• March 22 // Krishanti Vignarajah’s gubernatorial ad is all about electing a woman

    Maryland’s only female gubernatorial candidate released a campaign video Wednesday that shows her nursing her 9-month-old daughter and claims that states with female leaders have “better schools, better health care and lower incarceration rates.” “Some people say no man can beat Larry Hogan,” says Krishanti Vignarajah, referring to the Republican governor whose high approval ratings have made him a favorite to win a second term in November. “Well, I’m no man. I’m a mom, I’m a woman, and I want to be your next governor.” (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Maryland budget on way to passage, but taxing issues remain

    While the state was digging out from this week's snowstorm, lawmakers worked against an approaching deadline to wrap up budget negotiations. The budget for Fiscal Year 2019, which begins July 1, is to be approved by both chambers by April 2. The Senate has approved its version of the state's operating budget, and on Wednesday, it unanimously approved its version of the capital budget. The House is set to vote Thursday on the $44.5 billion operating budget. It voted Wednesday to make dozens of changes recommended by the House Appropriations Committee. Many changes involve restricting spending in various areas until the General Assembly's budget committees get reports on how the money is spent. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

  • ‘If not now, when?’ Md. lawmakers say Great Mills shooting will fuel school-safety bills

    Tuesday’s shooting at a high school in southern Maryland has given new urgency to a package of school-safety bills that were proposed in the General Assembly after a deadly rampage in Parkland, Fla., and will be the focus of hearings Thursday and Friday. “If we didn’t take a crack at this, then we would be derelict in our duty,” said state Sen. Stephen M. Waugh (R-St. Mary’s) who drafted the four bills and whose district includes Great Mills High School, where the shooting took place. “If not us, who? And if not now, when?” (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Possible relief for motorists with huge E-Z Pass fines passes Senate

    A bill bringing possible relief to Maryland motorists who face thousands of dollars in fines from unpaid E-ZPass tolls passed the Senate unanimously last Thursday and gets a hearing in a House committee next week. Bill sponsor, Sen. Roger Manno, D-Montgomery, made fixes to his bill that died last year in committee, conforming it to a bill that passed the House last year.   Senate Finance Committee Chairman Thomas “Mac” Middleton, D-Charles, told Manno at a March 7 hearing that he spoke with transportation officials last year and requested improvements. The Maryland Transportation Authority had a year to evaluate how it handles escalating fines that can devastate driver’s finances and credit ratings. (Md. Reporter)Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Tami Howie: Only Congress Can Regulate the Internet

    It’s a no-brainer to support protecting the rights of consumers to unfettered access to the wide-ranging services and sites offered on the internet. But, similarly, states like Maryland must ensure that the robust internet infrastructure that fuels our digital economy continues to advance and make Maryland an attractive place to do business.Read Full Article


    As we get closer to the end of the legislative session and the 2018 election, we expect there will be an explosion in polling. Center Maryland would like to help Maryland see the numbers. Please send us an email alongside your polling memo. It must be from a reputable pollster, explain the methodology and include the questions being asked - accompanied by a reasonable amount of data. Today’s poll by Mason Dixon on behalf of the Maryland Catholic Conference is a good example to follow.

  • NEW POLL: Maryland Voters Favor Increasing Funding For Boost Scholarship Program

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (March 13, 2018) – Nearly two-thirds of all Marylanders, including 82 percent of the voters in Baltimore City and 79 percent of all African-Americans polled, support an increase in funding for the State of Maryland’s Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Scholarship Program, according to a new poll released today.Read Full Article

  • Minister Duane Williams, Jr. - Baltimore’s Baffling Ban Makes Take-Out Containers Criminal

    I'm from Baltimore. I'm a former Baltimore City Police Officer and currently an educator at a Baltimore City Public School, and for as long as I can remember, Baltimore has had a littering problem. In a single day, our famous Mr. Trash Wheel has collected as much as 38,000 pounds of trash from the Jones Falls Watershed.Read Full Article


