George Arlotto: Collaboration a hallmark of budget process

The difficulty of crafting a budget to meet the needs of a county as big as Anne Arundel cannot be overstated. Every agency funded by government has essential functions and the county's approximately 560,000 residents have expectations and desires that merit strong consideration. Our school system accounts for about half of Anne Arundel County's operating budget and employs more than 10,000 people, so it should come as no surprise that there are continuous discussions that take place surrounding funding for the education of more than 81,000 students. (Capital)

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May 15 // Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Dr. Leana Wen, Kevin Lindamood: Gutting Medicaid will harm generations to come

A bill to fundamentally change the way Americans purchase and receive health care passed the House of Representatives and is now waiting consideration in the Senate. The bill, which was opposed by nearly every major medical organization, threatens the health and well-being of millions of Americans with public and private insurance. The bill would effectively gut Medicaid, the program that today, thanks to expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), ensures health services for 74 million Americans, including nearly 1.3 million Marylanders. As leaders and frontline health professionals, we see daily how Medicaid saves lives and provides hope and stability, and our state must join a growing national effort to preserve it. (Balt. Sun)

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Staying above water isn't just a metaphor

The term "million-dollar mile" is used in many contexts, even as time changes the meaning of "a million dollars" from "a hard-to-imagine sum of money" to "a routine unit of government financing."Annapolis may ultimately have one more use for the term. Or perhaps not. In any case, we give Mayor Mike Pantelides credit for looking at what a city increasingly vulnerable to flooding may need to combat storm surges. And not just looking at it himself, but promoting public discussion and awareness by having two companies that sell flood-mitigation gear bring their wares to City Dock last week for a demonstration. (Capital)

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Thomas Wheatley: Leave Maryland’s statutory rape law alone

Last week, Maryland prosecutors dropped rape charges against two immigrant teenagers who were accused of raping a 14-year-old classmate in a bathroom at Rockville High School. “Due to lack of corroboration and substantial inconsistencies from the facts,” Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy explained, “the original charges cannot be sustained and prosecution of those charges is untenable.” Almost immediately, the decision to drop the rape charges spurred substantial backlash. At least from information made public by investigators, it seemed an injustice slithered through Montgomery County unscathed, leaving only an unquenched thirst for retribution in its wake. In looking for retribution, Marylanders should be wary of knee-jerk and anger-driven responses — such as changing Maryland’s statutory rape laws. (Wash. Post)

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Richard L. Revesz, Jack Lienke: Here’s how the EPA can help states with their smog problems

For many in the Northeast, May is a hopeful time, promising longer, warmer, brighter days ahead. But for public-health advocates, the month marks a darker turning point: the start of ozone season. Ground-level ozone, the primary ingredient in urban smog, contributes to a variety of respiratory woes, including premature death. Ozone is of greatest concern in the summer months, because hot, sunny days are especially conducive to its formation. Residents of the D.C. and Baltimore areas are no strangers to summer smog. But this year, they might be able to breathe easier. Under Gov. Larry Hogan, Maryland has petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency for help bringing ozone pollution in the state to a safe level. (Wash. Post)

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Terence Smith: Vital bay funding remains in the Trump administration's cross hairs

The Chesapeake Bay had a good week last week. The annual report card on the bay's overall health from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, or UMCES, showed significant improvement, one-design sailboats from around the nation had a rollicking regatta in the waters off Annapolis and, just days before that, Congress preserved funds for the Chesapeake Bay Program for the balance of the fiscal year. Nothing in Washington is permanent, of course, so the budget battle will resume in September for fiscal 2018 and the Trump administration is still threatening to zero-out the $73 million annual appropriation for the Chesapeake Bay Program, headquartered in Annapolis. (Capital)

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Rascovar: Preakness Week and Pimlico’s future

Kentucky may have the biggest horse race of the year but Maryland has the most entertaining “people’s party” on the infield at Pimlico Race Course on Preakness Day, which takes place Saturday. While the week is filled with more quality horse-racing than Pimlico will see the rest of the year, the Preakness Stakes is without question the most important day of entertainment on Maryland’s calendar each and every year. But will it continue? (Md. Reporter)

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Dana Milbank: Rod Rosenstein has one chance to save himself

Rod Rosenstein: Save yourself. For years, the man who just became the No. 2 official in the Justice Department painstakingly built a reputation as a gifted prosecutor and an above-the-fray lawman, serving Democratic and Republican administrations alike. Now, just over two weeks into his new job, he has become a national joke. He has destroyed his credibility by giving cover and legitimacy to Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey, the man overseeing the agency’s probe of the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia in tilting the 2016 election Trump’s way. (Wash. Post)

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