HOGAN SIGNALS CONFEDERATE SYMBOL BAN: Maryland efforts to eliminate symbols that many people perceive as racist gained momentum Tuesday, with Gov. Larry Hogan signaling plans to end the use of the Confederate battle flag on vehicle tags and a progressive group starting a petition to take down other reminders of past inequality, Josh Hicks of the Post is reporting.
- It’s unclear whether the governor’s office will move to recall the tags. A spokeswoman said Hogan’s office is “still working out the details” related to the state’s issuance of the tags. She didn’t offer any further details about Hogan’s plans, writes Yvonne Wenger for the Sun.
- The editorial board of the Sun comes out in favor of renaming Robert E. Lee Park, located in Baltimore County but owned by Baltimore City, concluding that the name represents the idiosyncrasies of one person who died nearly 100 years ago.
- The Robert E. Lee Park has more than 450 acres, a number of trails, playgrounds for kids and pavilions for gatherings. WMAR-TV reports on efforts to change the name.
- Richard Vatz, a Towson University professor, writes in Red Maryland that the murder of nine people in a South Carolina church should also be a time to address the lack of capital punishment in the state of Maryland.
RUTHERFORD HEADS BPW: Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford came down hard on state department spending Tuesday as he covered for Gov. Larry Hogan at the first Board of Public Works meeting since the governor announced he was starting treatment for cancer. “I was one of those few government people who always felt I should spend less than the budget,” Rutherford said. Rebecca Lessner writes the story for MarylandReporter.com.
- Hogan’s office released a copy of the letter he signed last week authorizing Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford to act in an emergency while the governor was under anesthesia during a medical procedure, Michael Dresser of the Sun reports. The letter dated June 16 shows that Hogan invoked a section of Maryland’s Constitution allowing him to give the lieutenant governor the authority to act in his place while the governor is “temporarily unable to perform the duties of his office.”
- The Hogan administration is vowing to fully repay money transferred from state’s rainy day fund that will be used to pay for expenses related to the riot and state of emergency in Baltimore. Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford made the promise prior to the three-member Board of Public Works voting unanimously to approve a reduced plan to spend $13 million for recovery expenses, Bryan Sears reports for the Daily Record.
- Hogan worked from governor’s mansion in between medical appointments, and kept in touch with the office Tuesday as Rutherford filled in for him as chairman of Maryland’s Board of Public Works. Rutherford aggressively questioned officials about state contracts presented for approval, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun.
THE NEW NORMAL: Before Rutherford chaired the Board of Public Works meeting, he and Hogan met in the governor’s mansion to discuss hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts that were up for review. It was the beginning of a new normal for Hogan and Rutherford and the first day of a new governing reality in Annapolis, one in which Hogan must balance running the state with the effects of a life-threatening illness and brutal treatment regimen, either of which could render him incapable of governing, writes Ovetta Wiggins.
PERSONAL, MEDICAL REACTION TO HOGAN NEWS: Although Hogan was not in attendance, it was felt at the meeting since many were wearing the lime green ribbons, which symbolize the fight against lymphoma, writes Michael Dresser of the Sun.
- When cancer chose Hogan, it picked the wrong fight, his brother, Patrick Hogan, said Tuesday. “He is strong,” said Patrick Hogan, of Frederick. “He has a great support system. And I have no doubt he will face it head-on and come out stronger on the other side.” Jen Fifield reports the story for the Frederick News-Post.
- Sun columnist Dan Rodricks, in a self-described awkward attempt at reflection, writes, “What a turn of fortunes this is: The man who was still unknown to a lot of Marylanders just a year ago, a Republican who upset his Democratic opponent last November in one of the bluest of blue states, now finds himself in the fight of his life and pulled away from the work he was elected to do. One minute, it seems, Hogan is helping to restore peace to riot-scarred Baltimore, or he’s riding a super-fast train during a trade mission to Japan; the next minute, he’s talking about preparing for chemo.”
- As Gov. Larry Hogan undergoes chemotherapy in the coming months, he could face a slew of side effects including nausea, hair loss, lack of appetite and general fatigue. Daniel Leaderman of the Daily Record reports that that doesn’t mean he’ll face a serious disruption in his ability to govern; many patients facing the same medical challenges manage the side effects and maintain a relatively normal schedule, said Dr. Robert K. Brookland, chair of radiation oncology at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.
