State Roundup, July 24, 2015

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FROSH SEEKS PRICE CUT FOR OD ANTIDOTE: Attorney General Brian Frosh is asking the maker of a heroin overdose drug to lower its prices for government agencies, a copy of a letter made public on Thursday shows. Frosh is calling for an agreement similar to those made in New York and Ohio this year, in which California-based Amphastar Pharmaceuticals provides a rebate to public agencies that purchase naloxone, which is used to save the lives of people who have overdosed on heroin. Led by U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, a host of local and federal officials have raised concerns about a spike in the price of the drug that has occurred at the same time public health officials are responding to an increase in deaths from heroin.

Hogan in hospital again

Gov. Hogan on the phone in the hospital. Governor’s office photo

CUTTING DROPOUT RATES: Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, 16-year-old students can no longer drop out of school in Maryland, reports Jeremy Bauer-Wolf for the Frederick News-Post. A law passed by the state Legislature in 2012 took effect July 1, raising the age of compulsory school attendance to 17. Under the same law, by the 2017-18 school year, only 18-year-old students will be able to drop out.

HOGAN TUMOR SHRINKING: Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that the tumor in his neck that led to the discovery of his cancer has shrunk considerably after two rounds of chemotherapy — a sign, he said, that he is responding well to treatment, reports Ovetta Wiggins in the Post. The doctors “are very, very pleased. They are almost shocked at how well I’m doing,” Hogan (R) said during a phone interview from his room at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, shortly before he was discharged on Thursday afternoon. “They think the odds are great. I’m doing better than expected.”

UNTESTED RAPE KITS IN WICOMICO: Vanessa Junkin of the Salisbury Daily Times writes about the untested rape kits between the Salisbury Police Department and the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Department, part of a national story investigated by U.S. Today and its Gannett affiliates. There are nearly 100 untested sexual assault kits between the Salisbury Police Department and the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office. But testing these kits wouldn’t have helped the cases, officials say.

BUS RAPID TRANSIT ALTERNATIVE: Adam Bednar of the Daily Record writes that Bus Rapid Transit, a possible alternative to the now defunct Red Line light rail proposal, would still require substantial investment, and it’s unclear if it could meet Baltimore City’s transportation needs. Members of Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration have previously voiced support for investigating a rapid bus system as a cheaper substitute for the $2.9 billion Red Line, which would have connected Woodlawn in Baltimore County with Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in East Baltimore.

MARYLAND LIVE HOTEL: Developers of Maryland Live want to build an 18-story hotel at the Hanover casino. Plans for the project, submitted to the county’s Office of Planning and Zoning, show a proposal for a 300-room, 20,000 square-foot hotel on a five-acre site behind the casino. The addition of 370 parking spaces is also included, Rema Rahman reports in the Annapolis Capital. Due to its height and proximity to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, the project required approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, which was granted July 7.

MO CO STORMWATER FEE STRUCK: Steve Lash of the Daily Record reports that a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge on Wednesday struck down the county’s stormwater fee, saying it is unmoored by the county’s cost of providing runoff protection as required by state law.

CUTTING GUN DEATHS: In a column for the Daily Record, Fraser Smith writes about gun deaths and how gun licensing such as that in New Jersey could cut the number of murders.

SANCTUARY CITIES IMPERILED: House Republicans approved legislation Thursday that would strip millions in federal funding from “sanctuary cities” such as Baltimore City that have adopted immigrant-friendly policies, a response to a killing in San Francisco that has thrust immigration back into the political forefront.

O’MALLEY TACKLES WALL ST.: Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley on Thursday called on his competitors to propose specific policies to overhaul Wall Street, suggesting that only those who do so can consider themselves “credible” to voters, John Fritze is reporting in the Sun.

CATONSVILLE NUNS GO TO SUPREMES: The Little Sisters of the Poor are taking their fight against an Obamacare requirement to provide contraceptive coverage to employees to the Supreme Court. Alison Knezevich of the Sun reports that the global order of nuns, which has its U.S. headquarters in Catonsville, is appealing a ruling last week by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which directed it to comply with the Affordable Care Act requirement that its insurance carrier cover contraception for lay employees or face fines from the IRS.

BDC AIDS CITY BIZ: The Baltimore Development Corp. has distributed $417,000 to help property owners and businesses recover from physical damage incurred during the Baltimore riots and looting last April, Ed Gunts reports for the Baltimore Brew. As of Wednesday, 47 applicants received nearly $128,000 for repairs and improvements to damaged storefronts, and 14 businesses received more than $289,000 in business recovery loans, BDC President William H. Cole reported to board members during its monthly meeting Thursday

LIVE WHERE THEY POLICE? Should Baltimore City require its new police officers to live within the city limits? Is there any evidence to suggest that leads to better policing and safer neighborhoods? Dan Rodricks of WYPR-FM talks residency requirements for police, and gets the perspective of a 15-veteran of the Philadelphia police force, which requires officers live in the city for the first five years of their career.