Bill aims to share overdose data

Amid growing concern about heroin abuse in Frederick County, a local lawmaker wants to free up government agencies to share medical, law enforcement and social services records about overdose deaths. A bill sponsored by Delegate Kelly Schulz would lead to the formation of local and state fatality review teams that would gather data, investigate overdose cases and craft recommendations for government leaders. (News-Post)

Read Full Article

Crawford seeks return to GOP Central Committee

Politics is not personal for Joe Crawford of Bryantown. The current vice chairman of the Charles County Republican Central Committee is running again for a seat on the committee. “The reason I’m staying involved is that things have changed,” Crawford, 60, said. “The dynamic is different. There’s an energy in the room when we had our meeting last night.” Crawford said the energy is positive at Republican Central Committee meetings now. (Gazette)

Read Full Article

Mayor defends 'liberal leave' decision for city workers

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake defended her decision to require nonessential Baltimore employees to travel to work Thursday or stay home and use vacation time, saying residents need services in severe weather. Union representatives said the decision to allow "liberal leave" — but not to shut down city offices — was inconsistent with Gov. Martin O'Malley's call for Marylanders to stay home during the storm. They said they hoped the mayor would remember the workers' commitment when it came time to finalize their contracts. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Republican congressmen request a federal probe of Md. health insurance exchange

Two Republican congressmen have called for an investigation of the tens of millions of federal dollars that Maryland spent to build an online health exchange that state officials say has so many defects that they might have to abandon parts, or even all, of it. Reps. Andy Harris (Md.) and Jack Kingston (Ga.) sent a letter Wednesday to the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services and asked for an immediate “formal investigation into the flagrant waste and abuse of taxpayer monies.” The inquiry would focus on how federal money was spent, how contractors were hired, who provided oversight and whether the federal government can recoup any of its money. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

Feb. 13 // Congressmen call for federal audit of Md. health exchange

Two Republican lawmakers called Wednesday for an investigation into federal money spent on Maryland's troubled health insurance exchange, raising questions that could shed light on whether the Obama administration foresaw problems with the site before its launch. In a letter to the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Reps. Andy Harris of Maryland and Jack Kingston of Georgia ask auditors to review why millions of federal dollars flowed into the project despite warnings from a consultant about problems. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Brown pitches pre-K expansion

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown asked state lawmakers Wednesday to endorse a key plank in his platform for governor: increasing access to pre-kindergarten classes. State legislators are weighing a small expansion of Maryland's program, which already provides half-day preschool to about 29,000 students from low-income families. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Maryland lawmakers have a lot to say about legalizing pot — much less about their use

As the Maryland General Assembly debates whether to decriminalize or even legalize marijuana, lawmakers have plenty to say on the subject. It’s time to acknowledge the futility of the war on drugs and lift the prohibition, say some. Others talk about the potential benefit to public safety if pot were to be regulated and taxed as a legal substance, just like alcohol. And some express amazement that it has taken so long for baby boomers, who grew up in the 1960s and now run the country, to put an end to “reefer madness.” (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

College Park decreases age limit for public office to 18, allowing Maryland students to run

The College Park City Council voted this week to allow 18-year-olds to run for public office, opening up the opportunity for students at the University of Maryland to seek council seats or the mayor’s office. The city previously required candidates for mayor to be at least 25 and candidates for council to be at least 21. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article