As states, localities face fiscal squeeze, budget hardliners say no to “bailout”

Groups representing elected officials at every level of government are pleading with Congress to provide more aid to cash-strapped states and counties, warning that crucial services will be imperiled and layoffs will be impossible to avoid if Washington fails to push more cash out the door. Among those leading the call for federal action is Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R), whose tenure as head of the National Governors Association ended Wednesday. (Md Matters)

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Biden on cognitive test: 'Why the hell would I take a test?'

Joe Biden is pushing back at Republican assertions that he should take a cognitive test to disprove President Donald Trump’s claim that the Democrat isn’t fit for the Oval Office. Biden grew testy when CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett asked the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee about the matter in a recent interview. (AP)

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Trump administration slams Hogan and Maryland for lack of pandemic-related nursing home inspections

The Trump administration called out Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in a harshly worded letter Wednesday for a lack of coronavirus pandemic-related inspections of nursing homes, deeming the state’s effort a “failure.” The letter said the state not only missed federally mandated deadlines, but with just over half of the facilities inspected, had the worst record in the country by far. That was jeopardizing the safety of particularly vulnerable seniors. (Balt Sun)

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Maryland Gov. Hogan joins six other states to negotiate purchase of faster coronavirus tests

Maryland is working with six other states to negotiate the purchase of so-called antigen tests for the coronavirus that will return results more quickly, Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday. Maryland formed an alliance with the states of Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio and Virginia as well as the Rockefeller Foundation to negotiate to buy 500,000 tests for each state, Hogan said Tuesday morning. By the end of the day, North Carolina joined the pact, bringing the potential joint purchase to 3.5 million tests. (Balt Sun)

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Elections chief Lamone to Gov. Hogan: We are working ‘diligently’ to carry out November election

Maryland’s top elections official responded Tuesday to a blistering letter from the governor by outlining the steps being taken to carry out November’s vote. Maryland State Board of Elections Director wrote to Gov. Larry Hogan that her staff is working “closely and diligently” with local elections boards to plan for the general election. (Balt Sun)

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Maryland Gov. Hogan ends tenure as head of nation’s governors

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ends his year-long tenure as head of the National Governors Association on Wednesday. As chairman of the group, the Republican governor has acted as a de facto spokesperson for the nation’s governors during the coronavirus pandemic, appearing regularly on cable TV shows. It was during an NGA event in Washington in February that Hogan arranged for the governors to be briefed on the coronavirus by top federal health officials. (Balt Sun)

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Baltimore County Council shelves police chokehold ban and reform bill

Baltimore County Council abandoned plans to vote on legislation that would ban the use of chokeholds by police — among other reforms — after the council expressed concerns about a series of amendments that would’ve “gutted” the proposed bill. The council voted 4-3 to postpone the bill after Councilman Tom Quirk, a Democrat, said he wanted to see a statewide law passed instead. (Balt Sun)

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House bill would remove white supremacist’s name from Chevy Chase fountain

New demands to erase a segregationist’s name from the Chevy Chase Circle Fountain gained traction Tuesday on Capitol Hill. D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., introduced a bill to remove the name of Francis G. Newlands, who is memorialized there both in stone and in a plaque. The Nevada senator helped develop Chevy Chase in the late 19th century. And because he was also an avowed white supremacist, it was intended to be exclusively white. (WTOP)

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