Politics

  • December 8 // Md. lawmaker says it’s time for Medicaid to cover dental care

    Ask Del. Mike McKay why he's pushed so hard to restore adult dental care to Maryland's Medicaid program and he'll rattle off a list of reasons: Dental issues can affect all other organs. Medicaid recipients are going to hospital emergency rooms when they have a toothache, and the best an ER, which is not equipped to give dental care, can do is give them pain medication. And because of that, the underlying problems aren't treated and get worse — so it's an inefficient use of Medicaid funding. More important, it contributes to the opioid epidemic. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

  • Raskin breaks with Democratic leadership in vote on Trump impeachment resolution

    Breaking from the House Democratic leadership and the other six Democrats in the Maryland House delegation, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Takoma Park on Wednesday voted in favor of moving ahead with action to impeach President Donald Trump. An impeachment resolution offered by Rep. Al Green of Texas was tabled by a 364-58 vote, with all Republicans, as well as a large majority of Democrats, voting in favor of the procedural move to effectively kill the measure. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • Madaleno to accept public financing in governor's race

    State Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. has become the first of the eight contenders for the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nomination to choose public financing for his primary campaign. The Montgomery County lawmaker said his decision to accept public funding, announced Friday, gives him the opportunity to raise as much as $2.8 million, with an estimated $1.4 million of it in public funds, for the June 26 primary — not far from the amount he had budgeted for his bid to become the Democratic challenger to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan next November. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore City Council considers tax hikes to pay for affordable housing

    In a city where many struggle to make monthly rent payments, the Baltimore City Council is considering raising taxes on property sales and inheritances to provide $10 million annually for affordable housing. City Councilman Bill Henry submitted legislation Thursday to raise the recording fee by 20 percent and and transfer taxes by 17 percent, respectively, to provide a “sustainable revenue source” for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund — a new fund created by the voters that currently has no money in it. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Patients overpaying for prescriptions: save money by asking this one question

    You could be overpaying for your prescriptions and have no idea. In some cases, pharmacists can't tell you you're paying too much. Even if they wanted to, confidentiality agreements restrict them from notifying consumers of a cheaper price. This practice is called a clawback and Baltimore County Delegate Eric Bromwell likens it to theft. (WMAR-TV)Read Full Article

  • Gene M. Ransom III: Marylanders of All Ages Should Talk to Their Doctors About Getting Vaccinated

    As we enter fall, parents around Maryland have sent their children into the school year with everything they need to succeed, including their required school vaccinations. But immunizations aren’t just for our children – they are a lifelong, year-round medical necessity, and a critical public health tool for protecting against a broad range of dangerous and potentially deadly illnesses.Read Full Article

  • Wendy Davis Interview Series: Episode 2

    In this second of a two-part interview, Wendy Davis shares with KOFA Managing Partner Jamie Fontaine her thoughts on Betsy DeVos’ proposed dismantling of Title IX. Watch Video

  • Dr. Leana S. Wen: Graham-Cassidy Health Care Proposal Is Detrimental to Nation’s Health

    The Graham-Cassidy bill scheduled to be voted by the Senate next week is even more detrimental than previous attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It will take away health insurance coverage from millions of people, devastate Medicaid, and eliminate protections for patients, including coverage for pre-existing conditions.Read Full Article

Business

  • December 8 // Medical supplies manufacturer Medline to open distribution center in Perryville, add 200 jobs

    Medline, an Illinois-based medical supplies manufacturer and distributor, plans to build a 1.1 million-square-foot distribution center in Perryville, where it will relocate operations from its current center in Havre de Grace, the Maryland Department of Commerce announced Thursday. The move to the Principio Business Park facility, expected to be LEED-certified, will nearly triple the company’s workforce, adding more than 200 jobs in the next six years, officials said. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • UM Ventures launches new fund, entrepreneurship space in Lion Brothers building

    A new innovation space from the University of Maryland, Baltimore is opening inside the historic Lion Brothers building on Hollins Street. About 6,200 square feet of the 38,000-square-foot building will be dedicated to offices, class/meeting rooms and coworking space geared toward supporting entrepreneurship and technology startups. The new space will be called the GRID, an acronym for Graduate Research Innovation District, and will be housed in the revamped former Lion Brothers Co. clothing and embroidery factory near the university's BioPark campus. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • 300-unit development planned for Fells Point waterfront

    Elm Street Development is planning a new 300-unit apartment and condo development along the waterfront in Fells Point. The property at 2001 Aliceanna St. is currently the site of a two-story warehouse, leased by the National Aquarium, and a large parking lot. The Virginia-based firm hopes to break ground on the residential project next fall, once the aquarium moves out of the warehouse to a new building it is erecting in Jonestown. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Planning board OKs mixed-use project that will bring public aquatic center to Silver Spring

    A public-private effort to build housing and a fitness and aquatic center in Silver Spring made significant headway Thursday. The Montgomery County Planning Board unanimously approved plans for overhauling the Elizabeth Square site by building a government-operated center with an 11-lane competition pool, two other pools, a gymnasium and other public amenities. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

