Hogan Administration Files Claim Against State’s Largest Employee Union

As Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) previewed his forthcoming budget proposal on Thursday, he noted that he’d be including a 3 percent raise for state employees, including those represented by the state’s largest employee union, AFSCME Maryland Council 3. But that raise wasn’t actually negotiated with the union. The administration reached negotiated wage deals with four of five state unions – which collectively have a membership about half as large as AFSCME’s 25,000-plus workers – in the fall and winter. (Md. Matters)

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Maryland Gov. Hogan Discusses $46.6B Budget Plan

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has given a preview of the state’s $46.6 billion budget plan for the next fiscal year. Hogan outlined his proposal Wednesday at a news conference. He says there’s $6.9 billion for K-12 education. He’s also proposing a new fund to create $3.5 billion for school construction over five years. Hogan is proposing about $248 million in general funds for prevention and treatment of drug addiction. That’s a 20 percent increase over the amount in the last budget to fight drug addiction. (WJZ-TV)

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Pugh gathers up nearly $1 million in campaign cash

Since taking office two years ago, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has raised $850,000 in campaign cash. She now boasts a $969,000 war chest with 16 months remaining before the 2020 primary election for mayor. While not formally announcing her re-election bid, the mayor has hired Democratic Party fundraisers and strategists TruBlu and Mayson-Dixon to run her campaign office on Park Avenue. In yesterday’s report to the Maryland Elections Board, covering calendar year 2018, Pugh disclosed a preponderance of contributions from real estate developers and companies doing business with the city – or apparently hoping to. (Balt. Brew)

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Rep. Andy Harris condemns white supremacy, says he didn't know 'previous associations' of man he met with

Rep. Andy Harris said he was unaware of Chuck Johnson’s "previous associations" before meeting recently with the right-wing figure, who was banned from Twitter after the site said he threatened Baltimore civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson. “I am unaware of his previous associations, but we had a discussion involving his business with genetic sequencing," Harris, a Baltimore County Republican, said Thursday in an emailed statement. "Of course, I disavow and condemn white supremacy and anti-Semitism.” (Balt. Sun)

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‘You Can’t Put A Band-Aid’ On Baltimore Police, Consent Decree Monitor Says Rebuild Needed

From planting evidence, to overtime schemes to the infamous Gun Trace Task Force, it’s no secret Baltimore City Police have been ravaged by corruption over the years. “There’s a culture and has been a culture of corruption in this department for a very long time,” said Kenneth Thompson, Monitor for Baltimore Consent Decree. 2019 marks two years of the Baltimore Consent Decree- which will focus on the training of stops and searches along with the use of force. (WJZ-TV)

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Committee’s proposed changes to judicial discipline rules go to Md. high court

Long-awaited updates to Maryland’s judicial discipline process will now go to the Court of Appeals for final approval after the committee in charge of amendments agreed on recommendations. The Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure submitted its report Thursday and recommended the adoption of the “significant rewriting of the current Rules regarding the Judicial Disabilities Commission and the processing of complaints charging a judge.” Key changes proposed by the committee in the draft rules have not changed in the final version. (Daily Record)

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Harford County executive highlights economic growth in annual address to Chamber of Commerce

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman highlighted successes of his first term while looking ahead to the next four years in his annual address to the Harford County Chamber of Commerce Thursday. “I am pleased to report that the state of Harford County is strong, and our amazing turnaround story continues and bodes well for my next term,” Glassman said. He was the keynote speaker at the chamber’s State of the County Luncheon, held at the Water’s Edge Events Center in Belcamp. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland legislative leaders exploring fast-track plan to legalize sports betting without asking voters

Maryland General Assembly leaders are considering a fast-track proposal under which lawmakers would legalize betting on football, basketball and other sports without first seeking voter approval in the 2020 election. A voter-approved constitutional amendment has long been considered a precursor for Maryland to join surrounding states such as Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New Jersey, which have all launched sports wagering since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a congressional ban in May. The District of Columbia is in the process of establishing sports betting after the D.C. Council approved it in December. (Balt. Sun)

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