State Roundup, October 21, 2016

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NET LOSS IN TAXPAYERS: Maryland had more tax-filers move out than move in last year, as families headed south to states such as Virginia and Florida, Natalie Sherman reports in the Sun. The state saw a net loss of nearly 8,000 households, as 68,384 families opted to go abroad or to another state but just 60,429 moved in, according to new Internal Revenue Service data. About 63,356 households relocated within the state, said the IRS, which tracked the number of filers using a different address in 2015 than in 2014.

SNOW DAYS AS SCHOOL DAYS: Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said he’s already begun discussions with Maryland State Department of Education officials about the possibility of snow days counting as school days if students work online or on prepared assignments those days, Julie Greene reports for the Hagerstown Herald Mail.

MARRIOTT MOVE A CORPORATE TREND: Marriott International’s decision to seek a 700,000-square-foot building for a headquarters in downtown Bethesda follows a trend in which large corporations are fleeing suburban office parks in favor of city living, a Montgomery County planning official said Wednesday. The company’s announcement this week that it will relocate from Fernwood Road in Bethesda to the downtown area comes as the  Montgomery County Council begins reviewing the Bethesda Downtown Plan, a 550-page land-use guide that calls for greater development and would allow taller buildings, among other changes, writes Doug Tallman for Bethesda Beat.

NEW PG HOSPITAL CLEARS FINAL HURDLE: The Maryland Health Care Commission voted unanimously to approve plans for a proposed regional medical center in Prince George’s County, the final step in a prolonged regulatory process that began more than three years ago, Arelis Hernandez writes in n the Post.

  • A panel has approved a needed application to replace the Prince George’s Hospital Center and creating the Prince George’s Regional Medical Center in Largo, the AP is reporting in the Daily Record. The Maryland Health Care Commission voted 11-0 on Thursday for the certificate of need application by Dimensions Health Corp. to relocate and replace the hospital center.

SHREVE & FREDERICK GOP: Brian Griffiths of Red Maryland writes about Billy Shreve’s attempt to give the Maryland  Trump campaign a $12,000 loan. He asks several pertinent questions such as: Why is Shreve serving as both the chairman of the Frederick County Republican Central Committee and chairman of the Trump campaign in Frederick County? And why did Shreve not think about consulting with an campaign finance expert before deciding to make the loan? Griffiths also suggests that it time for the county central committee to find itself a new chair.

SZELIGA DISTANCES FROM TRUMP: Maryland’s Republican candidate for U.S. Senate says she will respect the decision of the state’s voters on Election Day. Del. Kathy Szeliga was asked Thursday about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s comments that he might not accept election results. The AP is reporting at WMAR-TV that Szeliga says voter fraud exists, but she says “preemptively assuming the election is fixed only further erodes people’s trust in our democracy.”

ON TRUMP’S REFUSAL: WYPR-FM’s Fraser Smith and Todd Eberly, of the political science faculty at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, talk about GOP nominee Donald Trump’s refusal to say whether he’ll accept the results of next month’s election.

SURVEILLANCE FIRM ASKED FOR OPENNESS: Before the first plane left the ground, the company operating an aerial surveillance program for the Baltimore Police Department recommended that the department conduct focus groups and other outreach efforts to gauge community acceptance and concerns, Kevin Rector and Justin George of the Sun report. But the department did not hold any such meetings.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY: The Baltimore City Council is considering a bill that would change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day within the city limits, Luke Broadwater of the Sun reports. City Councilman Brandon Scott introduced the legislation Thursday after students at City Neighbors High School suggested it. “We shouldn’t celebrate terrorists,” Scott said of the bill’s purpose. “That’s what celebrating Christopher Columbus does. Very rarely do we have a chance to correct the wrongs of history. This is about Christopher Columbus. This is not anything against Italian-Americans.”

DIXON LOOKS TO FUTURE: Unlike most former Baltimore mayors, a portrait of Sheila Dixon does not hang in City Hall. That’s because Dixon — who would need to commission such a work — isn’t ready to think of herself as belonging to the past. She believes she’s very much a part of Baltimore’s future. As she travels the city, her supporters loudly agree, Luke Broadwater writes in the Sun.

HIGH EXPECTATIONS FROM PUGH: Everywhere state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh goes these days, people expect big things., writes Luke Broadwater in the Sun. Kids in the schools she visits call her “the mayor.” City Council members, desperate for change, approach her with ideas to reform the city. The senior citizens she meets at bingo say they’re counting on her to address the blight and income inequality they see all around them.