HOGAN ‘DOING GREAT:’ Chase Cook of the Annapolis Capital reports that Gov. Larry Hogan has been very busy with work, according to his Facebook posts. “Starting the 5th and final day of my first round of 24 hour chemotherapy. Not only am I doing great, but I’m getting things done from the hospital,” Hogan wrote. “I’ve had meetings, made tons of calls, caught up on paperwork, reviewed recommendations, made decisions, appointed several hundred individuals, and reviewed proposed budget reductions in every agency.”
PUSHING RED LINE: Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other officials have asked Gov. Larry Hogan to reconsider his rejection of the Red Line transit program for the city. “A world-class transit system is a necessity, it is not optional,” Rawlings-Blake said. The mayor, joined by elected and civic officials including Rep. Elijah Cummings, state Sen. Catherine Pugh, Del. Curt Anderson and Greater Baltimore Committee President Don Fry, called for the governor to meet to discuss the project in hopes of convincing Hogan to change his mind.
REJIGGERING GERRYMANDER: WYPR-FM’s Fraser Smith and colleague Karen Hosler discuss the Supreme Court decision on a gerrymandering case from Arizona and what it might mean for Maryland. The court upheld the right of a state to form a commission to create districts rather that allowing legislators to do so directly.
RUTHERFORD IN SPOTLIGHT: Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford’s new role as his boss’s stand-in was on full display Wednesday, when he took the lead in welcoming a major shipping company back to the Port of Baltimore, writes Ovetta Wiggins in the Post. Rutherford, a lawyer and career bureaucrat, has largely defined his political career as a behind-the-scenes guy who enjoys poring over documents looking for governmental waste.
- With light blue-gray containers stacked behind them, elected officials from Maryland and the city officially welcomed the largest container shipping company in the world, Maersk Line, to the Port of Baltimore, reports Katelyn Newman for the Daily Record. “The global shipping industry is watching Baltimore. I think they got Governor Hogan’s message that Maryland is open for business,” said Lt. Gov. Rutherford. “Our great port is a critical economic asset for Maryland, and today proved that.” (Mayor Rawlings-Blake shared the stage with Rutherford and Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn, whom she has lambasted over the Red Line rejection.)
CRIME-COMMUNICATION TASK FORCES: Josh Bollinger of the Easton Star Democrat reports that Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and his office are in discussions with county state’s attorneys in an effort to start four new task forces aimed at improving interagency communication on criminal cases. “We just hope that by establishing these frameworks that it’ll make it easier to exchange information,” Frosh said.
IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS: Sara Newman of the Calvert Recorder reports that new requirements for student immunizations that were established in 2013 by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will take effect in August. If students do not receive these requirements by the first day of school, they may be excluded from attending.
TAX AMNESTY: Maryland residents who are behind on their taxes will soon get a chance to pay up with reduced penalties. Maryland’s tax amnesty program runs from Sept. 1 through Oct. 30. The AP reports in the Daily Record that delinquent taxpayers will have the ability to pay their liabilities with only half of the interest they owe. They won’t face any criminal penalties.
CITY DELEGATE NEWBIES: Marc Steiner of WEAA-FM speaks with three first-year delegates in the Maryland General Assembly about their first session and their visions for the state. All are Baltimore City delegates. They are: Cory McCray; Brooke Lierman and Antonio Hayes.
MONTGOMERY LEADS THE WAY: The editorial board for the Sun calls attention to the Montgomery County Council’s knack for leading the way on progressive action. They write that long before there was a statewide ban on smoking in restaurants, Montgomery County adopted such a restriction when it was still a pretty controversial step to take. Before the Maryland General Assembly approved widespread use of cameras to enforce traffic laws, Montgomery County already had them and demonstrated how they could make the streets safer. Now add to the list a mandate that employers provide their workers with paid sick leave.
INDEPENDENCE DAY SYMBOLS: As the 4th of July — Independence Day – approaches, Laslo Boyd of Center Maryland writes about the symbols of freedom, including the American flag, the controversy over the Confederate battle flag and how politicians throughout Maryland celebrate the day. Many visit a number of locally held parades throughout the state.
ERVIN TO SEEK VAN HOLLEN SEAT: Louis Peck of Bethesda Magazine reports that Del. Jeff Waldstreicher, who has been mulling whether to run for the open 8th District congressional seat for the past four months, has decided to pass on the contest. But former Montgomery County Council member Valerie Ervin, who has been indicating plans to run since Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen said he would vacate the seat to run for the U.S. Senate, formally announced Wednesday that she is in the race.
- Bill Turque of the Post writes that Ervin said in a statement that she is entering the race to advance the agenda she has worked on locally and nationally, including an increased minimum wage.
DIXON TO RUN FOR CITY MAYOR: Former Baltimore City Mayor Sheila Dixon will seek to regain the office next year, according to an AP report in the Daily Record. Dixon confirmed on Wednesday that she plans to run. She also announced her campaign on Facebook and launched a campaign website. Dixon said she was on her way to a meeting and declined to comment further.
- James Briggs and Joanna Sullivan of the Baltimore Business Journal write that Dixon, 61, also launched a campaign website. Dixon, a Democrat, resigned in February 2010 after she was convicted in December 2009 on one count of embezzlement stemming from her use of gift cards given to the city by developer Patrick Turner. Turner claimed the gift cards were for charitable purposes.
- In a video report, WBAL-TV reports that Dixon said on her Facebook page, “After discussions with my family and encouragement from friends and people across the city, I have made a decision to run for Mayor of Baltimore. I believe I have the leadership skills and experience to bring citizens across the city together to create a safer city that is also cleaner, greener, and healthier than we are today. Together we can reclaim, revive and rebuild Baltimore.”
- In this WMAR-TV video report, Towson University political science professor John Bullock weighs in on what will certainly become one of the most talked about races in the upcoming election cycle.
- Sun columnist Dan Rodricks says Baltimoreans split into three camps over Dixon: Never again, maybe and bring her back.