State Roundup, September 9, 2016

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PRESSURE MOUNTS ON DRUG PRICING: A health-care advocacy group says it will push Maryland lawmakers to address prescription drug prices during the coming legislative session, part of a national response to allegations of price-gouging and the rising cost of the emergency allergy treatment EpiPen, reports Ovetta Wiggins in the Post.

HOGAN AIDS VOLUNTEERING EFFORT: Amanda Yeager of the Annapolis Capital reports that last fall, 38,000 Marylanders volunteered 111,000 hours of their time as part of Day to Serve, a month-long initiative encouraging community service. This year, organizers have set a participation goal of 50,000 volunteers statewide, for a total of 150,000 or more service hours. To aid in the effort, Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday announced that state employees can use four consecutive hours of paid leave on a volunteer activity of their choice during the initiative, which starts Saturday and runs through Oct. 10.

3 APPOINTED TO BALTIMORE COURT: Gov. Larry Hogan’s office on Thursday announced three judicial appointments to the District Court in Baltimore, Jessica Anderson writes in the Sun. Hogan named Katie O’Hara, Michael Studdard, and Nicole Taylor after reviewing nominees from the judicial nominating commission for Baltimore, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

HOGAN USES SCHOOL START AS FUNDING PITCH: Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s latest fundraising pitch relies on the premise that Democrats will fight his executive order mandating Maryland public schools start after Labor Day and end by June 15, reports Erin Cox in the Sun.

***Assessment Administrators: Seeking motivated individuals to proctor assessment sessions with 4th- and 8th-grade students in schools for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Must be available to work January 30 –March 10, 2017. Paid training, paid time and mileage reimbursement for local driving, and weekly paychecks. This is a part-time, temporary position. To apply, visit our website at and select “Search Field Positions.” Search for your state, find the NAEP Assessment Administrator position, and select the “apply to job” button. For more information email or call 1-888-237-8036. WESTAT EOE***

DELANEY-HOEBER RACE: In their battle to represent Maryland’s District 6 in the next Congress, Democratic incumbent John Delaney and Republican challenger Amie Hoeber don’t see eye to eye on issues ranging from gun control to health care insurance—and, particularly, last year’s nuclear deal with Iran. But, at the same time, neither has adhered strictly to the current orthodoxy of their respective political parties, writes Louis Peck for Bethesda Beat.

DUELING ENDORSEMENTS: The race to replace Barbara Mikulski in the U.S. Senate had dueling endorsements from major business and education groups Thursday, writes Len Lazarick for The fairly low-key campaign is also about to get a little edgier with low-budget roving billboards from an independent group tying Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the Democratic frontrunner, to paying off Iranian mullahs and welcoming Syrian terrorists.

ON KENT COUNTY: In the sixth and final installment of WYPR-FM’s Focus on the Counties series, Tom Hall speaks with Kent County Administrator Shelley Herman Heller. Kent County is one of nine counties in the state that do not have a county executive, instead administrators are appointed by a board of elected commissioners. Heller was appointed county administrator in July 2015.

TANEY BUST FUTURE: The proposed removal of the Roger Brooke Taney bust from outside Frederick City Hall is back in the city’s hands, Nancy Lavin of the Frederick News Post reports.The Maryland Historical Trust’s Easement Committee determined it does not have authority to make a recommendation on the removal of the Taney bust, according to a letter sent to the city Sept. 2 from Elizabeth Hughes, director of the state agency.

OPEN MEETINGS SUIT: Michel Elben of the Carroll County Times reports that a former Carroll County commissioner and wife of a sitting city councilman has filed a civil suit against Taneytown Mayor James McCarron Jr. and the City Council for allegedly violating the state’s open meetings laws. Robin Bartlett Frazier, a former commissioner and wife of Taneytown Councilman Donald Frazier, filed the complaint in Carroll County Circuit Court, accusing the council of multiple violations of the Maryland Open Meetings Act stemming from a June 22 closed session and seeking appropriate relief.

PUBLIC INFORMATION SURVEYS: The Office of the Attorney General is surveying how state agencies respond to requests under the Public Information Act, as explained in this editorial that ran in The Capital. The surveys are due today.