Politics

  • Maryland Democrats announce pair of bills to battle heroin crisis

    Some three-dozen Democratic members of the General Assembly gathered Friday to announce a pair of bills they think could help battle the rising rate of heroin overdose deaths across Maryland. The bills, which form part of a broader package of legislation, focus on educating people about the dangers of heroin and other opioids and expanding access to treatment for addicts. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland House passes first major ethics bill in over a decade

    The Maryland House of Delegates unanimously passed a bill Friday that would update the state's ethics laws. It would require more disclosure of lawmakers' conflicts of interest and put some new limits on legislators' advocacy for private businesses. The bill would make the first major changes to state ethics rules in more than a decade. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • General Assembly advancing bills that would update Maryland sexual assault laws

    A half-dozen bills moving through the General Assembly would update Maryland's sexual assault laws and, advocates say, make it easier for victims to secure justice. One measure would sweep aside a centuries-old vestige of English law that requires prosecutors to prove that rape victims resisted their attackers. Another would broaden the definition of rape to include a wider of range of attacks. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland bail bond industry's contributions hang over contested bill

    The economic clout of the bail bond industry hangs over a debate in the General Assembly that could decide the future of cash bail in Maryland. As the legislature's 2017 session heads toward a close at midnight on April 10, bail reform remains one of the most hotly contested topics. And bail bond companies are among Maryland's biggest political campaign contributors. According to a study released by Common Cause Maryland this year, bail bond companies and their key players contributed more than $288,000 to the campaigns of Maryland politicians between 2011 and 2016. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Michael Phillips: Unaccountable: Every Student Succeeds Act Fails Students

    As a faith leader, I am deeply committed to my calling to shepherd members of my community toward a life lived in our shared ideals. For me, these ideals include compassion, service, opportunity and honesty. We must work together to deepen community, to make a conscious, intentional effort to build on the connections between us and resist the pull of the often shallow and disingenuous responses to complex issues that face our community. Here in Baltimore and throughout Maryland, we must trust one another.Read Full Article

  • Gene Ransom: Opioids Talking and Hope

    The Maryland General Assembly is considering countless measures to attack the opioid crisis in Maryland.  Many are with merit and some need work. Two proposals stand out as comprehensive real solutions to the problem, and have the support of MedChi, The Maryland Medical Society, other public health groups and officials. Those proposals are the Start Talking Maryland Act and the Heroin and Opioid Prevention Effort (HOPE) and Treatment Act of 2017.Read Full Article

  • Carl Szabo: Merriweather Memories: Why I support a Ticket Rights Resale Act in MD

    I have many fond memories of growing up in my hometown of Columbia MD – several of them are of the times I had with friends and family at the Merriweather Post Pavilion. I remember using the money I earned from delivering the Columbia Flyer to buy tickets to its concerts. I remember my Wilde Lake High School wrestling team providing security for its events. I remember seeing the Symphony of Lights and my high school graduation ceremony at Merriweather.   Read Full Article

  • Dr. Leana Wen: Six reasons to fight the ACA replacement plan

    For months, I have received questions from concerned residents about how repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would impact their health. My patients were worried about whether they could still get medications to treat their heart disease and diabetes, whether they would they lose coverage for mental health and addiction services, and whether they would continue to get basic preventive services such as mammogram, pap smears and blood pressure screenings.Read Full Article

Business

  • Pugh vetoes bill that would raise Baltimore minimum wage

    Mayor Catherine Pugh vetoed legislation Friday that would have raised the minimum wage in Baltimore to $15 by 2022, leaving the measure's future in question. The council — which next meets on April 3 — would need 12 of its 15 members to vote to overturn the veto. On Friday, the 12-member coalition that originally backed the higher wage began to disband. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland adds 11,500 jobs in February

    Hiring soared in Maryland last month, as employers added 11,500 jobs, powering the strongest three-month surge of job creation the state has seen since the Great Recession. The gains, reported Friday by the U.S. Labor Department, pulled more than 14,000 people into the labor force, as people started working or looking for work. Despite that jump, the unemployment rate held steady at 4.2 percent, below the national average, as most people found jobs. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Lawmakers unveil draft of new liquor license for Cross Street Market

    Pub crawls at Cross Street Market would be explicitly banned but alcohol could be served until 11:30 p.m. on weekends, under a bill amendment released to the public Friday. In the latest twist in the saga of the off-again, on-again overhaul of the Federal Hill fixture, 46th District lawmakers Thursday released a draft of the special “public market license” that developer Caves Valley Partners (CVP) has wanted them to create. (Brew) Read Full Article

  • New Perdue CEO takes over amid industry shifts

    When Perdue Farms named its new CEO earlier this month, a chicken company with a taste for innovation and taking risks embraced something different: stability. When it comes to branding its own products, shifting away from using antibiotics, recycling residual manure and producing organically raised and processed chickens, the Salisbury-based company has been at the forefront of the poultry industry. In Randy Day, Perdue didn't reach across the country for a Silicon Valley dynamo or up to New York for a Wall Street number-cruncher. The company's executives simply walked down the hall to the office of their chief operating officer, a man who had touched just about every one of its operations during his nearly 40 years with the company. (Daily Times) Read Full Article

Education

  • Gov. Hogan proposes additional $23M for Baltimore schools; House budget chair says Assembly has its own plan

    Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday he's proposing an additional $23.7 million for Baltimore schools, extra funding he said he'll include in a supplemental budget Monday. The money would be contingent upon the General Assembly passing "accountability legislation" for city schools that would include an audit of the school system's finances, Hogan's office said. City and state officials have been negotiating for weeks about extra aid for city schools, which are facing a $130 million shortfall for next year. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Hogan blasts bill that would limit education reforms

    Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday blasted an education reform bill that's moving through the General Assembly, calling it "misguided and horrible." Hogan said the bill — known as the "Protect Our Schools Act" — would thwart "an exciting opportunity to move beyond outdated practices" for reforming schools. The bill would set standards for how to identify low-performing schools, using a combination of test scores and other factors, such as absenteeism and the number of highly qualified teachers. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Campus firearm-ban bill passes Md. Senate, sent to House

    A measure to prohibit anyone from knowingly possessing a firearm on a public college campus in Maryland came a step closer to becoming law Friday when it narrowly passed the state Senate by a vote of 27-20. The bill now goes to the House of Delegates for consideration. A violation would be a felony with maximum penalties of three years' imprisonment and/or a $2,500 fine. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

  • Debate over school board bills continues as session nears close

    With a deadline looming in two weeks, Anne Arundel's state lawmakers said Friday they are working to reconcile differing visions for how the county's school board should be selected. The state Senate and House of Delegates have each passed an answer to the decades-long debate. In the House, 14 of the delegation's 15 members voted to support a bill that would produce an eight-member, fully elected Board of Education: seven members elected by councilmanic district and one student member of the board. The full House of Delegates passed the measure March 17. (Capital)Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • As Metro mulls financial woes, Maryland residents lean toward regionwide sales tax

    Marylanders narrowly support a regionwide sales tax to boost Metro funding, giving it the most support among several proposals to bolster the struggling transit agency, a new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll finds. The survey of Maryland residents offers a picture of local taxpayers' preferences as leaders from the District, Maryland and Virginia ramp up their efforts to find consensus on a dedicated funding source for Metro — a move officials say is necessary to keep the transit agency financially solvent in coming years. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Some Frederick aldermen interested in talking about a citywide immigration policy

    Some elected Frederick officials are considering creating a citywide policy to help determine where the city stands on immigration enforcement. The discussion is related to a nationwide focus on “sanctuary cities,” a reference to government bodies declining to enforce immigration laws. Alderman Josh Bokee provided the mayor and board of aldermen with information about different approaches to establishing a citywide policy that he hopes officials can discuss at a future public workshop. (News-Post) Read Full Article

  • Annapolis City Council to vote on reforestation legislation

    The Annapolis City Council meets on Monday to hold a vote on legislation that would require developers to replant each acre of trees they cut down. The proposed bill, spearheaded by Alderman Jared Littmann, D-Ward 5, and Ross Arnett, D-Ward 8, is an effort by lawmakers to maintain the city's tree canopy. Current law requires developers to replace at minimum a quarter of each acre they cut down. (Capital)Read Full Article

  • Too much transparency? Montgomery balks at publishing residents’ email addresses.

    It was a signature achievement for Montgomery County Council member Hans Riemer: passage of the 2012 Open Government bill, which requires all county departments to make public records more available and accessible through a central Web portal. “You have a right to know what your government is doing. And I have made protecting that right a central part of my work,” Riemer (D-At Large) said in his campaign literature as he ran for reelection in Maryland’s largest jurisdiction in 2014. Last week, however, after more than 200,000 email addresses of people receiving newsletters and other information from the county government were made public on the county’s website, Riemer and some of his colleagues decided they had opened the portals of government a bit too wide. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Laslo Boyd: Overcoming “Trump depression”

    In a recent article in the New York Times, Arthur Brooks, head of the American Enterprise Institute, argued that people who pay the most attention to politics are most likely to be unhappy. While it’s indisputable that a lot of people have been unhappy since November 8 of last year, Brooks’ assertion paints an incomplete and misleading picture. As the old saying goes, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out there trying to get you. Similarly, in today’s political environment, there’s plenty to be depressed about regardless of the state of your mental health. (From a Certain Point of View)Read Full Article

  • In Maryland, a good compromise on immigration

    The political turmoil and outrage attending a bill that would limit the cooperation granted to federal immigration authorities by state and local officials in Maryland are disconnected from the effect of the latest, watered-down provisions that actually appear in the legislation. So are accusations by immigration restrictionists that the bill would transform Maryland into a “sanctuary state,” whatever that means. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article

  • Del. Herb McMillan: The 'Trust Act' is a betrayal of the public's trust on behalf of felons

    The "Trust Act" (House Bill 1362) perfectly exemplifies the way the left uses political language as a smokescreen to hide the full intent of its actions. The measure was sold as a way to protect hardworking undocumented immigrants and their children, who only want a better life, from local law enforcement agencies more interested in deporting them than protecting us. While that's a blatantly inaccurate assessment of what's happening in Maryland, if that's all the legislation did, there wouldn't have been a national uproar over its passage last week. (Capital)Read Full Article

  • Dan Rodricks: Baltimore's population loss hurts more this time

    Being attached to Baltimore is like being attached to a drug addict: You love the best of it and you hate the worst of it. You're on this emotional roller coaster — up and down, up and down — and just when it seems that recovery is steady and strong, relapse happens, and everything flops like daffodils in a frost. I call Baltimore "Our City of Perpetual Recovery" because it reminds me of various drug addicts and alcoholics I've met over the years. They could be quirky and lovable; they could be nasty and unlovable. They were worthy of sympathy and deserving of disdain. They seemed promising one day, hopeless the next. They demanded a lot of patience and forgiveness. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article