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Politics

After 8 years, Baltimore hoping to have a reliable ally in Annapolis with Democrat Wes Moore as governor

Since the start of his campaign, Gov.-elect Wes Moore has stood firm in his call to be a partner to Baltimore as he prepares to move from his adopted home to the state capital early next year. If Democrats statewide relish having one of their own occupying the state’s most powerful office after eight years of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, Baltimoreans in particular see an advantage in having a governor from their city. Moore, 44, was the only Baltimore resident in this year’s nine-person Democratic gubernatorial field. His victory in the general election set the stage for the first Baltimore governor since Martin O’Malley left the office in 2015.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Columbia leaders show support for Columbia Association CEO Lakey Boyd as rumors swirl about her job security

A petition to keep embattled Columbia Association President and Chief Executive Officer Lakey Boyd in office has received more than 570 signatures as of Friday morning, the latest development in a monthslong drama at the nonprofit that serves as the de facto government of Maryland’s second-largest city. Columbia Association board member Dick Boulton, who represents the village of Dorsey’s Search, said Friday that he had been “misquoted” in reports stating the association is conducting an ethics investigation into Boyd’s actions. “[Boyd] is not being investigated by the board for an ethics violation,” Boulton told the Howard County Times on Friday, declining to comment further on personnel matters.

New era set to begin for Baltimore County school board

Baltimore County’s school board will not only have five new members on Tuesday but get new leadership as well. However, the options for experienced leadership are limited. Board members will elect a new chair and vice chair at the beginning of the meeting. Julie Henn and Rod McMillion, who both ran unopposed in the Nov. 8 election, currently hold those positions, respectively. And Henn, who has been the chair for the last year, said on Facebook that she no longer wants the job. In a Nov. 18 post, Henn said she told her colleagues that she’d neither pursue nor accept a nomination to be chair or vice chair.

Political notes: Inauguration dates, more on Lierman’s transition, and women in legislatures

It’s fairly well known that Inauguration Day for Gov.-elect Wes Moore (D) and his running mate, Aruna Miller (D), is Jan. 18, and there will be an inaugural ball and other festivities. But what about Attorney General-elect Anthony Brown (D) and Comptroller-elect Brooke Lierman (D)? Brown is scheduled to be sworn in on the morning of Jan. 3 in the House of Delegates chamber in the State House — where Brown served as a delegate from 1999 to 2007 and as lieutenant governor from 2007 to 2015. There will also be a celebration for Brown, but details have not been finalized. Lierman will be sworn in on Jan. 16, at a time and place to be announced.

Inflation is cutting into states’ big infrastructure windfall

When Ohio transportation officials got the bids back in spring for the next phase of an expansion of Interstate 75 north of Cincinnati, they had a rude awakening. Inflation had driven up the mega-project’s cost by about $100 million above the $171 million state engineers had estimated. Officials decided to redesign the project, break it up into smaller phases and rebid it, putting off construction until the fall of 2023. Ohio transportation officials are getting nearly $2 billion over five years from the $1.2 trillion federal bipartisan infrastructure law. But so far, the money they’ve received “has largely been gobbled up by inflation,” said Matt Bruning, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Transportation. “It didn’t take all of it, but we’re pretty close to a net sum zero because of it.”

A $641K DoD grant reinstated Maryland’s DefTech Center for defense innovation

Entrepreneurs seeking to innovate in the mid-Atlantic’s aerospace and defense sector now have some extra consolidated support thanks to the State of Maryland and federal government. The U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation granted the Maryland Department of Commerce $641, 573, with part of the funds being used to restart the Defense Commercialization (DefTech) Center. The resurrected program will now be administered by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the state-connected investment vehicle for tech companies across the state.

Crayons beside child coloring
Moore’s promise of free pre-K looks to balance cost, resources and quality learning

Gov-elect Wes Moore (D) has a laundry list of plans for Maryland. Moore wants to give students an option to be paid to complete a year of service after high school, raise the minimum wage to $15 this year instead of the scheduled increase in 2025 and support small businesses through modernizing the regulation process. One of his focuses, which he discussed repeatedly during his campaign, is to provide free pre-kindergarten for all of the state’s three- and four- year olds in need.

Maryland AG files suit against St. Mary’s sewer authority over continued spills; one sickened oyster eaters in Virginia last year

The Maryland Attorney General’s office filed suit Thursday against the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission — the county’s sewer authority — over continued sewage spills, requesting a financial penalty and a court order requiring sewer system upgrades. “We have charged MetCom with multiple violations of the most fundamental laws that protect public health and the environment,” Attorney General Brian Frosh said in a statement. “Releasing raw sewage could not be more dangerous. We will hold them accountable.”

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan teases presidential bid, reflects on tenure

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan further teased his presidential ambitions Wednesday, throwing himself a fundraising party with supporters at a casino and taking a victory lap on his two terms as a popular Republican governor in a deeply Democratic state. At an event that celebrated his past eight years and contemplated his political future, the governor laid out his case for a White House run before 1,500 people packed into a ballroom at Maryland Live Casino and Hotel, but he stopped short of declaring a candidacy.

Baltimore judge reprimanded for political contributions, failing to cooperate with disciplinary authorities

The Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities has issued a reprimand to a Baltimore judge for making political contributions and failing to cooperate with disciplinary authorities. District Judge Flynn M. Owens donated $50 in 2021 to Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, who ran for governor and lost. Owens then contributed $100 in 2022 to Thiru Vignarajah, a former Maryland deputy attorney general who unsuccessfully ran for Baltimore state’s attorney, according to campaign finance disclosure reports.

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