Ty Unglebower: Stand on school start dates say a lot about Hogan

In 2016, Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order forbidding Maryland public schools from starting the school year before Labor Day. I thought it was silly then, and I still do. Then, as now, I felt it should remain a local jurisdiction issue, not a statewide mandate. A fair share of our state legislators seem to feel the same way I did and do; they are drafting legislation in Annapolis to reverse Hogan’s order, thus allowing school districts to decide their own calendars. (News-Post)

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Baltimore needs a superstar change agent as police commissioner; we should be willing to pay for it

Two things seem to have captured the public’s attention about the contract Baltimore’s Board of Estimates approved this week for police commissioner nominee Michael Harrison: His salary ($275,000, a major bump over his predecessor) and the guarantee that he will get a year’s pay whether the City Council confirms him or not. Interesting though they may be, they’re not the most important things to focus on. The guaranteed payout is unusual, but realistically it may have been necessary in this case. (Balt. Sun)

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Josh Kurtz: Unsolicited Job Advice for Larry Hogan

I am probably the last person Gov. Lawrence J Hogan Jr. (R) wants to take job advice from. But I’ll offer some anyway, because, well, why not? As I patrol the halls of the State House and legislative buildings these days, the two questions I’m most asked are, “How are Mike and Mike doing?” and “What will Gov. Hogan do next?” The Mike & Mike query refers, of course, to the shaky health of Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel). People are seeking – and tend to offer – health updates, based on the Mikes’ skin tone, the timbre of their voice, and their mobility on any given day. (Md. Matters)

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Mike O'Halloran: $15 minimum wage would be a disaster for Maryland's small business

The Maryland General Assembly is debating a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, eliminate the tipped wage, and get rid of exclusions for teenagers, seasonal amusement workers, and farm labor. The supporters theorize that this is the way to raise people up from poverty. Small business owners know the reality — it just won’t work out that way. Unfortunately, many employees at the bottom of the pay scale are more likely to lose hours or their jobs. It’s basic economics. Maryland’s minimum wage rose 39 percent in the last four years to $10.10. If it soars to $15 that will add another 48 percent increase to the cost of wages. Those are huge increases for small businesses. (Capital)

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Deborah Agus: Opioid crisis continues unabated in Md. and elsewhere; here's a plan of action

Despite millions in federal funding to combat the opioid crisis and task forces developed to study it at both the state and city level here, not much has changed. The crisis continues unabated here, and overdose deaths soar. Why? Some of the expanded services incorporate treatment philosophies that create barriers to long-term medication assisted treatment, when evidence shows that restricting access to maintenance medication increases overdose deaths. Additionally, current Medicaid rules for reimbursement are inadequate to support the costs of a robust medication assisted treatment (MAT) program. Funding is not based on clinical disease treatment models, and there is no compensation for nurses — the backbone of opioid clinics. (Balt. Sun)

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Sens. Elfreth, Rosapepe, Del. Barnes: Bill seeks to prevent 'tone deaf' decisions by Md. Board of Regents

Like most Marylanders, we were shocked by the tone deaf decision made by the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents last fall to place athletics above academics following the tragic death of Jordan McNair at the University of Maryland, College Park. The good news is that they recognized their mistake, apologized for it and corrected it. But more needs to be done to minimize such errors in the future and to strengthen the confidence taxpayers, students, parents and employers have in the board and our higher education system at large. (Balt. Sun)

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Pari Kasotia: Hogan Has a Chance to Unlock Md.’s Clean Energy Economy

Thousands of Maryland residents work in the state’s growing solar and wind industries. With Gov. Larry Hogan’s leadership, the Old Line State can snowball that progress, unlocking innovation and local investments while building a 21st-century clean energy economy. Right now, Maryland lawmakers are considering the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a bill to move the state to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. A growing number of governors, states, electric utilities and more than 100 cities have already committed to achieving 100 percent. (Md. Matters)

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Urrea's selection could embolden advocates of changing student school board member's role