'We are at a crossroads': U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings presses Morgan State graduates to stand up for democracy

At Morgan State University’s spring commencement ceremony Saturday, Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings urged the graduates to use their freshly minted degrees and talents to defend and promote democracy in its “hour of peril.” The commencement speaker, who chairs the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Reform — the body that possesses jurisdiction to investigate any federal program or matter with federal policy implications — was sued last month by President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization to halt subpoenas for financial information from the president's businesses, on the grounds that Cummings had exceeded the limitations of Congress. (Balt. Sun)

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At race, Maryland politicians ponder future of Pimlico

The question of Pimlico’s future was front and center as politicians mingled in the corporate tents and watched thoroughbreds sprint by Saturday during the Preakness Stakes celebration. A plane circled overhead trailing a banner reading: “Stronach Keep Preakness in Baltimore,” paid for by a political communications firm, KO Public Affairs. Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young sported a yellow “Keep Preakness in Baltimore” button as he made his rounds. “Preakness is Baltimore; that’s what it is,” said Young, a Democrat. “We’re going to sit down and work with The Stronach Group see how we can come up with a win-win.” (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore County Council cuts $14 million from Olszewski budget at contentious meeting

In a contentious meeting Friday, the Baltimore County Council reduced County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr.’s $3.4 billion spending plan by more than $14 million. Many votes fell along party lines — and after the meeting, Republicans and Council Chairman Tom Quirk, a Democrat, accused each other of partisanship. The council is scheduled to take a final vote on the budget May 23, including decisions on Democrat Olszewski’s proposals for an income tax increase, a new cellphone tax and other measures to raise revenues. The new budget year starts in July. (Balt. Sun)

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Jones says she'll likely push to protect abortion rights

Maryland’s new House speaker said Thursday she “most likely” will push to protect abortion rights in the state’s constitution next year, as her predecessor sought to do this year. House Speaker Adrienne Jones, in an interview 15 days after she won the speakership, said she expects the issue to come back before Maryland lawmakers, especially after Alabama’s governor signed the strictest-in-the-nation abortion ban Wednesday. (Star Dem.)

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio jumps into Democratic race for president

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for president, adding his name to an already long list of candidates itching for a chance to take on Donald Trump. The mayor announced his run with a video released by his campaign, then headed to the Statue of Liberty, where he said the country is in an "identity crisis" around immigration, which he called "the founding and unifying element of the American experience." (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland officials seek unedited police video of racial slur

County officials in Maryland want more transparency from police after a white officer's use of a racial slur was live-streamed on Instagram by a black man accused of trespassing at a McDonald's. The Montgomery County Council is seeking the release of unedited body camera video that apparently shows the officer echoing the slur to the black man, who said it first to insult the officers. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland takes legal action against OxyContin maker owners

The state of Maryland is accusing members of the family that owns the pharmaceutical company that makes OxyContin of deceptively marketing the drug. The state joined four others Thursday in announcing legal actions seeking to hold the drug industry accountable for an opioid overdose and addiction crisis. (WTOP)

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Former Pugh chief of staff, interim schools CEO to lead new Baltimore Office of Children & Family Success

Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young has tapped Tisha Edwards to lead his new Office of Children & Family Success, he formally announced Thursday. Edwards, who previously served as then-Mayor Catherine Pugh’s chief of staff, will start Monday. The office is tasked with identifying and developing opportunities to support young people across the city. (Balt. Sun)

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