Local police should stay out of immigration enforcement

Once again, local police are sticking their noses in immigration matters. This time Maryland Transportation Police called federal authorities on a woman in distress after having just watched her car catch on fire. The women, who is only being identified as Nora for her protection, now sits in a Worcester County Detention Center, deportation to El Salvador in her future. As Nora drove to work one cold January morning, smoke began billowing from the engine. (Balt. Sun)

 

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Criminalize human trafficking in Maryland

Recently two young women from an African country escaped after being held captive for several years in a large home in the wealthy suburb of Potomac. They were forced to work 18 hour days seven days a week and were paid only 50 cents an hour. The head of the household seized their passports, kept them isolated and threatened them with violence if they tried to escape. The trafficker covered up this abuse through a complex deceptive scheme. (Wash. Post)

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Md. paid family leave bill provides economic security for caregivers

We face a caregiving crisis in America. More than 40 million people provide uncompensated care for relatives every year. Most must juggle their caregiving with their employment; some have to make a choice between the two. While some employers recognize the importance of providing paid leave for families trying to care for a loved one, many do not. Outdated workplace policies force employees to choose between maintaining income and supporting their families when they’re needed after the birth or adoption of a child or when a sick, disabled or aging family member faces a critical time. (Balt. Sun)

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Access to business capital often a barrier for women

According to a report by the National Women’s Business Council, access to capital remains one of the greatest barriers for women to launch, scale and grow their businesses. Research has shown that men tend to start their own businesses with nearly twice as much financial capital than women — $135,000 versus $75,000 — the report notes. Alicia Wilson, senior vice president of Impact Investments and senior legal counsel to the Port Covington development team, thinks that women-owned businesses can gain access to capital beyond loans and external funds. The key, she said, is to access funding through more contracts and customers. (Daily Record)

 

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The Supreme Court’s Peace Cross case highlights a deeper question about religion

In the case of the Peace Cross in Bladensburg, Md., the ostensible issue for the Supreme Court is whether the Constitution permits a local government to maintain a 40-foot World War I memorial in the shape of the Latin cross on public property, or whether this violates the First Amendment clause prohibiting the establishment of an official religion. The deeper question is the long-term status of publicly supported religious symbolism — everything from the Peace Cross to “In God We Trust” on coins — in a nation that is rapidly becoming less and less religious. (Wash. Post)

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JHU president: 'It is imperative' Maryland fund new education initiatives

As the leader of Maryland’s largest private sector employer — with a mission to provide education and health care — I know from experience that our state’s future rests on the quality and equity of our pre-K-12 public education system. This is why it is imperative for the state to move forward with the recommendations of the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (known as the Kirwan Commission) to substantially improve the educational outlook for this state. (Balt. Sun)

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We are Maryland county executives. We support the $15 minimum wage — as a floor.

As county executives, our job is to support hard-working families and individuals so that they can achieve the American Dream. We have been elected by our communities and charged with responding to their needs and concerns. For too many in our districts, their hard work is powering our businesses and institutions, but they are still struggling to provide for their families and make ends meet. That’s why we support the state legislature’s current effort to raise Maryland’s minimum wage to $15. But we also want our state representatives to firmly protect our cities’ and counties’ long-standing right to adopt a higher local minimum wage when our workers and businesses need a higher minimum wage to thrive.Sorry, readability was unable to parse this page for content. (Wash. Post)

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Motorcycle lane-splitting isn't crazy, but Md. shouldn't rush to legalize it

Motorcycles are far more likely to be involved in accidents — and their drivers and passengers more likely to be killed in crashes — than other vehicles. Much of it is simple physics: Flesh and bone simply doesn’t withstand a high-speed impact as well as cars and trucks. So conventional wisdom is to enforce rules of the road and make sure motorcycles can be seen (and treated courteously) by other drivers. That means granting motorcycles the same ground as one might a much larger vehicle. (Balt. Sun)

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