May 22, 2015

State Roundup, May 22, 2015

Print More
Hogan splash

Gov. Hogan poses with Splash, the new mascot for the Department of Natural Resources Police who will be out patrolling the waters this weekend.

HOGAN SETS ASIA TRIP: Gov. Larry Hogan will embark Tuesday on a 12-day trade mission to three of Asia’s economic powerhouses, meeting with business organizations, heads of state and diplomats in an attempt to strengthen Maryland’s economic ties to the region. He’ll visit South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during stops in Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo, in that order, reports Josh Hicks for the Washington Post.

STATE MOBILITY SYSTEM SUED: Maryland Transit Administration’s Mobility transportation system to help disabled people get around is under scrutiny for failing to pick up scheduled passengers. In January, the Maryland Disability Law Center and the AARP Foundation filed a class action lawsuit against the state’s transit administration and the Maryland Department of Transportation for improperly denying eligibility and access to paratransit services, thus a violation of the American with Disabilities Act, according to a CNS story in the Daily Record.

PEREZ LIGHTS UP: “We’ve got to keep causing good trouble,” U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez told a crowd of Howard County Democrats Wednesday night in a fiery speech meant to encourage fight for progressive ideas. Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com writes that a talk by a federal cabinet secretary sounds like a snooze. But taking the evening’s theme, “Why I am Democrat,” Perez sounded more like the statewide political candidate he was back in 2006 than a man whose department includes the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Employee Benefits Security Administration.

6 OFFICERS INDICTED; SOME CHARGES CHANGE: Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby Thursday announced the indictments of six police officers in connection with the arrest and death of Freddie Gray – a development that slightly revises the charges she announced in the case nearly three weeks ago, writes Fern Shen for Baltimore Brew.

  • The differences between indictments returned Thursday against six Baltimore Police officers in the death of Freddie Gray and the initial charges filed this month suggest prosecutors have refined their approach to the case, legal analysts say — or, possibly, that a grand jury balked at the some of the counts they had sought, reports Ian Duncan in the Sun. Baltimore lawyers who are not connected to the case say some of the changes could mean prosecutors are focusing less on Gray’s initial arrest — which State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said this month was unlawful — while others suggest prosecutors are trying to give themselves a backstop should any part of the case prove faulty.

BARVE ON BARVE PART I: Maryland state Del. Kumar Barve (D-17) joins Center Maryland in this video chat to discuss why he believes he is the most qualified person to represent the citizens of the 8th congressional district. A few topics discussed are Washington dysfunction, economic inequality, and Barve’s liberal record of standing-up for the marginalized.

HARRIS BACKS NIH CHANGES: A bill that would direct billions in new funding to the National Institutes of Health in return for changes in the way the Bethesda-based agency awards research grants passed a key legislative hurdle in Congress on Thursday. Republican Rep. Andy Harris of Baltimore County, one of the most conservative members of the House, is playing a central role in crafting the bipartisan measure, John Fritze reports for the Sun.

PREDATORY TOWING: U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, in partnership with Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia, introduced a bill Thursday that would enable local governments to more easily prevent predatory towing practices, reports Andrew Metcalf in Bethesda Magazine. The bill will help resolve issues with federal law, which currently limits state and local jurisdictions from regulating the towing industry, according to the two Democratic congressmen.

BONGINO BOLTS FOR FLORIDA: Republican Dan Bongino, the former Secret Service agent who came within two percentage points of knocking off heavily favored Rep. John Delaney (D) in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District race last year, has moved to Florida. Bongino said Thursday that it was “a non-emergency family situation,” not politics, that compelled the move to Palm City on the Atlantic coast. But there is already speculation that he is eyeing the 18th Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D), who is running for the Senate.

ON O’MALLEY: As former Gov. Martin O’Malley prepares to announce his candidacy for president on May 30 on Federal Hill, Sean Welsh of the Sun compiles comments from other media outlets about O’Malley including CNN, which reports that O’Malley will emphasize his “youthfulness,” and quotes an anonymous source as saying: “We do think there is a real generational argument to make and that he can seize upon it.”

HUTZELL NAMED CAPITAL GAZETTE EDITOR: Rick Hutzell has been named editor of Capital Gazette Communications, succeeding Steve Gunn, who has led the company’s publications since 2013. Publisher Tim Thomas announced the news Thursday and the change was effective immediately.

  • James Monroe

    I generally find trade trips to be a joke. The deals are all cut beforehand making the point of the trip largely useless. And they always require a whole delegation of people as if you needed a dozen University employees to travel around the world.

    But, in the case of Hogan visiting South Korea, I think there may be some value given his wife’s background and his work with the Korean community. That, and KORUS FTA is so new that there is probably a double value in going there now.

    Maybe it’s a good time to invite Mike Busch along to rebuild that bridge?