State Roundup, August 25, 2015

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PANEL WEIGHS LEOBOR CHANGES: Ovetta Wiggins of the Post is reporting that as the national debate continues over police shootings and the use of excessive force, a Maryland legislative panel Monday weighed whether changes should be made to the police officers bill of rights — protections afforded to officers accused of misconduct.

FROSH ALTERS PATROL PROFILING: Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh will recommend a new standard for police investigations Tuesday aimed at preventing the type of discriminatory profiling that activists have blamed for tensions between authorities and inner-city communities. Josh Hicks reports in the Post that Frosh has prepared a “guidance memorandum” stating that police activities must be neutral with respect to characteristics such as race, national origin and religion, except when the traits are legitimate components in crime investigations.

RUTHERFORD TO MEET REPORTERS ON CONDITION: Reporters invited to meet with Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford today are doing so under an unusual stipulation — they will not be allowed to audio- or video-record the meeting, nor take photographs, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. The highly unusual stipulation, which includes the selected members of the television and radio press, was made in advance of an offer to meet with Rutherford this morning to discuss a topic that Gov. Larry Hogan has made a key point of his young administration.

RETURN OF TAX AMNESTY: Starting Sept. 1, Marylanders who owe taxes to the state may be eligible to pay that money without penalties and pay only half of any interest associated with those unpaid bills, Anamika Roy reports for the Daily Record. The state is expected to bring in an estimated $11.4 million in fiscal year 2016 from the tax amnesty program, an estimate likely on the low-end based on past programs, said Michelle Byrnie-Parker, interim communications director for the state Office of Comptroller.

HOGAN VISITS RAVENS CAMP: Gov. Larry Hogan, who is undergoing chemotherapy for non-Hodgkins lymphoma discovered this summer, visited the Ravens’ practice Monday at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Jon Meoli reports in the Sun. Coach John Harbaugh called it a “really great experience,” and said Hogan told the team “he was doing well.

Gov. Larry Hogan talks to Ravens at training camp.

Gov. Larry Hogan talks to Ravens at training camp. From Hogan’s Facebook page.

SAVINGS ON TESTING QUESTIONED: This fall, as Maryland schools enter a third year using the Common Core curriculum, state education leaders are touting a trend toward big savings on annual testing. But out in the field, some in local districts say they are not so sure about the thrift. Costs associated with outfitting schools with Wi-Fi, the purchase of computer tablets to take the exams, training and even hiring people to serve as graders for manual portions of the exam – at about $13 per hour –are part of the local tab needed to support the PARRC tests given last year in certain grades to Maryland public school students, reports Melody Simmons for MarylandReporter.com.

SCHUH DOESN’T WANT CROWNSVILLE: They can’t give it away, writes Tim Prudente for the Annapolis Capital. In a letter last week to state officials, County Executive Steve Schuh rejected any notion that Anne Arundel County would accept the shuttered Crownsville Hospital Center. His letter was revealed publicly during a meeting Monday of the task force grappling with the future of the property’s 544 acres and 69 aging buildings.

Richard Douglas

Richard Douglas

DOUGLAS RUNS FOR GOP SENATE NOD: Richard J. Douglas, a former Pentagon official and Capitol Hill lawyer, announced Monday he will run for Senate in Maryland — becoming the first Republican to officially enter the race to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski. John Fritze is reporting in the Sun that  Douglas, a Navy veteran who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2012, said Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s unexpected win last year “set the stage” for the GOP to make additional progress in traditionally blue Maryland.

CUMMINGS FUND-RAISER HINTS SENATE RUN: Eli Yokley of Roll Call writes that after months of flirting with the notion of running for Maryland’s open Senate seat, it seems that Democratic Rep. Elijah E. Cummings might be ready to take it for a first date. Next month, according to the Post and confirmed to CQ Roll Call by a Cummings aide, the 10-term representative from Baltimore will hold a fundraiser at Nationals Stadium in Washington when his hometown Orioles are in town.

OLIVER ON O’MALLEY: Quinn Kelley of the Sun reports that TV chat/comedy show host John Oliver got an answer to question on LGBT discrimination from Martin O’Malley, then poked a bit of fun at the presidential candidate.

FORMER MD SENATE CANDIDATE DIES: Two-time Maryland Senate candidate Larry Barber, 58, has died. The Severn resident was a retired Army computer expert who ran against Sen. James “Ed” DeGrange in the 2010 and 2014 elections. The cause of Barber’s death was not available Monday. An announcement was made in a Sunday Facebook posting from The Friends of the District 32 Republican Club, Chase Cook reports in the Annapolis Capital.