Recession is likely in 2020 or earlier, economist warns Maryland senators

An economist warned Maryland lawmakers on Tuesday that a recession is coming and they should prepare for it. Financial indicators are pointing toward a recession beginning in mid-2020, Dan White, director of government consulting and fiscal policy research for Moody’s Analytics, told members of the Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee. And it’s possible that a recession could come sooner if the partial government shutdown continues. “If we get to March without some kind of agreement, it will be enough to cause a recession in the United States, and Maryland and Virginia would be squarely at the epicenter,” White said. (Balt. Sun)

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New ‘red flag’ law prompts more than 300 court orders on guns

In the three months since its implementation, Maryland’s “red flag” gun safety law has prompted more than 300 protective orders across the state, law enforcement officials told state lawmakers Tuesday. In effect since Oct. 1, the Maryland Extreme Risk Protective Order — also known by the acronym ERPO — or “red flag” law is a court-issued civil order that temporarily requires an individual posing an immediate danger or threat to surrender their firearms and ammunition to law enforcement. It also prohibits the individual — or respondent — from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition while in effect, according to the Maryland Courts website. (Md. Reporter)

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Carroll/Frederick ties a topic of public hearing to redraw gerrymandered congressional district

Carroll County used to be a part of Maryland’s sixth congressional district until redistricting in 2011 split the county between the first and eighth districts. This year, the sixth district was judged unconstitutional and in violation of voter’s First Amendment rights. At a public hearing Monday, Jan. 14, citizens hoped the consequences of the decision would ripple out to reduce gerrymandering across the state. The Emergency Commission on Sixth Congressional District Gerrymandering met at Frederick Community College for the first of three public hearings before they work to draw new boundaries for District 6. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Maryland Gov. Hogan is set to be sworn in today at noon

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will be sworn in for a second term Wednesday, having easily survived a down-ballot Democratic wave to become the first Republican governor reelected in the state since 1958. Hogan, his family and invited guests will start the day with prayers at St. Mary’s, a small Catholic church just blocks from the Maryland State House where the governor regularly attends Mass and where he eulogized his father, Lawrence Hogan Sr., in 2017. (Wash. Post)


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Maryland Gov. Hogan to propose $5M for security grants for houses of worship and schools

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday that he plans to propose $5 million in spending in his next budget for security grants for houses of worship, schools and day care centers. The governor’s budget is due Friday to the General Assembly. Hogan’s office said the budget will include a $3 million grant program for churches, synagogues, temples and other houses of worship that are at risk for hate crimes. The competitive grants will be overseen by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention. (Balt. Sun)

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At inaugural, Hogan calls for government ‘more noble than the politics of today’

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan used his second inaugural address on Wednesday to decry the divisiveness of Washington politics, implicitly criticizing President Trump and illustrating his own appeal to the Republican Party’s Never-Trump faction. “Those of us blessed by your trust should give you a government that doesn’t act as if it is something apart from you but one that is of the people, by the people, and for the people,” Hogan, 62, told a crowd of well-wishers on the State House lawn. (Wash. Post)

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Baltimore Mayor Pugh names new Department of Planning director

Chris Ryer will become the next director of the Baltimore Department of Planning, Mayor Catherine Pugh’s office announced Tuesday. Ryer has become well known in planning circles in the last three decades, having served several stints in government. That includes 10 years in the city planning department as a community planner and four years as deputy director from 2002 to 2006. He also served in the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development's neighborhood revitalization division. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland’s Economy: Very Good (For Now), But Extended Shutdown Could Be Devastating

Maryland lawmakers will craft a budget this legislative session in about as favorable an environment as they could hope for, an economist said Tuesday. Well, federal government shutdown aside, of course. Dan White, director of government consulting and public finance research at Moody’s Analytics, said unemployment is very low, wages are increasing, and the country is at the top of an extended economic expansion. But celebration should be short-lived as lawmakers look ahead to the next possible economic downturn, he said. (Md. Matters)

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