State Roundup, October 6, 2017

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Comptroller Peter Franchot thanks Clem Kaikis for the event at Paul’s restaurant in Arbutus as part of his reelection tour. From Franchot’s Facebook page.

FRANCHOT FILES FOR RE-ELECTION: Democrat Peter Franchot, already the third longest-serving comptroller in Maryland’s history, filed Thursday for re-election. He is seeking his fourth term as Maryland’s chief tax collector, writes Michael Dresser for the Sun.

SEN. KAGAN TO SEEK RE-ELECTION: State Sen. Cheryl Kagan (D), who has pondered running for Montgomery County executive over the past several months, instead has decided to seek re-election, writes Josh Kurtz for Maryland Matters. In a statement to be posted on her Facebook page, Kagan will say she was “intrigued…by the possibility of serving as our next County Executive at this critical juncture” and “humbled by the incredible support offered by hundreds of residents and activists,” but has decided to try to remain in the Senate.

Donna Edwards

EDWARDS TO RUN FOR PG EXEC: Former congresswoman Donna Edwards will run for Prince George’s county executive, a first foray into local politics for the progressive populist who lost a bid for the U.S. Senate in spring 2016, Rachel Siegel and Ovetta Wiggins of the Post report.

BLAIR’s MO CO EXEC RUN: Louis Peck of Bethesda Beat writes that, at a Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce event Wednesday afternoon at Park Potomac, Larry Rosenblum, who was Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett’s longtime campaign treasurer, worked the room with businessman David Blair and introduced him as “our next county executive.”

HOGAN ORDERS UPDATED CYBERSECURITY PLAN: Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order Thursday instructing his Office of Homeland Security to implement an updated cybersecurity plan to ensure the state is prepared for current threats of electronic mischief, Michael Dresser of the Sun reports.

FRANCHOT PRESSES FOR NEW SCHOOL: Libby Solomon of the Arbutus Times reports that Comptroller Peter Franchot on Thursday ratcheted up debate about school construction in southwest Baltimore County by saying the deteriorating Lansdowne High School will be replaced rather than remodeled.

JEWISH HOLY DAYS OFF MAY BE NIXED: For the first time in more than two decades, Baltimore County students could be attending school on two Jewish holy days next September, reports Liz Bowie for the Sun. Squeezed by a gubernatorial mandate requiring the school year to begin after Labor Day and end by June 15, school officials around the region are finding that fluctuations in the 2018-2019 calendar make it difficult to accommodate spring break and the Jewish holy days that students have ordinarily had off.

HOSPITALIZATION AFTER OD: Among legislation recently discussed by the Carroll County Commissioners to be considered in Annapolis next year is a proposal Dennis Frazier, R-District 3, introduced that would call for mandatory hospital holds for individuals who have overdosed on heroin or other opioid drugs. It’s an interesting idea, but, opines the editorial board for the Carroll County Times, one that will be hard to implement.

RX POT CONUNDRUM: State regulators are looking for ways to thread the needle and allow out-of-state patients to access the state’s new medical cannabis program while not running afoul of federal laws that prohibit the drug from being transported across state lines, reports Bryan Sears in the Daily Record.

FREDERICK LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES: County residents advocated for laboratory oversight, ethics reform, gun control and eliminating poverty Thursday night at a town hall meeting hosted by County Executive Jan Gardner (D). So far this year, Gardner is considering eight position statements and an ethics reform bill as part of the legislative package, writes Danielle Gaines in the Frederick News Post.

CASA SEEKS HALT TO DACA ROLLBACK: Immigrant rights group CASA de Maryland asked a federal judge Thursday to halt the roll-back of protections for young immigrants put in place by the Obama administration, writes Ian Duncan in the Sun. Thursday was the deadline for people who have benefited from the program, known as DACA, to reapply for an additional two years of the protections before it ends in March.

POLICING BLACK MEN: The criminal justice system, Georgetown law professor Paul Butler argues, was “designed to target [African Americans] and make us fail.” Butler, author of “Chokehold: Policing Black Men,” spoke in front of a sizable crowd at the University of Baltimore Angelos Law Center, and Samuel Manas writes about it for Maryland Matters.

SPEAKER RYAN TOUTS GOP TAX PLAN: Hours after seeing a budget resolution pass in the U.S. House of Representatives, Speaker Paul Ryan was in Chestertown for a tour of a leading manufacturer here and to tout Republicans’ proposed tax reform plan, Daniel Divilio of the Kent County News reports. Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, was joined by U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (R-1st District), at Dixon Valve & Coupling Co., where the speaker met employees and answered their questions on how the tax and budget plans could affect them.

PROTESTERS AT RYAN EVENT: Community members and members of Indivisible of Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties gathered outside Dixon Valve & Coupling Co. Thursday protesting House Speak Paul Ryan’s visit to Chestertown. Ryan, along with U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (R-1st District), and Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers were visiting Dixon Valve to tout the Republican plan for tax reform. The proposal aims to grow the economy and the manufacturing sector, Leann Schenke of the Kent County News reports.

BA CO PLANS PRODUCE PROGRAM: Alison Knezevich of the Sun reports that a new greenhouse planned for the rolling hills of northern Baltimore County will be used to produce fresh vegetables for school cafeterias, homeless shelters and food banks. County leaders said the goal for the Produce for the People program is to yield 100,000 pounds of fresh vegetables initially — then at least 500,000 pounds annually by the third year.

COMMISSIONERS SAY MYERS KISSED EMPLOYEE: Two Washington County commissioners said fellow Commissioner LeRoy E. Myers Jr. kissed a county employee, a woman who later filed a sexual-harassment complaint against Myers, during an October 2016 business trip to South Korea, Julie Greene is reporting for the Hagerstown Herald Mail.

FREDERICK SCHOOLS SUED OVER POLICY: Frederick County became the fourth school district in Maryland to create a policy specifically supportive of transgender students in the spring of 2017. A few months later, a mother and her daughter sued the school board that adopted that policy, Mary Rose Madden reports for WYPR-FM.

DUMB IS COLLEGE PARK: In an op-ed for the Sun, James F. Hollan, a past vice president at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, nominates College Park as the dumbest town in the United States, and not just because its City Council passed a bill to allow non-citizens to vote in local elections.

FISH RETURN BELOW PATAPSCO DAM: Bloede Dam should be gone by the spring of 2019. And, biologists shouldn’t have long to wait to see some action. Sampling surveys conducted in the Patapsco River below the dam have collected hundreds of alewife and blueback herring returning each spring as well as a similar number of juveniles later in the year — an indication of successful spawning. The Bay Journal’s Tim Wheeler writes in MarylandReporter.com.