Md. Legislative Black Caucus has questions about Kopp’s record

One of the legislature’s largest caucuses is raising questions about Treasurer Nancy Kopp and her last four years on the Board of Public Works. The 56-member Legislative Black Caucus met Friday afternoon in an emergency closed-door session to discuss Kopp, according to sources familiar with the discussions. The meeting comes as the legislature prepares to appoint a treasurer for the next four years, whether it be the incumbent or another as yet unannounced candidate. (Daily Record)

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Five things to watch this week in the Maryland General Assembly

The first full week of the Maryland General Assembly session opens Monday — after the swearing in of a new state Senate and House of Delegates and the revelation that Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller is fighting prostate cancer in the session’s first days. This week, Gov. Larry Hogan will release his budget proposal and celebrate his second inauguration, while legislators begin a push for what might end up being the hottest issue of the session: raising the state’s hourly minimum wage. (Balt. Sun)

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Congress approves back pay for federal workers as Maryland unemployment insurance requests top 2,500

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday overwhelmingly approved legislation — pushed by Maryland lawmakers — to guarantee back pay for hundreds of thousands of federal employees as the partial government shutdown approached record length. Meanwhile, the Maryland labor department said it has received 2,550 unemployment insurance benefit applications related to the shutdown through Thursday, more than double the figure of a week earlier. The Senate had already passed the back pay measure, which was sponsored by Maryland Democrats Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen. (Balt Sun)

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As New Orleans' top cop, Michael Harrison battled crime and corruption. Now he aims to take the fight to Baltimore

Harrison’s career is not without blemishes. In 1999 he was sued, along with a federal agent and an officer from another department, over mistakenly raiding the wrong place during a drug investigation. The investigators had busted into what turned out to be the wrong part of a large house that had been divided into separate apartments, according to court records. The federal government, New Orleans Police and another agency settled the case for $20,000 shortly before it was scheduled to go to trial, court records show. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland announces funding for Brooke's House, Horizon Goodwill

Two local programs are in line for help in combating the opioid crisis as part of $2.5 million in statewide funding for community and local programs. Steve Schuh, executive director of the Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center, announced the awards on Thursday. Brooke’s House, a sober living facility for women, will receive $250,000. Horizon Goodwill Industries’ Project Realize!, which mentors youth involved in the justice system, will get $80,922. Schuh made the announcement during a news conference in Baltimore with Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford. (Herald Mail)

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Groups launch campaign to raise Md. minimum wage

A coalition of progressive groups and legislative Democrats say they will push for an increase to $15 per hour in the state’s minimum wage. The call for an increase comes less than a year after the state phased in the final increase to $10.10 passed five years ago. Lawmakers and advocates say more needs to be done to support the working poor. “We know there’s a lot of folks that is out there struggling in Baltimore City or the Eastern Shore and we want to make sure those people are represented,” said Sen. Cory McCray, D-Baltimore City. (Daily Record)

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Md. Court of Appeals ‘corrects’ criticism of intermediate court

Maryland’s top court has removed its sharp criticism of the state’s intermediate tribunal from an order this month that a young Guatemalan immigrant be permitted to remain with his uncle in Lanham while applying for special U.S. residency status and likely citizenship. The Court of Appeals’ original order, issued Jan. 4, noted due process concerns with the Court of Special Appeals’ having taken 418 days from the time it received Santos Nohe Lopez Perez’s appeal to its decision last month affirming a trial judge’s denial of Lopez’s request. (Daily Record)

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County council appoints Strannahan to planning commission

The Talbot County Council appointed Michael Strannahan to fill the Talbot County Planning Commission vacancy at its meeting on Tuesday evening, Jan. 8. Strannahan will join Paul Spies, William Boicourt, Chip Councell and Michael Sullivan on the commission. His term will start Feb. 1 and end in December 2023. The next planning commission meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6. There were 12 applications for the position, and all council members agreed it was a difficult decision to make; however, they said they are confident with their choice.

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