  • March 22 // TEDCO money helps Md. startups finish fundraising rounds

    The Maryland Technology Development Corporation’s (TEDCO) Seed Fund invested $1.2 million in five state startups’ funding rounds, the fund announced Tuesday. The companies cover fields ranging from biotechnology to health information technology to artificial intelligence. “These startups exemplify Maryland’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem,” George Davis, CEO of TEDCO, said in a statement. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Snowstorm gives Baltimore bars business — and customers an excuse for day drinking

    It may be a snow day for scores of people across the Baltimore region, but for Geoffrey Danek, today is another day at work. Danek, the owner of Tex-Mex restaurant Holy Frijoles on The Avenue in Hampden, prides himself on keeping his doors open regardless of the weather forecast. "That's kind of our thing," Danek said. "For years and years, we've always, no matter what, opened up." (Balt. Bus. Journal)Read Full Article

  • Detrick lab funding restored in federal omnibus spending bill

    The federal omnibus spending bill unveiled Wednesday night includes full funding for a Fort Detrick laboratory that is one of its kind in the country. The bill fully restores funding for federal laboratories the Trump administration proposed to close, including continued operational costs of $44.3 million for the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC). (News-Post) Read Full Article

  • Rare $1,000 bill expected to fetch $1M at Baltimore auction

    A rare $1,000 bill from 1863 is expected to sell for about $1 million at an auction in Baltimore. Stack's Bowers Galleries says the bill is one of only two of its kind available to collectors. The U.S. Treasury Department says thousand-dollar bills haven't been printed in the U.S. since 1945. Stack's Bowers Galleries will sell this bill and dozens of others from the same collection on Thursday at the Baltimore Convention Center. It expects to fetch a total of about $6.2 million from those sales. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article


  • March 22 // Maryland schools and snow days: what is left?

    With closures stemming from Wednesday’s snowfall, some Baltimore-area school systems have used up all their allotted snow days for the 2017-2018 school year. School district officials now must decide which days off to take back from remaining vacation days — at the same time families are preparing to travel for spring break. Baltimore City is among those scrambling to figure out which days to reclaim for instruction after the state school board voted Tuesday against giving the city a waiver for the mandated 180-day school year. Some board members chastised the city for not planning ahead and building fewer vacation days into its calendar. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Anne Arundel Community College considers new heroin addiction policy

    Anne Arundel Community College will consider a policy that officials say would strengthen the college’s approach to tackling and educating students about opioid addiction. According to a draft that will be considered by the college’s board of trustees, the policy would require all full-time incoming students to go through opioid awareness training as well as report all instances of personnel using naloxone, a drug which reverses the symptoms of an overdose. (Capital)Read Full Article

  • Havre de Grace still posts a police officer at all its schools

    While Maryland legislators debate whether to place school resource officers in all schools after Tuesday's shooting in St. Mary's County, one municipality in Harford County has been doing it for years. In the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. — which claimed the lives of 26 people, including 20 children — the Havre de Grace City Council allocated money in its annual budget to place school resource officers in each school within city limits. (Aegis) Read Full Article

  • Howard County schools to petition state for waiver after latest snow day

    The Howard County Public School System will petition the Maryland State Department of Education for a waiver after closing for its sixth snow day of the year on Wednesday. Snow fell Tuesday night into Wednesday morning in the Baltimore area, with 3 to 7 inches expected by the end of the day. The school system had adjusted its calendar to make up for the previous five inclement weather closings, keeping school in session from April 4 to 6, dismissing three hours early on Friday, May 18 and Friday, June 15. Tuesday, June 12 will also be a full day for students, according to the school system’s website. (Ho. Co. Times) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • March 22 // Auditor: Botched grants program imperils millions in Baltimore funds

    Baltimore’s top elected officials expressed frustration Wednesday that city government agencies have failed — yet again — to properly account for how they spent grant dollars. A new audit of how the city manages millions of dollars in state and federal grants has come to the same conclusion that previous examinations have: Grant money coming into government coffers is not balancing out with what city agencies are spending. “The city is not able to establish accurate balances of grant accounts,” city Auditor Audrey Askew told Baltimore’s spending panel Wednesday. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • University of Maryland finance professor nominated for Treasury post by President Trump

