Politics

  • Baltimore Council President Scott to form panel to examine city's cybersecurity after crippling computer hack

    Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott announced Thursday that he is convening a special committee focused on cybersecurity and emergency preparedness as City Hall struggles to recover from a hack that has crippled the government’s email and other computer systems. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Future Of The Preakness At Pimlico Remains On Minds Of Many Ahead Of Saturday’s Race

    Along with dishing up crab cakes and fried chicken- owners, trainers and jockeys also had something new to chew over at this year’s Alibi Breakfast; the very real possibility that Preakness will leave Pimlico in 2021. “It would be kind of like if they took the Derby away from Louisville, which would be horrible,” said Sherri McPeek, owner of “Signalman,”. “So I think it should stay, maybe they want to update the facility or maybe build a new facility.” (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • 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) Read Full Article

  • 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.) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Cailey Locklair - MDRA Op-Ed

    The Maryland Retailers Association supports the firm stance Governor Hogan and the Maryland legislature took against selling Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or “ENDS,” to minors. Maryland retailers provide adult smokers access to healthier and safer alternatives to cigarettes, and these products were never intended to encourage teen smoking. We believe ENDS products should not be marketed towards children, and will continue to fight for common sense measures against this practice.Read Full Article

  • Delegate Nick Mosby - No More Taxpayer Money Until Stronach Replaces Laurel Park Housing

    On Friday, March 29, I had the opportunity to tour the worker housing at the Laurel Park racetrack with Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, as the Maryland General Assembly considers taking the unusual action of mandating that MEDCO provide a $120 million loan to the Stronach Group.Read Full Article

  • Consumer Energy Alliance Supports the Independence Energy Connection Project

    Washington, D.C - As Maryland legislators consider the future of energy infrastructure and regulatory changes in the state’s electric market, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Mid-Atlantic Executive Director Mike Butler reinforced the consumer group’s support for an energy policy that can bring affordable and reliable power to the region for consumers.Read Full Article

  • Dr. Michael Kapsa - To Address Drug Costs, Annapolis Should Look North to Trenton

    Health care spending is the domestic challenge of our time. America is on track to hit $4 trillion in annual expenditures. And while a figure this large can seem daunting, the price tag should hit home: $11,000 each year—and rising – if we translate it to a per person cost.Read Full Article

Business

  • Bank of America employees officially get first pay bump

    Bank of America Corp. employees have received their first pay bump on the road to a minimum wage of $20 an hour. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank said Wednesday that it hiked its salary floor to $17-an-hour officially on May 1, which will be reflected in the paychecks that workers receive this week. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Beyond Pugh and UMMS: Members of local hospital boards also had contracts with the systems they oversaw

    Former Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh and her colleagues on the University of Maryland Medical System board were not the only ones who profited from business deals with the hospitals they oversaw. At least two dozen people who sit on boards of smaller, affiliated institutions in the massive system had contracts with those institutions, in some cases worth hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, according to financial disclosures. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore-area still without a Fortune 500 company

    Baltimore-area public companies are creeping closer and closer to Fortune 500 status, but the region remains off the list for the seventh straight year. McCormick & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MKC) climbed 25 spots to No. 514 on this year's list, generating revenue of $5.4 billion in 2018. T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (NASDAQ: TROW) shot up 21 spots, coming in at No. 519 with revenue last year of nearly $5.37 billion. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • UMMS affiliate hospitals also have deals with board members. Maryland lawmakers want reforms there, too.

    “We assume that the message was received. We assume that this will filter down to the affiliate boards,” said Del. Shane Pendergrass, a Howard County Democrat and chairwoman of the House health and government operations committee. “But if we see that it doesn’t, we will obviously see what we need to do.” Del. Kathy Szeliga, the minority whip who also sits on the health committee, said other hospital systems that operate in Maryland should be reviewing board contracts. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Education

  • Student In College Admissions Scandal Sues Georgetown Over Potential Expulsion After Father Pleads Guilty

    A Georgetown University student caught up in the college admissions scandal is suing Georgetown to prevent the school from potentially kicking him out. Adam Semprevivo, the son of Los Angeles businessman Stephen Semprevivo, filed a lawsuit against Georgetown on Wednesday, seeking to stop the school from disciplining or expelling him for his alleged involvement in the college admissions scandal. (CBS) Read Full Article

  • 'I'm doing this for my students': Diamonté Brown elected next Baltimore Teachers Union president

    In her first real job out of college, Diamonté Brown worked to get juvenile offenders back into classrooms and on track to graduate. By the time these children became part of her caseload, she said, they’d already been failed by the education system. Brown began thinking that instead of helping students re-enroll after trouble with the law, perhaps she “needed to be on the other side.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Criticized Maryland chancellor won’t seek contract extension

