Baltimore City lags in responding to census; Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Howard counties have much higher rates

Baltimore City lags behind the rest of the state and nation in responding to the census, despite continuing pleas by elected officials concerned that an undercount would cost the city millions of dollars in federal aid. Participation rates in the surrounding counties of Baltimore, Howard and Anne Arundel are substantially higher than the city’s — and all three eclipse the national level, according to online figures compiled by the Census Bureau. (Balt Sun)

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Rutherford, Franchot Get Snippy at Teleconferenced BPW Meeting

Was it the first debate of the 2022 race for governor? Maybe. Maybe not. But a skirmish at Wednesday’s Board of Public Works meeting between Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford (R) and Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) went on way longer than it should have, considering the venue. The 10-minute mano-a-mano, conducted via teleconference, may serve as a preview of things to come. (Md. Matters)

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Social Security recipients who don’t usually file tax returns will automatically get $1,200 payments, Treasury says in reversal

The Treasury announced late Wednesday that Social Security beneficiaries who typically do not file a tax return will automatically get the $1,200 payment. The announcement is a reversal from earlier in the week when the Internal Revenue Service said everyone would need to file some sort of tax return in order to qualify for the payments. Democrats and some Republicans criticized the IRS for requiring so many extra hurdles for this vulnerable population to get aid when the government already has their information on file. (Wash Post)

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Leaders in Maryland, Virginia, District of Columbia, work to get in sync on coronavirus response

Not long after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a stay-at-home order for state residents, his counterparts in Virginia and Washington, D.C., followed suit with similar orders. While the timing of the orders Monday wasn’t planned, the leaders of the three jurisdictions have been in regular contact, discussing the best steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus that has sickened more than 181,000 Americans. (Balt Sun)

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Hogan calls Trump testing claims ‘just not true’ as region’s virus cases continue surge

The rise in Washington-area coronavirus cases continued to accelerate Tuesday as leaders scrambled to prepare for an even greater surge, cobbling together bed space and supplies while calling for more help and coordination from the federal government. A day after leaders in the District, Maryland and Virginia ordered residents to stay home to limit the spread of the virus, the greater capital region added 477 known coronavirus cases, bringing the regional tally to 3,411. (Wash Post)

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Maryland’s legislative leaders call for in-person voting option for June 2 state primary

The president of the Maryland Senate and the speaker of the state House called Tuesday on Gov. Larry Hogan to explore offering in-person voting as an option during the June primary, in spite of the new coronavirus outbreak. In a letter circulated to members of both chambers, Senate President Bill Ferguson and Speaker Adrienne A. Jones argued that voting is an essential activity, akin to the work of essential businesses that have remained open despite severe restrictions Hogan has implemented during the pandemic. (Balt Sun)

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Montgomery Co. approves $36 million emergency funding for coronavirus response

Hospitals in Montgomery County, Maryland, will get $10 million in a special appropriation to help them prepare for a projected surge in patients due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Montgomery County council voted 9-0 in favor of the emergency funding. Two county agencies — the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security — will administer the funds. (WTOP)

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Poll finds 84% agree with Hogan’s actions to limit the spread of COVID-19

More than eight out of ten Marylanders agree with the actions Gov. Larry Hogan has taken to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the state, according to a MarylandReporter.com poll released on Tuesday. There were 1,660 confirmed cases of the virus in Maryland as of Tuesday morning, according to the state’s Department of Health, and 18 Marylanders have died from the virus. (Md Reporter)

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