State Roundup, May 4, 2017

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FOOSE’s BIG PAYOUT: The Howard County school board agreed to pay nearly $1.65 million in salary and benefits to persuade Renee Foose to retire as schools superintendent.The payments, to be made through 2020, exceed what it would have cost the board to keep Foose for the three years left on her contract, reports Tim Prudente for the Sun.

SICK LEAVE BILL UP IN AIR: Supporters of sick leave rallied in front of a Highlandtown bar Wednesday morning, calling on Gov. Larry Hogan to sign into law a bill that would provide paid time off for illness for some 700,000 Maryland workers, Ian Duncan of the Sun reports.  Del. Luke Clippinger, the bill’s sponsor in the House of Delegates, said that since both he and the governor recently had cancer, they know how important it is to have time off to get treatment and recover.

HOGAN TO SIGN 200 BILLS: Gov. Larry Hogan will sign more than 200 bills today in two separate ceremonies — one at the the Annapolis City Dock and the other at the State House.Hogan will use the 2 p.m. signing on the waterfront to highlight more than a dozen environmental bills, including three of his own initiatives passed during the General Assembly session that ended last month, reports Michael Dresser for the Sun.

CONGRESS QUESTIONS STATE RETIREMENT PROGRAM: The Republican-led Senate approved legislation Wednesday to end an Obama administration policy that encouraged state-sponsored retirement savings programs, a move that could undermine a bipartisan effort in Maryland to offer retirement accounts to workers who don’t have them, John Fritze and Michael Dresser of the Sun are reporting.

HOGAN’s TRUMP STRATEGY PAYS OFF: Gov. Larry Hogan’s strategy on President Trump’s budget apparently worked: Shut up and let the Maryland’s members of Congress do their job. Democratic officials and party leaders had demanded the Republican governor stand up to Trump and resist plans to cut funding for Chesapeake Bay cleanup, medical research at the National Institutes of Health, and funding for the Affordable Care Act. Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter writes that the federal budget for the next five months contained none of the steep cuts Trump had proposed, and even included increases for medical research that benefits NIH and large recipients of research dollars like Johns Hopkins University.

BAKER ON GOVERNOR RUN: Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker played it cool when he brought up the subject of running for governor at Wednesday’s State of the Economy address, writes John McNamara for the Annapolis Capital. “Of late as I’ve traveled around the county and around the state, wherever I go there seems to be one (thing) people want to know — ‘Are you going to run for governor?’ Well,” he said, pausing for effect, “I’m seriously considering it.”

DELANEY SPECULATION: There was blogger chatter about a potential run for president by U.S. Rep. John Delaney as in these postings from Seventh State and Ryan Miner of MinerDetail based on a remark by Chris Matthews on Hardball (Miner has the clip). But the speculation is shot down in an article by Bryan Sears in the Daily Record with this comment from Delaney spokesman Will McDonald: “Congressman Delaney does not have an office in Iowa or any other place other than Maryland and Washington, D.C.,” McDonald said in an email. “As he has said before, the Congressman and his wife plan to make an announcement regarding a possible run for Maryland’s governor by the end of June.”

MATTHEWS MORE OF THE SAME? For many in the Democratic Party’s progressive wing the selection of Kathleen Matthews as state party chair  — and her likely election by the full state central committee on Saturday — illustrates a dispiriting adherence to the status quo. “With Democrats like this, who needs Republicans?” said Adam Umak, Western Maryland chair of the national organization that seeks to build on the success of Sen. Bernie Sanders’  insurgent presidential campaign. Bill Turque writes about the split in the Democratic Party for the Post.

BA CO SANCTUARY DEBATE HEATS UP: Baltimore County Councilman Todd Crandell introduced legislation Monday night that would in essence deputize county corrections officers to enforce federal immigration laws. This is the latest in the ongoing debate in the county on how to deal with people living in this country illegally, John Lee of WYPR-FM reports.

JUDGE DAVIS NAMED CITY SOLICITOR: Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said Wednesday she is hiring federal Judge Andre M. Davis to be the city’s top lawyer, reports Luke Broadwater and Ian Duncan in the Sun. Davis, a senior judge on the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, will become Baltimore’s city solicitor starting Sept. 1, the mayor said. Among his most pressing tasks will be representing the city as it reforms the police department under a federal court-enforced consent decree with the Department of Justice.

TRUMP DOING ‘AMAZING JOB:’ President Donald Trump is doing an “amazing job” taking on the Washington, D.C., establishment, even though it has been frustrating at times as he works with a system that doesn’t move as fast as the business environment, according to a former deputy campaign manager. Dave Bossie — who is Maryland’s representative on the Republican National Committee and still helps the Trump White House on legislative issues — was the guest speaker Wednesday night during the annual Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner at Fountain Head Country Club in Hagerstown, writes Dave McMillion for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.