- WYPR-FM’s Fraser Smith and Bryan Sears of the Daily Record discuss Hogan’s startling announcement, its meaning for the future and the reaction to it.
- Gov. Larry Hogan’s Eastern Shore supporters remained hopeful on Tuesday following a Monday announcement that he has cancer, some specifically mentioning Hogan’s tenacity and vigor when it comes to issues with which he’s confronted, calling him a “fighter,” Josh Bollinger and Jack Shaum report for the Easton Star Democrat.
LAWMAKERS ADDRESS POVERTY ISSUES: Calling for a renewed effort to eliminate poverty, federal lawmakers met Tuesday in Baltimore to discuss underlying issues they said contributed to the death of Freddie Gray and the subsequent riots: racism, lack of economic opportunity and disparities in education, John Fritze reports in the Sun. “The death of Freddie Gray turned the nation’s eyes to the city,” said U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democrat who helped organize the University of Baltimore forum, which drew members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Joint Economic Committee.
- Reps. Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen heard from a group of policy experts about discriminatory policies that they said helped fuel those disparities and about possible solutions. But they also heard from community members, who questioned the value of such gatherings when so little has changed in their lives. “We have a lot of fancy forums, town halls and galas,” said the co-founder of the local group 300 Men March. “There is a disconnect, and there is a false sense of leadership.”
GRAY AUTOPSY: Freddie Gray suffered a single “high-energy injury” to his neck and spine — most likely caused when the police van in which he was riding suddenly decelerated, according to a copy of the autopsy report obtained by The Baltimore Sun. Justin Fenton reports that the state medical examiner’s office concluded that Gray’s death could not be ruled an accident, and was instead a homicide, because officers failed to follow safety procedures “through acts of omission.”
- Justin George and Ian Duncan of the Sun report that legal analysts said the autopsy could be used by prosecutors to show that officers took Gray on a “rough ride,” in which prisoners are intentionally jostled in the back of transport vans driven erratically, and failed to take steps to ensure his safety and provide medical assistance. Defense attorneys, however, could argue that the autopsy depicts a series of errors that could be construed as an accident and that the officers aren’t culpable in Gray’s death, analysts said.
EDWARDS PICKS UP LABOR SUPPORT: U.S. Rep. Donna F. Edwards on Tuesday earned the endorsement of a local electrical engineers union in her Senate bid, writes John Fritze of the Sun. “Whether it’s on picket lines with workers or in the halls of Congress, Donna has consistently put Maryland families first, regardless of which direction the political winds are blowing,” Chuck Graham, president of IBEW Local 26 said in a statement.
PAID SICK LEAVE IN MONTGOMERY: The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a bill that will require most employers doing business in the county to provide earned sick and safe leave to employees for work performed in the county, MyMC Media reports. Enactment of the bill makes Montgomery County one of the few local jurisdictions in the nation to have some form of required sick and safe leave requirements for employees.
- The 9-to-0 vote came after debate on a flurry of amendments, backed mostly by the business community, to diminish the scope of the bill, Bill Turque reports in the Post. In the end, the measure was tweaked to partially exempt companies with fewer than five employees,
TRUMP STUMPS: There were no golden escalators and no paid actors. But even without props, Donald Trump knows how to put on a show. John Fritze of the Sun writes that the billionaire real estate mogul, who entered the race for the GOP presidential nomination this month, told state Republicans in Linthicum on Tuesday night that his background as a negotiator and businessman makes him the most qualified candidate to “take back our jobs,” “take back our money” and “take back our country.”
- Chase Cook of the Annapolis Capital reports that Trump told the crowd at the 25th annual Red, White and Blue Dinner: “The American dream is dead but I’m going to bring it back bigger and better than ever.” The event — a fundraiser for the Maryland Republican Party — pulled in more money than many previous dinners.
PEROUTKA HANGS WITH CONSTITUTION PARTY: Michael Peroutka may be known as one of four Republicans on the Anne Arundel County Council, but he hasn’t cut ties with his former Constitution Party. Though Councilman Peroutka, R-Millersville, has been away from his district for a few days, he was recently spotted on social media in a photograph taken at a political event over 800 miles away, writes Elisha Sauers for the Annapolis Capital.