    The chancellor of Maryland’s university system said Thursday he will step down next year, after state lawmakers cut funding from the system’s budget by an amount equal to his annual salary to express displeasure in the system’s handling of a University of Maryland football player’s death and how the chancellor dealt with a separate ethics query. (WTOP) Read Full Article

  • Chesapeake College president talks economic success

    Chesapeake College President Cliff Coppersmith discussed the latest economic successes of the college and the Mid-Shore region Wednesday, May 15, during a speech at the annual Five-Chamber Mixer in the Todd Performing Arts Center. Coppersmith talked most significantly about economic stimulation and the college's contributions to the region's employment rate, saying it employs "over 200 full-time and more than 300 part-time employees," and has added "$118 million in income to the [local] economy." (Star Dem.) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Here's how higher regulatory costs are impeding housing affordability

    Despite recent declines in mortgage interest rates, housing affordability continues to be a key concern for homebuyers. And, rising cost burdens mean a larger share of household budgets are spent on rent. For example, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, in early 2012 a typical family could afford 77.5% of all new and existing homes that were sold. Today, that share stands near a 10-year low at 61.4%. The percentage would be even lower if not for a recent uptick in income growth. It is widely understood that a lack of inventory – particularly a dearth of new construction at affordable price points – is the primary cause of today’s housing challenges. (HousingWire)Read Full Article

  • Johns Hopkins Hospital sues patients, many low income, for medical debt

    John Hopkins Hospital has filed more than 2,400 lawsuits in Maryland courts since 2009 against patients with unpaid bills, including a large number of residents from distressed neighborhoods surrounding the East Baltimore medical campus. The number of cases has been increasing, from 20 in 2009 to a peak of 535 in 2016, according a report released by the Coalition for a Humane Hopkins, which includes patients and neighborhood, faith and activist groups such as the AFL-CIO and National Nurses United, a union involved in a contentious organizing effort at Hopkins. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Sentencing set for last officer in Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force corruption case

    The last former Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force detective to be sentenced is asking for a term of just three years in prison when a judge hands down his punishment at a hearing scheduled for later this month. Federal prosecutors have said they will seek 12 years for former Detective Jemell Rayam, who pleaded guilty to racketeering charges and cooperated with the government to map out the corrupt gun unit’s crimes. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Ransomware attack forces city to do permitting by hand

    Many Baltimore computer systems remain compromised one week after a ransomware attack, forcing some real estate and restaurant businesses to do things the "old-fashioned way." Three tenants that were supposed to open inside the newly renovated Cross Street Market remained closed Thursday. Now, they are among business owners working with city departments to use manual "work-arounds" for some processes and transactions that would ordinarily be completed online. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Pringle: Horse racing industry needs uniform regulation

    If each of the 32 NFL teams set their own rules for doping, there would be constant confusion and an outcry for reform. But that’s exactly how the horse racing industry operates. Spectators and viewers watching the Preakness Stakes on Saturday will see the spectacle of the crowds and competitive races, but they’ll likely be unaware that, unlike other national sports that have a single regulating body, horse racing has 38 jurisdictions overseeing approximately 100 racetracks in the United States. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Alternative Fact of the Week: Larry Hogan's Road shill bill

    Two years ago, we called out Gov. Larry Hogan for declaring legislation requiring the state to rank the worthiness of its transportation construction projects a “road kill bill” that seriously threatened Maryland’s future. Even before “alternative facts” had entered the public nomenclature, it wasn’t hard to spot a political tall tale. We argued then — and later when a compromise was reached with the General Assembly — that publicly ranking projects meant little to nothing when a governor gets to choose the criteria for ranking and still has final say on what projects are actually funded no matter where they end up on the list. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • A question for Baltimore’s inspector general

    Baltimore’s Office of the Inspector General was created nearly 15 years ago, in July 2005. The instrument of creation: an executive order signed by then-Mayor Martin O’Malley. Reviewing the history of the office, the OIG’s most recent annual report noted that it was created “to be the ‘watchdog’ over City practices by ensuring accountability at all levels within City governance, operations and services,” the goal being “to improve City efficiency through the elimination of identified financial waste, fraud and abuse.” (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Ellis: Sign tax sale bill, Gov. Hogan

    For more than 75 years, the Baltimore City government has sold tax liens to the highest bidders for homes whose owners failed to pay their property taxes, water bills and other fees. Designed to turn tax delinquent properties over to tax paying owners, this system has had the opposite consequence in modern day Baltimore, where many properties are not marketable. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article