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Maryland’s pro-Confederate state song is close to being ditched, after repeated tries

For 82 years, Marylanders have listened to a state song that is a bloody call to arms in support of the Confederacy. Now, the tune is likely to lose its honored status. Maryland lawmakers are poised to vote to abolish “Maryland, My Maryland” from the laws of the state, taking the position that having no state song is better than having one that’s offensive and advocated for spurning “the Northern scum” and joining the proslavery Confederacy.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
At-Large Districts Are Relics That Produce ‘Absurd’ Results, Voting Expert Says

When the House of Delegates voted earlier this month to advance House Bill 655, Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) celebrated the moment, writing on social media that “for too long across this country, undemocratic local laws have denied voters of color their full enfranchisement.” The measure would require that county commissioners who represent districts be elected solely by the voters of that district, not the entire county.

Mail-in ballot four months late? Postal delays persist in the Baltimore area amid continued federal scrutiny on USPS.

Towson resident Isaac Perry Cocke had long since given up on receiving his mail-in ballot for November’s presidential election when it arrived last week, a whopping four months after Election Day. He was still able to vote — he drove to a county Board of Elections site and picked up his ballot all those months ago. “My wife was more concerned about it than I was, I’m afraid,” he joked.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Maryland has spent millions on emergency contracts to improve COVID vaccine rollout, but few details made public

Maryland health officials have signed at least two emergency contracts to improve the state’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccine, committing taxpayers to spending tens of millions of dollars while providing few public details of how the money would be spent. The contracts, obtained by The Baltimore Sun through a public records request, show acting state Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader signed the contracts earlier this year for consulting services from Ernst & Young and call center services from Digital Mobile Innovations.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Legislating in the Pandemic: ‘The Quiet Is So Loud’

State Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s) has served in the House of Delegates for 27 years and has been chairman of the Economic Matters Committee for the last 19. In years past, he frequently became annoyed when he slipped out of the committee room to answer nature’s call and found himself waylaid by lobbyists or advocates on his way to the men’s room. Now, he’s feeling nostalgic about those encounters.

Maryland Senate Debates How to Fund Omnibus Climate Bill

Maryland Senate Republicans tried Tuesday to change how a sweeping climate action bill would be paid for by offering two amendments with alternative funding strategies, but both efforts failed in votes on the Senate floor. The Climate Solutions Now Act of 2021 aims to cut pollution in Maryland which contributes to global warming to a level that is 60% lower than it was in 2006, within the next decade. To achieve that, it sets a goal of planting 5 million trees by 2030, mandates electrifying the state government’s vehicle fleet, requires constructing more energy efficient school buildings, and other efforts.

Prince George’s report dissects, denies allegations of systemic racism in discrimination lawsuit filed by Black, Hispanic officers

The report, written by former Montgomery County police chief J. Thomas Manger, is a nearly line-by-line response to the analysis in the Graham report. Where the Graham report asserts that use-of-force investigations are not thorough because 99.8  percent of force incidents are found to be justified, the Manger report argues that the high justification rate implies that officers are well-trained and do not use inappropriate force.

Bipartisan Coal Transition Bill Withdrawn by House Sponsor

The Maryland Coal Community Transition Act of 2021 was withdrawn during a committee voting session on Monday, so that environmentalists and labor unions can continue to work together during the legislative interim on what a just transition from coal would look like. House Bill 66 is a bipartisan bill that would have phased out Maryland’s coal-fired plants and established a Fossil Fuel Community Transition Fund and a Fossil Fuel Transition Advisory Council to mitigate economic impacts for displaced employees.

Democrats on House Committee Vote to Repeal ‘Maryland, My Maryland’ as an Official State Symbol

Maryland’s state song could be on the road to repeal. The House Health and Government Operations Committee voted in favor of a bill from Speaker Pro Tem Sheree Sample-Hughes (D-Lower Shore) that would remove “Maryland, My Maryland” as an official state symbol. The vote, taken during a virtual meeting on Monday afternoon, was along party lines, with the committee’s seven Republicans voting against the repeal.

WBAL Newsradio Special: Police Reform in Maryland

State Senator Jill P. Carter and Fraternal Order of Police President Clyde Boatwright joined C4 and Bryan Nehman to discuss the topic of Police Reform in the state of Maryland.

Senator Carter discusses the goals of police reform legislation making its way through the Maryland General Assembly. President Boatwright highlights the Commission to Restore Trust in Policing recommendations to hold police managers accountable for the hiring, training and supervision of law enforcement and the need protect due process for law enforcement officers in the state.

Read More: WBAL

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