State Roundup, August 26, 2016

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HOGAN, BLACK LAWMAKERS MEET: Gov. Larry Hogan promised Thursday to work with black lawmakers on the lack of diversity in Maryland’s new medical cannabis industry, but he stopped short of committing to any specific solution, Pamela Wood of the Sun writes. Hogan and leaders of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland met at the State House in Annapolis on Thursday afternoon.

TUBMAN AT THE STATE HOUSE? The student activist who led the successful push to rename the University of Maryland football stadium is trying to jump-start a movement to erect a statue of Harriet Tubman on the grounds of the Maryland State House, reports Fenit Nirappil for the Post.

USM STOPS FUTURE BONUSES FOR CHANCELLOR: The University System of Maryland will stop providing bonuses to the system chancellor, school officials said Thursday, after lawmakers sharply questioned a $75,000 bonus awarded during a closed-door meeting this spring, Fenit Nirappil and Danielle Douglas-Gabriel report in the Post. State lawmakers convened a joint hearing to scrutinize the compensation of Chancellor Robert L. Caret, who received the bonus just one year after he was hired at an annual salary of $600,000.

COUNCIL SEEKS POLICE INFO ON AIR SPYING: The Baltimore City Council plans to summon Baltimore police to explain why the department did not disclose that it was using a private company to fly surveillance missions and to collect and store footage of wide swaths of the city, report Doug Donovan and Luke Broadwater in the Sun. Demands for a hearing come as the billionaire Texas philanthropists bankrolling the surveillance program revealed that they have given the initiative $360,000 through two charities — three times more than previously disclosed by the Baltimore Community Foundation, which passed through the initial November gift of $120,000 from Laura and John Arnold.

CUMMINGS BLASTS AIR SPYING: In this interview with WBAL-AM, U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, whose district includes most of Baltimore, said that the secrecy of the surveillance flights commissioned by Baltimore police since January wasn’t just troubling, but potentially counter-productive. “If the police department is claiming–and they may be right–that this would prevent crime and help to solve crime, why did it have to be a secret?” Cummings said. “As a matter of fact, it would probably be better if they were to have a program that people know that they are being viewed.”

CELEBRATING NATIONAL PARKS: The National Parks Service celebrated its 100th anniversary Thursday, so it seemed like a good time to link back to the travelogue published in June about his three-week, 4,000 mile trek to seven national parks in the west, writes Len Lazarick for The parks are overused and under-budgeted.

HOEBER CAMPAIGNS FOR HOUSE: Republican U.S. House candidate Amie Hoeber was on the campaign trail Thursday in Washington County, knocking on doors and talking with voters about issues they believe are most important, Tamela Baker reports for the Hagerstown Herald Mail. Hoeber is challenging U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., in the Nov. 8 election.

POLICE UNION ALERTED TO PROBLEMS: A report issued four years ago by the Baltimore police union expressed the same concerns about zero-tolerance enforcement and training issues as the caustic Justice Department report on the Baltimore Police Department two weeks ago, reports Kenneth Burns for WYPR-FM. In fact, the federal report cited several times a “Blueprint for Improved Policing” published by the city Fraternal Order of Police in 2012.