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Flush with campaign cash, Maryland Rep. Andy Harris gives hundreds of thousands to Trump backers and right-wing candidates

Maryland congressman Andy Harris’ biggest expense during the last election wasn’t fundraising, campaign commercials or staff. It was contributions to political friends, allies and organizations mostly loyal to then-President Donald Trump. The Republican from Baltimore County sent more than $325,000 from his 2020 campaign account to conservative groups and candidates — including Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a right-wing gun activist who once tweeted that she would “carry my Glock to Congress,” and a fund supporting Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who was recently stripped of her committee assignments because she indicated support for political violence and bizarre conspiracy theories.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Frosh calls for eightfold increase in eviction filing fee

Maryland’s attorney general urged state legislators Wednesday to raise the landlords’ filing fee in evictions from a near national low of $15 to $120, about $8 above the U.S. average, saying the eightfold increase might discourage landlords from initiating eviction proceedings that have become too readily used against tenants in a time of financial hardship. Brian E. Frosh spoke in favor of legislation that would give the money raised by the increased fee to the financially strapped Maryland Legal Services Corp., which funds groups that provide free legal services to low-income Marylanders.

Lawmakers Seek To Regulate ‘Ghost Guns’ As Usage Balloons

Sen. Susan Lee (D-Montgomery) presented legislation Wednesday seeking to regulate the ability to purchase or manufacture untraceable, or “ghost,” guns. “Untraceable firearms are not just guns with serial numbers crossed off,” said Lee, “they also include guns that have been designed to get around state laws and the federal definition of ‘firearm.’” Lee, an advocate for greater gun control, said the measure will further tighten Maryland’s laws for gun ownership after the override of Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s veto on a bill to regulate long guns.

Bowie City Council reviews midyear budget, how $1.9 million in CARES act money was spent

The City of Bowie reviewed the midyear budget on Tuesday, including $1.9 million in federal revenue from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and spent over $3.5 million total in COVID-19 expenditures. Over $3.1 million was spent on hazard pay for the essential workers in the city. Another $241,764 was spent on fringe benefits for those workers as well, including health, dental and life insurance.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Md. bill to aid immigrant workers provokes lively debate, advances

The Maryland Senate voted Wednesday to give preliminary approval to a bill that would provide tax credits to many immigrant workers, including those who are undocumented. The credits over the next three years would be identical to what is given to residents eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. The bill, part of an agreement between the House and Senate leaders last week, came after a similar provision threatened to derail efforts to pass a $1.2 billion stimulus bill to help individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who is Stewart Bainum Jr.? Maryland-raised businessman whose nonprofit is in line to buy The Sun has had second careers in politics, philanthropy.

The Baltimore Sun is poised to be acquired by a nonprofit founded last month by Stewart Bainum Jr., a Montgomery County-raised business owner who has also been active in Maryland politics and philanthropy. The acquisition would include The Sun, The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, the Carroll County Times and other community newspapers in the Baltimore metro region.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
dollar with mask
Marylanders Could See RELIEF Act Stimulus Payments This Week, Franchot Says

Eligible Marylanders could begin receiving RELIEF Act payments from the state by the end of the week, Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) said at a briefing Tuesday. Franchot said his office has already started processing roughly 267,000 electronic payments and 149,000 paper checks for 422,531 eligible stimulus recipients, totaling more than $175 million, will soon head out to low-income Marylanders who filed for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in 2019 and still live in the state.

Cumming stands her ground, dismissing criticism by Mosby’s lawyers

Responding to criticism from lawyers representing State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming said today she stands by the report she issued last week on Mosby’s travels, gifts, tax write-offs and private businesses. In a letter on Friday, Mosby’s attorneys objected to what they viewed as the IG’s misleading framing of the prosecutor’s out-of-town trips, saying “your report makes it appear as though Mrs. Mosby was gallivanting around as a tourist.”

Read More: Baltimore Brew
Homeowners, renters in Md. struggling with payments during pandemic

Many homeowners and renters continue to fall behind on monthly payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now there’s a renewed push to ensure they don’t lose their homes or get evicted. Maryland has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country, according to Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who is hopeful that states will get more help addressing housing issues in President Joe Biden’s $1.9-trillion pandemic-relief package working its way through Congress. Speaking with state lawmakers during a virtual meeting on Tuesday, the Democrat noted that by the end of last year, the delinquency rate on residential properties was 8.8%.

Read More: WTOP
After riot, impeachment trial, shaken Maryland congressional staff must navigate a U.S. Capitol forever changed

When they pull back the blinds, staff members in the office of U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger can look across Independence Avenue at the U.S. Capitol, which seems to glow at night. The view, once stirring, now unleashes more complicated emotions. The Baltimore County Democrat’s staff can’t uncouple the dome’s majesty from stomach-churning memories of the Jan. 6 Capitol siege — when they peeked out to watch rioters scaling the building — or from ongoing threats posed by right-wing extremists.

Read More: Baltimore Sun

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