Politics

  • Bill Allowing Hopkins Police Force Approved By Legislative Committee, Debate Heading To House Floor

    The bill to authorize Johns Hopkins to operate its own police force has been approved by a legislative committee and will be debated on the floor of the House next week. Proponents say the bill would make Johns Hopkins campuses safer, while opponents say it could put neighborhoods at risk. On March 14, a stray bullet shattered a window on the 6th floor of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Outpatient Cancer building. It was added evidence from Johns Hopkins in a hearing to have its own police force. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • 'Who looked the other way?' Lawmakers grill University of Maryland hospital leadership on self-dealing scandal

    Lawmakers in Annapolis on Friday grilled leaders at the University of Maryland Medical System as they considered sweeping legislation to reform the hospital network after allegations of self-dealing and no-bid contracting with board members. The House of Delegates Health and Government Operations Committee heard testimony on fast-tracked emergency legislation to bar board members from abusing their “prestige of office” after The Baltimore Sun reported nine members — including Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh — had deals benefiting their private companies with the system of hospitals they were tasked with overseeing. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland Panel Passes Scaled-Back Drug Affordability Bill

    A panel of Maryland lawmakers has passed a scaled-back version of a measure aimed at making prescription drugs more affordable. The House Health and Government Operations Committee voted 20-3 Friday to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board. Supporters say it would begin to address high costs of prescription drugs by setting limits on how much state and local government pay for expensive medications. It’s a scaled-back version of the initial proposal because it only affects prices paid for drugs by state and local government. The bill now goes to the House. (WJZ-TV)Read Full Article

  • Protesters gather in Havre de Grace, call for Del. Mary Ann Lisanti's expulsion

    Harford County Del. Mary Ann Lisanti has resisted cries to resign from the House of Delegates for using a racial slur, but a number of her constituents are still calling for her ouster from the Maryland General Assembly. The group of people seeking her expulsion gathered at the intersection of Revolution and Stokes streets in Havre de Grace — Lisanti’s hometown and current place of residence — Friday evening for a protest. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Lawmakers in Annapolis Should Demand Greater Transparency from Pharmacy Benefit Managers

    If you’ve never heard of pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), that’s the way they like it. While they administer drug plans for more than 230 million Americans, PBMs thrive on secrecy and a lack of transparency.Read Full Article

  • Tim Lorello: How Could Tech Infrastructure Help Tackle Crime, Make Maryland Safer?

    Technology is available that can help tackle crime and give law enforcement and emergency responders another tool to help them do their jobs. Over the summer, Baltimore police began utilizing acoustic sensor technology that can remotely detect the sound of gunfire and notify officers of the exact location within seconds. Other cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have widely deployed these gunshot sensors; and some have reported significant decreases in gunfire in neighborhoods where they were used.Read Full Article

  • Marty Rosendale: Trump Administration Takes a Positive Step to Lower Drug Costs, but More Action Needed from the Maryland Legislature

    The rising costs of healthcare and patient out-of-pocket costs that jeopardize access to care for Maryland families have rightly been a major area of focus for policymakers at both the federal and state level.Read Full Article

  • Dave Anderson: How to break the government shutdown impasse

    The impasse in the dispute over the government shutdown and the border wall is an immensely complicated policy and political problem that pits two sides against each other who have diametrically opposed perspectives about the best path forward for the country.Read Full Article

Business

  • Maryland loses jobs in February, but state's unemployment rate remains 3.7 percent

    Maryland lost 5,800 jobs in February, according to jobs data released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, though the state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent. The rate has remained steady since December but was down from 4.2 in February last year. The rate is just below the national rate of 3.8 percent. The number of people participating in the state’s labor force also ticked up slightly to just over 3.2 million, which makes this a “mixed report,” said Andy Bauer, a senior regional economist in the Baltimore branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Women's influence in business grows

    Women entrepreneurs make up a growing share of U.S. small business owners. The American Express 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses report, which makes its projections based on data from the most recent U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners, estimates that they own 12.3 million companies in the U.S. — compare that to 1972 when there were only 402,000 women-owned businesses. Today, women employ more than 9.2 million people and generate $1.7 trillion in revenue. Last year, 1,821 women-owned businesses were launched every day. (Times-News) Read Full Article

  • CVS stores in Maryland will soon sell CBD products

    Maryland is among seven states where CVS stores will soon begin selling topical products infused with the hemp derivative CBD. The pharmacy chain will soon begin offering creams, lotions, sprays, roll-on products and salves containing CBD, a wellness ingredient used to treat ailments ranging from epilepsy and chronic pain to anxiety and insomnia. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Jim Davis' Redwood Capital buying Houston beer distributor

    Redwood Capital Investments is expanding its portfolio with the purchase of the largest independent distributor of Anheuser-Busch beverages in the U.S. The acquisition of Houston-based Silver Eagle Distributors L.P. includes the company's corporate office and several warehouses in surrounding cities. Silver Eagle handles sales, marketing and distribution of Anheuser-Busch, Grupo Modelo and a wide variety domestic and import brands, microbrews and craft beers throughout 16 counties in Texas. (Balt. Bus Journal) Read Full Article

Education

  • University of Maryland receives record number of sexual misconduct reports, conducts few investigations

    Fueled by a rising awareness about the prevalence of sexual violence on campus and ways to report it, the University of Maryland’s Title IX office received a record-high number of complaints last school year — yet it opened a record-low number of investigations into those claims. During the last school year, the Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct received 249 reports of potential sexual misconduct, of which 91 became formalized complaints, according to its recently published annual report. Investigators then opened 16 investigations. The year before, the office fielded 208 reports, of which 80 became complaints, and opened 27 investigations. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland Gets A ‘C’ For Addressing School Drinking Water Problems, Lead Contamination

