Amid UMMS leadership shake-up, a longtime Democratic insider holds on — despite questions

For two decades, Mark Wasserman’s job has been to know the University of Maryland Medical System’s business and to bolster it by leveraging his long-standing connections with elected officials, lawmakers and other influential people. A consistent face in Democratic power circles in Baltimore and Annapolis since his days as an aide to the late Gov. William Donald Schaefer, Wasserman joined UMMS as its senior vice president of external affairs in 1997. Last year, he was paid nearly $510,000 to be the guy for UMMS who could open doors and bend ears. (Balt. Sun)

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Hoyer, Brown Join Democratic Push to Strengthen Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act has improved the lives of millions of Americans, but access to health coverage remains uneven, two members of Maryland’s congressional delegation and a panel of local health-care professionals said on Friday. Race, income, geography and community conditions are all persistent factors in determining who has access to care — and by extension, lead healthier lives — the experts said. (Md. Matters)

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Massive protests draw apology from Hong Kong leadership

Hong Kong citizens marched for hours Sunday in a massive protest that drew a late-in-the-day apology from the city's top leader for her handling of legislation that has stoked fears of expanding control from Beijing in this former British colony. Nearly 2 million of the city's 7 million people turned out, according to estimates by protest organizers. Police said 338,000 were counted on the designated protest route in the "peak period" of the march. (Balt. Sun)

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Democrats push Hogan to release money for school construction, community colleges, rape kit testing

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan continues to review more than $200 million in funding for projects the legislature amended into the state budget — including funds for school construction, community colleges and testing rape kits — as Democratic lawmakers ramp up calls for him to release the money. For weeks, Democrats and advocates for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra have called on the Republican governor to release $1.6 million for the financially struggling orchestra that lawmakers included in the budget that takes effect next month. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland recoups money spent on botched health exchange rollout under settlement with IBM

Maryland and the federal government will recoup millions of dollars spent on the disastrous rollout of the state’s health insurance exchange created under the Affordable Care Act under a settlement with IBM, which supplied the technology. Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh and the U.S. Attorney for Maryland Robert K. Hur announced the $14.8 million settlement with IBM and its Curam Software unit Friday, a little more than five years after then-Gov. Martin O’Malley blamed the technology giant for the website’s problems and said: “We take responsibility for fixing this, and we'll see IBM in court." (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore County NAACP calls for ethics probe of state delegate for 'hang them high' Facebook comment

The two Baltimore County chapters of the NAACP have asked state legislative ethics officials to investigate Del. Robin Grammer’s recent Facebook post that the groups called “racist and inflammatory” for what they said was a reference to lynching black public school administrators. The two chapters petitioned the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics, which investigates complaints against lawmakers, “to take appropriate action” against Grammer for “alleged violations of public ethics laws,” according to a June 10 letter obtained by The Baltimore Sun. (Balt. Sun)

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Mayor Jack Young Signs Gender-Inclusive, Single Occupancy Restroom Bill Into Law At Baltimore Pride Weekend

History was made at the Baltimore Pride Parade on Saturday. Mayor Jack Young signed a bill that would allow all single occupancy restrooms to be used by anyone, male or female. This is in an effort to provide a safe space for all citizens regardless of their gender identity. “All of your elected officials believe in equality, we believe in everyone treated the same way,” Baltimore Council President Brandon Scott said. (WJZ-TV)

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Split County Council passes $1.7 billion operating budget, increases taxes and fees

Anne Arundel County resident taxes are officially going up after the County Council voted 4-3 Friday to approve County Executive Steuart Pittman’s $1.7 billion budget. The core of Pittman’s fiscal year 2020 budget was largely unchanged as the council opted to adopt smaller reductions totaling $1.3 million. Those reductions were then used to increase firefighter staffing, add a limited English proficiency consultant and correct errors and omissions. (Balt. Sun)

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