Education

  • December 8 // Baltimore 'youth fund' moves closer to distributing $12M

    Baltimore City lawmakers unanimously voted Thursday for legislation that would bring the city closer to distributing money from a $12 million fund for children and teens. “Today marks a turning point for the City of Baltimore,” said City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young in a statement. “It’s a moment we should truly celebrate and lift up as an example of the power of collectively investing in our young people and the power that comes from engaging in such a strong and forceful turn toward inclusion and equity." (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • University of Baltimore rolls out furlough plan amid declining enrollment

    Faced with falling enrollment, the University of Baltimore has cut nearly 400 employees’ salaries to save money. The school made the cuts by furloughing workers — requiring them to take time off without pay — as part of a larger effort to reduce costs that includes a hiring freeze, out-of-state travel restrictions and limits on departmental spending. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Superintendent: Consolidating high schools 'doesn't make sense'

    Declining enrollment in Allegany County Public Schools doesn't mean it's time to consolidate, Superintendent David Cox said during a recent meeting of the Board of Education. The school system has 8,133 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade for the 2018 academic year. That's 21 fewer students than 2017, 126 less than 2016 and 166 less than 2015. (Times-News) Read Full Article

  • School committees outline budget funding priorities

    The importance of competitive teacher salaries, small class sizes and funding for technology highlighted a public budget input session hosted by the Worcester County Board of Education this week. On Tuesday representatives of the various school improvement advisory committees from throughout the county shared their budget requests with school system officials. Requests for pay increases for teachers, funding for technology and maintaining small class sizes came up again and again. (Dispatch) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • December 8 // Md. pays steep price for site with access to the Patuxent River

    A one-time mobile home park in such poor condition that many of its dwellings violated livability codes is slated to be transformed into one of Maryland’s newest waterfront parks as well as offices for the Department of Natural Resources. But some are questioning whether the state paid too much for a tract with marginal ecological value that had little chance of ever being developed. (Bay Journal) Read Full Article

  • Mikulski joins Baltimore Community Foundation board

    Former Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski will join the Baltimore Community Foundation as a board member. Mikulski, who decided a year ago not to seek a sixth Senate term, joins 26 other trustees who advise the foundation. In 2016, the foundation distributed $20 million to hundreds of nonprofits in Baltimore and across the country. It accepted $23 million in gifts last year. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Seventh defendant pleads guilty in Baltimore police Gun Trace Task Force case

    A 38-year-old Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to committing an armed home invasion to help a corrupt Baltimore police detective steal $20,000. Thomas Robert Finnegan, who is not a police officer, admitted that he donned a “police” tactical vest, broke into the home and held a gun to the homeowner after being recruited into the plot by Detective Jemelle Rayam. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • 14 states sue to allege US failure to enforce smog rules

    Fourteen states, including Maryland, and the District of Columbia announced Thursday that they are suing the Trump administration over what they say is a failure to enforce smog standards. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not designated any areas of the country as having unhealthy air, missing an Oct. 1 deadline, according to the lawsuit. Such areas must take steps to improve their air quality. (AP) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • December 8 // Rachel Garbow Monroe: Here's how to end the culture of sexual harassment

    Words have power. Too often today, they are being used to tear us down and apart, making us feel helpless and defenseless. Alternatively, words can build us up, strengthen us and give us the ability to move forward together, constructively. I choose to focus on the latter believing that none of us can afford the continued costs of remaining silent. As a female CEO, I have a responsibility to speak out, and I am compelled to do so now. The pervasive workplace culture of sexual harassment, intimidation and the undervaluing of women must be addressed both swiftly and firmly. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Matthew Rothstein: Baltimore's bigger and better downtown is a weapon against the city's negative reputation

    Despite the wave of violent crime in Baltimore seeming never-ending and becoming more brazen, the city's downtown is growing in both size and quality to change its story. If downtown is one of the safest areas of the city, then it stands to reason that enlarging it with new developments in former fringe areas like Canton, Locust Point and Stadium Square can increase the halo of affluence. But when violent crime is at issue, the process's growing pains are tragic, like the shooting death of a Locust Point resident at a Royal Farms convenience store steps away from the just-opened Anthem House apartment building. (Bisnow)Read Full Article

  • Brian Griffiths: Medicare-for-all scheme is unhealthy

    This week, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous brought Bernie Sanders to Baltimore for the rollout of his Medicare-for-all plan. Sanders has been pushing his Medicare-for-all scheme in Congress and Jealous, who will tell you he agrees with Bernie Sanders a lot, will be proposing a state-based system funded by you, the Maryland taxpayer. Jealous has no idea how much it will cost to implement this Medicare-for-all scheme. He is already talking about an increase in the income tax or the sales tax to cover the enormous costs for the program. (Capital)Read Full Article

  • Consider allowing counties to skip state education mandates if school funding dips

    Color us intrigued by a proposal by Commissioner Doug Howard for county staff to draft legislation for the county’s delegation to submit that would exempt Carroll from certain state education mandates that aren’t graduation requirements or required by the federal government if state funding dips below a certain percentage. It’s such a radical change in thinking that we’re not sure it would get anywhere in Annapolis, but Howard’s reasoning is sound. (Carr. Co. Times)Read Full Article