    While lead contamination in Maryland school’s drinking water is still a concern, there has been an improvement. According to a new study, Maryland earned a ‘C’ grade for its efforts to address the problem. In 2017, Maryland received an ‘F’ for the problem. The study assigned grades to states based on the strictness of lead standards, the intensity of testing protocols and transparency in communicating with the public. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • Kamala Harris pledges to close teacher pay gap during first term

    Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris announced on Saturday her plan to use federal funds to boost teacher pay by an unprecedented level, the first policy roll-out of her campaign. The California Democrat laid out her idea during a rally at Texas Southern University, a historic black institution in Houston, Texas. It was the senator's second public event in the Lone Star State in as many days. (Wash. Examiner) Read Full Article

  • MICA receives $30K grant to support printmaking programs

    The Maryland Institute College of Art has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support its programming around a historic Baltimore printing collection. The grant announced Friday will support the school's residency, exhibition and public programming around the Globe Collection and Press, which MICA acquired in 2011. The Globe Collection is one of the largest collections of printing history in the world and for more than 80 years promoted musical acts such as Louis Armstrong, Aretha Franklin and Snoop Dogg as well as other aspects of civic and public life, including film, elections, community fairs and boxing matches. (Balt. Bus. Journal)  Read Full Article...

Around Maryland

  • Baltimore police commissioner says video appearing to show officer asleep on job 'raises serious concerns'

    Baltimore police Commissioner Michael Harrison said he is “troubled” by a video that appears to show an officer asleep in his patrol car. The video, posted Saturday morning to Instagram, appears to show a uniformed officer sleeping in the front seat of a marked vehicle, which has headlights and flashing police lights on. The car is shown parked near the intersection of North Mount and West Saratoga streets. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Larry Hogan Helps His Friend Chris Christie Sell Some Books

    Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. returned to his political roots this week. After seasons of carefully calibrated bipartisanship and moderation, he reminded The Washington Post in an interview that he is, at heart, a Reagan Republican, and he used especially sharp language at a news conference to articulate his disapproval of certain elements of the Democratic legislative agenda. And then on Thursday, Hogan brought an old friend and mentor to town: former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). (Md. Matters) Read Full Article

  • Maryland has second-highest failure rate of public housing inspections in the U.S., report finds

    Maryland has the second highest percentage of failed public housing inspections in the country, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday. The report, which evaluated the inspection process by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, shows that Maryland properties failed 28 percent of the 329 inspections done between the fiscal years 2013 and 2017. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Security Increased Following Threat At Howard Co. Mosque

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will have increased security measures by local law enforcement for Maryum Islamic Center in Howard County, Md., after an online threat that targeted the mosque. In response to a promotion of the mosque’s fundraising dinner scheduled at an area high school, messages read, “You know the only thing you don’t want us to do is really show up right,” and, “maybe you’ll be next.” (WJZ-TV)Read Full Article

Commentary

  • The towering potential of Baltimore hindered by crime and chaos

    On a crummy day in December, the contractor Marty Azola, who made a career of renovating old buildings, stepped out of the amazing Ivy Hotel, his crowning achievement at Biddle and Calvert streets, and into a freezing rain. Azola looked around and remarked that, having visited many cities, he considered Baltimore’s 19th-century residences, particularly those in Mount Vernon, among the world’s finest. The churches there are stunning, too. The other day, I decided to take a minute with Emmanuel Episcopal, the one that towers over the corner of Read and Cathedral streets. The people who commissioned this stunning edifice in the decade before the Civil War wanted a church that called to the heavens, and if you stand at the front door and look up at the bell tower, with its rough-hewn stone and figurines, you can appreciate that achievement. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Arming police in Baltimore schools would be ‘putting a Band-Aid solution on a much deeper wound'

      The Baltimore City school board recently voted to support Maryland House Bill 1373, which would allow school police officers to carry guns inside schools during the school day. Despite voting unanimously on Jan. 22 to oppose this legislation, the school board reversed its decision in a vote following the Feb. 8 shooting of a school employee by a family member of a student attending the city’s Frederick Douglass High School. Students need to feel safe at school. They need to feel welcomed and supported if they are going to learn. They need to feel that they’ve entered a place where they can grow and make mistakes, in a safe way, from which they can learn. But instead of a thoughtful step forward, the board’s decision feels like a knee-jerk reaction to a terrible incident. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • 'No mud, no lotus' in Baltimore

    During the time of the unrest nearly four years ago following the death of Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured while in police custody, the worst of who we are versus the best of who we can be was exposed for the entire world to see. Baltimore had repeatedly been shaken until the pressure was so severe that the top exploded off — culminating in a smoldering city under National Guard occupation.The aftermath has left many of us frustrated and longing for a better Baltimore for our children and community. We are now, as we were then, confronted with the choice of fighting for a better future for our city or complete capitulation. We must take a hard look in the mirror and ask, “what can I do personally to make this city better?” (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Pitts: The road goes where the road goes

    People always seem surprised in moments like this. Always shocked. But they have no right to be. After all, the road goes where the road goes. If you travel southbound U.S. 1 long enough, you are not surprised to end up in Key West. If you stay on northbound Interstate 5 long enough, you are not surprised to end up in Canada. And if you denigrate, demonize and dehumanize long enough, you ought not be surprised to end up in bloodshed. That is arguably the signature lesson of human history, but somehow, the teaching never takes. Each succeeding generation always seems doomed -- or perhaps the better word is determined -- to re-learn the lesson for itself, each time paying the horrific price of doing so. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article