GUN CONTROL: Democrats angered over the lack of action on gun control after this weekend’s shooting in Orlando launched a filibuster on the Senate floor Wednesday, vowing to continue talking until some progress is made on a bill to bar sales of guns to people suspected of being terrorists. Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut began the effort before noon. Murphy, an outspoken proponent of gun control, represents Newtown, where the 2012 elementary school shooting occurred. Maryland’s senators — both Democrats — also spoke on the floor in an effort to give Murphy some relief.
ARE MD BACKGROUND CHECKS ENOUGH? In a piece for the Frederick News Post, Mike Persley writes that, in the wake of Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando, some wonder if Maryland’s background checks to purchase firearms should go even further in providing information on a person’s past behavior. In 2016, Maryland State Police had received 23,121 applications to purchase a regulated firearm as of June 9. Less than 1 percent, or 136 of those applications, were denied because of a failed background check.
FUNDS IN LIMBO: Nearly $80 million in state aid for teacher pensions, renovation of aging schools, Medicare reimbursements and the demolition of the Baltimore City Detention Center is in limbo as Gov. Larry Hogan considers whether to release money for those programs, reports Bryan Sears in the Daily Record.
HOGAN WON’T VOTE FOR TRUMP: Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday he’s not voting for his party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump, Erin Cox of the Sun writes. Hogan aides confirmed the governor told reporters “I don’t plan to” vote for Trump and that he hadn’t decided what to do when he goes into the voting booth in November.
- Ovetta Wiggins of the Post writes that Hogan was visiting Prince George’s County, the place where he was raised and got his first taste of politics working on his father’s campaigns for office, when he was asked about his voting intentions.“I guess when I get behind the curtain I’ll have to figure it out,” Hogan said. “Maybe write someone in. I’m not sure.”
U.S. LOAN FOR PURPLE LINE: The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced a $874.6 million loan to the team of companies that will design, build and operate the Purple Line light-rail project—money that will come in addition to the long expected $900 million federal contribution set to be finalized later this summer, Aaron Kraut reports in Bethesda Beat.
CARET GETS CLOSED-DOOR RAISE: The governing board for the University System of Maryland voted to give Chancellor Robert Caret a $75,000 bonus and a $30,000 raise in a closed meeting last week, raising questions about why the vote was made in private and the information not made public, Carrie Wells and Michael Dresser of the Sun report.
- Daniel Leaderman of the Daily Record writes that Caret, who took office last July, draws a base salary of $600,000 per year but is eligible for annual performance bonuses of up to 15%, or $90,000, in addition to other benefits; $75,000 is 12.5% of Caret’s salary.
OVERPRESCRIBED PAINKILLERS: The editorial board for the Carroll County Times opines that perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but new research shows that about 6 out of 10 people prescribed painkilling opioid drugs expected to have leftovers after they are pain free, and of those with excess medications, more than 60% said they’d hang onto them for future use. One concerning piece of research, though, seems to point to a lack of understanding from patients about what they should do with the medications once they have served their purpose.
299 AA EDUCATORS TO RETIRE: There are 299 Anne Arundel County teachers, counselors support staff and others retiring as this school year draws to a close Thursday. Fifty-six worked for more than 35 years in the school system, Josh Magness reports in the Annapolis Capital.
KAMENETZ ON BALTIMORE COUNTY: In this 30-minute segment, Tom Hall of WYPR-FM speaks with Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz for the first installment of a new series, Focus on the Counties. Kamenetz talks about the Baltimore County budget, as well as development updates for Tradepoint Atlantic, the former Sparrow’s Point.
FUTILITY IN SAVING BEACHES: In a commentary for MarylandReporter.com, Liza Field of the Bay Journal writes that as crowds of inlanders head east to the Bay, the beach, the Outer Banks to shed for a little while life’s troubles, the very development that accommodates them has far worsened the effect of rising oceans.