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Here’s what Rockville and Gaithersburg candidates have to say about housing and transportation

Gaithersburg and Rockville are the third- and fourth-largest cities in Maryland, with nearly 70,000 residents each. These two Montgomery County municipalities regularly top lists of the nation’s most diverse places and are the backbone of the region’s biotech industry. It’s in Rockville where scientists mapped the human genome and found a potential HIV cure, and in Gaithersburg where they discovered a COVID-19 vaccine. What happens here has echoes that go way beyond the borders.

Baltimore to collect unwanted clothes and textiles at drop-off centers

Baltimore residents can now deposit clothing, shoes, sheets, and other textiles into the large blue collection bins at any of the city’s five residential drop-off centers. “This new recycling opportunity will help reduce textile waste, which is one of our fastest growing waste streams. In addition, this effort increases recycling options for residents and diverts material from the City’s landfill,” said Richard J. Luna, interim director of Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works.

Free Covid-19 tests are now available for order from the US government

Covid-19 tests are now available to be ordered for free from the US government. Starting Monday, people can order four tests per US household through Covidtests.gov. People without an internet connection can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to request tests. Covid-19 rapid tests can be taken at home and can be used regardless of whether someone has symptoms. The tests should be good through the end of the year. Some of the dates on the tests may show that they are expired, but the US Food and Drug Administration has extended those dates.

Read More: CNN
Close up view of Maryland state flag in front of the capitol state house in Annapolis, MD.
What new Maryland laws go into effect Oct. 1? Repeal of spousal defense, updates on drug policy, firearms changes and more.

Beginning Oct. 1, people with concealed-carry permits will be banned from bringing their firearms into numerous public places. They include public and private elementary, middle or high schools, health care facilities, buildings owned or leased by the state or local government, public or private university buildings, active polling places, electrical plants or electrical storage facilities, gas plants, nuclear power facilities, stadiums, museums, racetracks, video lottery facilities, venues that serve alcohol or cannabis for on-site consumption, and private property unless the owner has given express permission to do so.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
At Congressional Black Caucus Foundation conference, Maryland lawmakers stress value of diversity in schools and in business

Maryland politicians were among the thousands who headed to Washington, D.C. this week for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 52nd legislative conference. Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-4th) hosted a panel discussion on how this summer’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on affirmative action could effect Black-owned businesses. Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando (D) served as a panelist with a focus on how to showcase “Black boy and men joy,” even though they continue to face higher rates of incarceration, health disparities and learning loss in the classroom.

 

Banner political notes: Senate race updates; Moore touts POTUS; Baltimore Co. gets new park; mayor promises ‘nimble’ permit process

The leading Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate are ramping up their campaigns as 2024 approaches. Here’s a look at their latest moves: Angela Alsobrooks, currently the Prince George’s County executive, hit 100 political endorsers this week with the addition of U.S. Rep. Glenn Ivey. “Angela is a fighter and I have watched her work hard on behalf of Prince Georgians and Marylanders as State’s Attorney and as Executive, advocating for resources for the community and the new FBI Headquarters to locate in Maryland,” Ivey said in a statement put out by the Alsobrooks campaign.

Sen. Ben Cardin to assume chairmanship of Foreign Relations Committee after indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez

Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin will assume the chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, according to officials with direct knowledge of the plans. Cardin, a Democrat who announced in May that he will not seek reelection in 2024, will replace New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, who was indicted Friday on federal charges that he accepted bribes in return for using his position to aid several businessmen and the government of Egypt.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
City Council committee approves Rich Worley, department veteran, as police commissioner

After a three-hour hearing Thursday evening, a City Council committee unanimously approved Mayor Brandon Scott’s pick to lead the Baltimore Police Department, longtime veteran Rich Worley. The 6-0 vote culminated a smooth nomination process for the homegrown Worley, who Scott announced as his nominee immediately after former Commissioner Michael Harrison’s abrupt departure and without a national search or input from community residents. The City Council is expected to take a full vote on Oct. 2.

Baltimore City Council members push Scott administration to move on property tax reform

Members of the Baltimore City Council pressed representatives from Mayor Brandon Scott’s office Thursday to forge ahead with plans to convene a workgroup focused on reforming the city’s property tax structure.nHeld by the newly formed Finance and Performance Committee, council members took turns defending the decision to sponsor a resolution calling for the formation of an interdepartmental work group, saying the Scott administration had not moved swiftly enough to deliver on its promises to study the issue.

Baltimore-area prosecutors want to ‘reverse’ laws for charging children with crimes

As Maryland lawmakers hash out whether to again change child conviction laws, the Baltimore area’s top prosecutors want constituents to tell their State House reps one thing. “The email you should send them is ‘juvenile crime is out of control — reverse the Juvenile Justice [Reform] Act,’” Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger told a group of well over 100 listeners during a rare joint Baltimore City-Baltimore County town hall Wednesday night.

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