Monday, December 4, 2023 |


Advocates hail session as ‘tremendous victory for public health’

A swath of bills that aim to address health inequities in Maryland have successfully passed through the General Assembly this session, including legislation cementing pandemic telehealth expansions into law, a permanent revitalization of a major 2012 public health pilot and medical debt protections. The Preserve Telehealth Access Act of 2021 passed through both chambers with overwhelming support and was signed by Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday.

Emotions Raw in Session’s Final Hours, But Lawmakers Hail the Finished Product

For the third straight year, the Maryland General Assembly adjourned on Monday night without balloons or confetti — a nod to the serious nature of lawmakers’ work due to COVID-19 and the restrictions placed on outsiders’ access to the State House complex in Annapolis. It was a fitting coda to a grueling year that required all the usual hard work but contained none of the joy the carnival-like atmosphere of the 90-day session usually brings.

In Rebuke to Hogan, Maryland Statehouse Passes Ethics Bill

The Maryland Senate has unanimously voted for more enhanced disclosure requirements for elected officials, following a Washington Monthly exposé of Governor Larry Hogan who, unbeknownst to legislators or the public, advanced road and highway infrastructure projects near properties owned by his real-estate firm—a move that can increase the value of those properties. According to insiders privy to legislative maneuvers in Annapolis, the state capital, Senate leaders were expecting the legislation, dubbed the Integrity in High Office Act, to provoke intense debate on the chamber floor over the weekend.

From the pandemic to policing to placing sports bets, Maryland lawmakers broke new ground in session that stayed busy

In a frantic rush Monday, Maryland’s lawmakers capped a legislative session in which they spent billions of dollars to help the state rebound from the coronavirus pandemic, enacted sweeping reforms to policing practices and expanded options for voting by mail in the state. Members of the Maryland General Assembly pushed green and red buttons — mostly green — for hours at a stretch as hundreds of bills crossed the legislative finish line on a day known in Annapolis by the Latin term “Sine Die.”

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Md. lawmakers end session by banning private ICE jails, removing governor from parole decisions

Maryland’s General Assembly capped a legislative session focused on systemic inequity Monday night by passing a string of liberal priorities, stripping control of parole decisions from the governor, banning for-profit immigration detention centers and requiring the planting of 5 million trees in the state over the next 10 years. The 90-day session was largely defined by fixing long-standing social unfairness in education, health and criminal justice. In addition to a landmark policing overhaul, lawmmakers sought to bolster civil rights and aid for immigrants and assist those most devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ep. 9: Young, Scrappy, and Hungry with Gregory Snyder, P.K. Owusu-Acheaw, and Neal Karkhanis

Session is over and we’ve heard from some of the most storied names in Annapolis. On episode 9 of The Lobby, Damian brings together the next generation of Annapolis operatives.  We are joined today by Gregory Snyder of Bellamy Genn, P.K. Owusu-Acheaw of the Maryland State Education Association, and Neal Karkhanis of Funk  & Bolton. Join us for a far-reaching conversation about what led our guests to where they are, the changing face of lobbying and the tools of the future, and the realities of networking in the era of COVID-19. We hope to see you soon in the Lobby.


the conference call cover image
10. The Great American Rescue with Senator Chris Van Hollen

On episode 10 of The Conference Call, Damian is joined by Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen. Join us for a wide-reaching conversation about the American Rescue Plan, politics locally and nationally, and Maryland’s remarkable representatives in the House and senate.

Expansive COVID-19 Recovery Bill Advancing in Legislature

A bill that would require the Maryland Department of Health to create and implement a two-year plan for COVID-19 recovery by June 1, among other measures, is nearing passage in the Maryland General Assembly. With a price tag of at least $152.5 million in federal funds, the COVID-19 Testing, Contact Tracing, and Vaccination Act of 2021 (SB 741) offers a multifaceted approach to COVID-19 recovery through the next two years. The bill passed unanimously in the state Senate two weeks ago and must get through two House committees before hitting the House floor. A companion bill was sponsored in the House by Del. Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk (D-Prince George’s).

Howard County Council requires gender-inclusive single-user restrooms, passes other legislation

At its monthly legislative session Monday night, the Howard County Council unanimously approved legislation requiring gender-inclusive single-user restrooms, legislation requiring developers to provide a certain amount of moderate-income housing in Transit Oriented Development, and legislation requiring financial disclosures related to zoning matters. The council acted on a large collection of bills it considered during March. Legislation to require certain single-user restrooms in Howard to be available to all passed unanimously.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
grocery store, market, supermarket
In a bid to bring grocers to food deserts, Prince George’s turns to alcohol sales

Everyone agrees on the problem: Swaths of Prince George’s County don’t have enough grocery stores, despite years of officials trying to lure them to the majority-Black Washington suburb. And there’s wide agreement that the lack of access to fresh groceries has exacerbated health disparities that made county residents more vulnerable to coronavirus. But there was intense disagreement this year on the solution proposed by officials from Prince George’s, who wanted to reward grocery stores that locate in food deserts by allowing them to sell beer and wine.

The Morning Rundown

We’re staying up to the minute on the issues shaping the future. Join us on the newsletter of choice for Maryland politicos and business leaders. It’s always free to join and never a hassle to leave. See you on the inside.