    President Donald Trump announced he would nominate Michael Faulkender, a University of Maryland finance professor, to be assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy. Faulkender is also associate dean of masters programs at the university’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. Faulkender research focuses have been on corporate finance in the areas of capital structure, risk management, corporate liquidity, and executive compensation, according to his online bio. White House officials cited Faulkender’s published articles on capital structure, corporate liquidity, risk management and executive compensation. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Candidate for Anne Arundel executive calls on Schuh to explain hearing officer change

    Steuart Pittman, the Democratic candidate for Anne Arundel County executive, is calling on County Executive Steve Schuh to explain the county administrative hearing officer’s departure, criticizing it as “bad for business” and makes the “county look bad.” “I’ve only heard good things about Doug Hollmann,” Pittman said. “I heard people were happy with the guy and he was fair. Replacing him in an election year and putting someone in like Jonathan Hodgson just makes no sense to me.” (Capital)Read Full Article

  • University of Maryland AIDS expert named new CDC director

    A doctor with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a longtime AIDS researcher who helped found the school’s prestigious Institute of Human Virology, has been appointed the new head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The appointment of Dr. Robert Redfield Jr., an infectious disease expert, was announced late Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Health Secretary Alex Azar lauded Redfield for his contribution to advancing the understanding of HIV/AIDS. His most recent work was running a treatment center for HIV and hepatitis C patients that Azar said will prepare Redfield for fighting the opioid epidemic, one of the CDC’s most pressing issues. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article


  • March 22 // A school shooting could happen anywhere. That’s why students from everywhere are marching.

    A common, sad sentiment was sounded in the aftermath of Tuesday’s shooting at Great Mills High School in Southern Maryland: “The notion of ‘it can’t happen here’ is no longer a notion,” said St. Mary’s County Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron. “If you don’t think this can happen at your school, you are sadly mistaken,” said St. Mary’s Schools Superintendent James Scott Smith. And from parent Shonita Somerville: “I never thought something like this would happen here. St. Mary’s is a small little place. Now I can say, ‘You think it wouldn’t happen? It can happen to anybody.’ ” (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Todd Eberly: A Revised Version of Maryland, My Maryland that Actually Reflects the State's History

    As the General Assembly debates a watered down bill to reconsider Maryland's pro-secessionist state song I wonder how many folks know that the Union wrote an alternate version - one that better reflects Maryland's actual history? Maybe we should consider interspersing the lyrics to create a song that reflects the actual divisions in Maryland at the time? For those not in the know, Maryland, My Maryland was a poem written by Marylander living in Louisiana during the Civil War and it is (was) is a battle cry for Maryland to join the South. It was adopted in 1939, the centennial of the author's birth and during a vibrant period of civil rights activities in Baltimore City. (FreeStater) Read Full Article

  • Christopher B. Summers: Gov. Hogan, rethink State Center, don’t rebuild it

    On Monday, the Maryland House of Delegates voted to pass a bill that would put certain parameters on any effort to resuscitate the stalled State Center redevelopment project in West Baltimore. Problem is, redeveloping the site was a bad idea when first hatched by former governor Robert Ehrlich, and it got worse in the administration of Martin O’Malley. Now Gov. Larry Hogan needs to rethink it entirely rather than tweak it, or it will merely enrich a few developers at the expense of state and city taxpayers. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Snowed: How a silly political gimmick is causing havoc for Maryland teachers, students and parents

    When Baltimore City schools officials asked the state Board of Education for a waiver from the rule that systems have at least 180 school days per year, the board said no. It was the same when Wicomico County asked and probably will be the same if and when other districts make that request. And you may find yourself saying, as we do, good for them for sticking to the 180-day requirement. If anything, 180 days is too few for kids to be in school. Surely the better option would be for the districts to simply extend the school year by another couple of days in the summer, right? Sadly, no. Thanks to Gov. Larry Hogan, that isn’t possible. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article