th year as state comptroller, last week got his head handed to him — politically, that is — by his old colleagues. He’s almost certain to become a punching bag for many more lawmakers in both chambers of the legislature starting this week. Franchot brought it on himself. And if he doesn’t start to make amends (which is highly unlikely) the comptroller could find himself stripped of one of his most cherished powers — regulating manufacturers and wholesalers of alcoholic beverages. (Political Md.)Read Full Article

  • Maryland may soon be a state without a song. This Baltimore musician has a plan.

    With a Senate vote Friday, Maryland moved a big step closer to ditching its Confederate-sympathizing state song, “Maryland, My Maryland.” Good. At a time when we’re removing Confederate monuments from Baltimore, the State House and beyond, it was notably incongruous. If the House of Delegates agrees to the Senate’s action, “Maryland, My Maryland” will become the “historic state song,” leaving us with … nothing instead. As the news broke, I thought of Sean Tully, a Baltimore musician who has been beating this particular drum for years and who has written various letters to the editor and an op-ed on the topic. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Brandon Arnold: It’s time to tap the true potential of Maryland’s breweries

    To make good beer you need a few basic things: high-quality ingredients, a skilled brewmaster and the proper equipment. Likewise, to make a good brewery you must have a few essentials: good product, a savvy business owner and a regulatory climate that’s conducive to success. While Maryland has an abundance of most of these prerequisites, our state is sadly failing to deliver on the last metric. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article