State Roundup, November 22, 2017

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MARYLAND VIES FOR WORLD CUP: Adam Zielonka of CNS reports in MarylandReporter that Maryland’s two NFL stadiums could be the sites of FIFA World Cup matches come 2026, and executives in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore are working to make that happen. Washington and Baltimore are two of 32 cities vying to be named official host cities for a joint North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup.

TANGIER ISLAND SINKING AWAY: In a commentary on Tangier Island by the Bay Journal’s Tom Horton in MarylandReporter.com, a Salisbury University geographer says most people don’t care too much about why the tides and the erosion are getting worse, or about the politics of climate change. “They want to know what is going to happen to them and what they can do about it,” says the professor. For many, the real threat won’t come in their lifetimes, and they aren’t likely to pay tens of thousands of dollars to jack up their houses. The key is to honestly acknowledge the threat and install public policies that over time guide “the way that development takes place, rearrange the way people build their homes, the way roads are maintained.”

ADDICTION TREATMENT: A federal initiative being tested in Maryland is showing some early signs of increasing addiction treatment capacity by changing how care is paid for. President Donald Trump reversed a prohibition against substance abuse treatment billing Medicaid. Now, treatment centers receive reimbursement for each patient rather than a set grant, reports John Fritze for the Sun.

LOW CHILD-CARE REIMBURSEMENT: Rachel Baye of WYPR-FM reports that the federal childcare subsidy program, administered by the states, is designed to help low-income families pay for childcare. Without that help, many parents — especially single parents — can’t afford to pay someone to watch their children while they go to work. But Maryland’s childcare subsidy has the lowest reimbursement rate in the country, forcing some families and childcare providers to make tough decisions.

MARYLAND SHOULD JOIN CLIMATE ALLIANCE: In an op-ed in the Sun, Del. Dana M. Stein opines on the Paris Climate Accord and the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of them even as other countries are joining in. Almost instantly after the president announced his decision, he writes, a group of states and cities formed the U.S. Climate Alliance, under which they affirmed their commitment to fight climate change. Unfortunately, Maryland is not among them. While Maryland has set ambitious climate goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030, Stein believes it’s important for Maryland to join the alliance.

TIME TO GIVE: With a goal of making 2017 a record-breaking year for donations to nonprofit news, MarylandReporter.com is joining more than 100 local and investigative newsrooms that are eligible to receive up to $28,000 each in matching grants, doubling every donation up to $1,000 they receive by Dec. 31. Giving Tuesday encourages people to support the causes that matter to them. #GivingNewsDay is a reminder that quality journalism shines a spotlight on those issues every day.

AID FOR PURPLE LINE BUSINESSES: Business owners along a strip that will be affected by Purple Line construction are worrying about staying afloat during the work, writes Andrew Metcalf for Bethesda Beat. State Sen. Will Smith (D-Silver Spring) hopes the state government can help. Smith is aiming to update state regulations to enable business owners along the Purple Line route to claim profit losses due to construction.

PARENTS WANT NEW LANSDOWNE SCHOOL: Parents are sparring with public officials this week as the Baltimore County school board prepares to inspect a design for a controversial renovation of Lansdowne High School, which was built in 1963 and which a 2014 school system report found was the worst high school facility in the county. County officials are moving forward with plans for a renovation, which at $60 million would be the most expensive renovation ever in the county. Some people, including parents, teachers and Comptroller Peter Franchot, say renovating such a dilapidated building is a waste of money, Libby Solomon writes in the Arbutus Times.

HAITIANS IN MARYLAND: Colin Campbell of the Sun writes that advocates for immigrants say they will ask Congress to grant permanent residence to the nearly 60,000 Haitians who are living in the United States under temporary protection that the Trump administration announced will expire in July 2019. They are not hopeful, CASA spokeswoman Fernanda Durand said. But few alternatives exist to halt the deportation of Haitians who have been allowed to stay here since an earthquake devastated the impoverished Caribbean nation in 2010.

HOYER AIDS IN HOLIDAY TRUCE: Thanksgiving dinner conversation with family, ever fraught with the possibility for hot tempers, has the potential to become even trickier this year, thanks to the nation’s deeply contentious politics and a president who is never shy to Tweet what’s on his mind, writes John Fritze. Two groups are leading an effort to turn down the tension, and they’ve enlisted the help of more than a dozen members of Congress — including Rep. Steny H. Hoyer of Southern Maryland.

***MARYLAND FARMERS ASK FOR DRIVER PATIENCE: Combines are huge machines that are used to harvest crops. To get from field to field,the average top speed for a combine driving down the road is less than 20 miles per hour. According to farmer Eric Spates, a machine that large and heavy is not what he’d call ‘nimble’ even under the best circumstances. These big machines take up a lot of room and they’re slow. Spates asks drivers who come up behind a combine or other farm equipment to be patient and let the driver find a safe place to pull over to let you go by. Here is his story. SPONSORED CONTENT from MyMDFarmers.com blog***

THEFT TRIAL MOVED: Former Allegany County Register of Wills Rebecca D. Drew will stand trial on two felony charges and two misdemeanors related to the alleged theft of funds but it won’t be in Allegany County, writes Jeffrey Alderton for the Cumberland Times-News. Visiting Washington County Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. granted a defense motion Tuesday to transfer the trial from Allegany County east to Washington County due to pre-trial publicity in the case.

VOTE URGED ON BA CO SCHOOL SUPER: Baltimore County Councilman Julian Jones wants the school board to vote to make Verletta White the county’s permanent school superintendent. This comes as White is under fire for not reporting income she made while consulting for an outside firm. WYPR’s John Lee talked it over with Nathan Sterner.

MONTGOMERY CANDIDATES:  The item on the updated list of candidates for local, state and federal office in Montgomery County in yesterday’s newsletter left out the link to the full list.