Hogan Calls For Changes At Maryland Environmental Service Following ‘Systemic Issues’ Over Severance Pay

Gov. Larry Hogan is calling for a number of changes at the Maryland Environmental Service a month after news broke that his then-chief of staff accepted a sizable severance package to leave the quasi-governmental agency to join the governor’s office. In a letter to State Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones, Hogan wrote “it is clear that there are issues regarding the governance structure, oversight, and management” of the agency, which describes itself as a “not-for-profit business unit of the state of Maryland.” (WJZ)

Read Full Article

Builders prepare to quit Purple Line construction

Maryland officials said Tuesday they are taking over day-to-day management of the construction of the Purple Line after the companies building the 16-mile light-rail line in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties said they plan to quit the job amid disputes over project cost overruns. Workers with Purple Line Transit Partners, the joint venture building the line as part of a public-private partnership, are currently securing construction sites and preparing to leave, according to reports. (Balt Bus Journal)

Read Full Article

Maryland Senate committee holds hearing on reforming police while trying to define what that means

Amid the growing national debate over police brutality and race relations, a Maryland Senate committee convened Tuesdayto discuss a slew of potential police reform legislation in advance of next year’s General Assembly. Tuesday’s Judicial Proceedings Committee hearing lasted five hours and touched on seven different pieces of legislation, ranging from establishing a use-of-force policy for all of Maryland’s police departments to eliminating no-knock warrants. (Balt Sun)

Read Full Article

Hogan Makes Final Push For Marylanders To Fill Out Census Ahead Of September 30 Deadline

With just days left in September, time is running out to fill out the 2020 Census. Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday said while Maryland has passed its 2010 participation numbers, there are still people who have not filled out the form. He urged them to do so before the September 30 deadline. “Every single response is necessary to secure funding for healthcare, schools, hospitals, roads and other essential services,” Hogan said in a video news release. (WJZ-TV)

Read Full Article

State panel with subpoena power to discuss Maryland Environmental Service investigation Wednesday

A General Assembly committee with subpoena powers will meet Wednesday to discuss the practices of the Maryland Environmental Service, an independent state agency with a history of making payouts to departing directors. Lawmakers have been investigating the Maryland Environmental Service since The Baltimore Sun reported last month that Gov. Larry Hogan’s then-chief of staff, Roy McGrath, had received a payout worth more than $238,000 when he left the agency to join the Republican governor’s team. (Balt Sun)

Read Full Article

Baltimore City Mayoral Candidate Shannon Wright’s Virtual Forum ‘Zoom Bombed’ With Racist Attack

A Baltimore City mayoral forum Friday was interrupted by an apparent “Zoom bomber” during Republican Shannon Wright’s opening remarks. “Then he said, ‘I pledge my life to Pakistan,’ then he started saying some things I didn’t recognize and saying the N-word,” Wright said. “I refuse to let it deter me. I refuse to let it shake me. I refuse to let it stop me. It actually gives me more motivation, more energy to continue forward.” (WJZ-TV)

Read Full Article

City Council advances pared-back hospitality workers’ rights bills

Two measures aimed at protecting Baltimore workers amid the disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic advanced Monday, after the City Council responded to business concerns and narrowed their scope. The bills, introduced by Councilman Kristerfer Burnett, are intended to improve job security for hotel workers laid off due to Covid and those who work for companies that change hands. Amended versions of both passed after animated debates in the Labor Committee and on the virtual Council floor. (Brew)

Read Full Article

Baltimore could end contract with Pugh-connected financier after IG details failure to disclose donations to her

Baltimore’s top lawyer will recommend the city consider ending its contract with Grant Capital Management after the city’s inspector general found troubling omissions in the company’s bid for a lucrative contract regarding founder J.P. Grant’s donations to ex-Mayor Catherine Pugh. The investigation was spurred by revelations last year about Grant’s role in Pugh’s “Healthy Holly” children’s book scandal. (Balt Sun)

Read Full Article