State Roundup, May 7, 2018

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1,900 HONDURANS IN MARYLAND AFFECTED BY ORDER: The Trump administration says it will strip legal protections for 86,000 Hondurans living in the United States — including 1,900 in Maryland — the latest group of longtime undocumented residents who face the prospect of deportation to their home countries, the Sun is reporting. Kirstjen Nielsen, the Homeland Security secretary, announced Friday the end of temporary protected status for Hondurans, saying conditions in the Central American nation have vastly improved and that it can safely accommodate its returning citizens.

$100 MILLION ENVIRO SURPRISE: Environmental groups are crowing about a $100 million “surprise” they say was quietly squirreled away in the state budget and could be redirected to promoting energy efficiency instead of gas pipeline infrastructure, Bryan Sears reports in the Daily Record. The prohibition contained in supplemental budget legislation will have little effect on the proposed merger of Washington Gas with Canada-based Altagas, which is nearing final approval. It will, however, delay Gov. Larry Hogan from spending $100 million from the utility merger to help expand natural gas use in the state, according to some environmental groups.

FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Gov. Larry Hogan will sign a bill offering a chance for a free community college education to thousands of Marylanders, his spokeswoman said. Under the legislation passed in the final minutes of this year’s General Assembly session, the state would spend $15 million a year on scholarships worth as much as $5,000 to low- and middle-income students starting their community college educations, Scott Dance of the Sun reports.

REINSURANCE UNEASE: Tim Curtis of the Daily Record reports that Maryland wants a reinsurance program to stabilize the individual market and lower premiums, but one of the exchange’s two remaining insurers fears the state’s application could further destabilize the market, forcing it to raise rates next year and to reconsider its participation in the state.

BETWEEN MO CO & BALTIMORE CITY: In a column for Maryland Matters, Frank DeFilippo writes that Montgomery County and Baltimore City are symbiotic siblings. One is rich, the other poor. One has a white plurality, the other is mostly black. One is gaining population, the other is losing. One, apparently, repels business, the other can’t attract it. One has an overabundance of Ph.D’s, the other has an undereducated workforce. One is on the hustle for the Amazon shuffle, the other was shut out of the executive board game.

CARTER SWORN IN AS SENATOR: Democrat Jill P. Carter became the new senator from Maryland’s 41st District Friday, taking the seat of disgraced ex-lawmaker Nathaniel T. Oaks hours after resigning her $121,400-a-year job as head of the Baltimore City Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement, William Zorzi of Maryland Matters reports.

JULIAN IVEY TOSSES HIS HAT IN: What was shaping up to be an easy reelection for Prince George’s County Dels. Diana M. Fennell (D) and Jimmy Tarlau (D) became considerably more complicated when Cheverly Town Councilman and political scion Julian Ivey entered the District 47A Democratic primary weeks before the candidate filing deadline, Meghan Thompson reports in Maryland Matters.

COLUMBIA AT 50: Richard Krantz will discuss his film and Len Lazarick will discuss his book, both titledColumbia at 50, at a Salon of the Little Patucent Review, Monday evening 7-9 pm. at Columbia Arts Center in the Long Reach Village Center, 6100 Foreland Garth, Columbia, MD 21045. Lazarick will also be selling and signing his book.

CARDIN ON CYBERBULLYING: In a column for Maryland Matters, former candidate for attorney general Jon Cardin, who is currently running for the House of Delegates, writes about his crusade against cyberbullying and making the internet safe for children.

SHEA’s RETURNS DETAILED: Jim Shea, the former chairman of the state’s largest law firm, on Friday reported that he has both earned millions in income and paid millions in taxes in recent years. Shea, who lives in Owings Mills and was chairman of the Venable law firm, reported earning $12.5 million from 2012 to 2016 — an average of $2.5 million per year. During those years, Shea’s returns show that he and his wife, Barbara, paid about $4.7 million in taxes — about 37% of his income, Luke Broadwater of the Sun reports.

MADALENO ENDORSED BY NARAL PAC: Maryland gubernatorial candidate Richard S. Madaleno Jr. picked up an endorsement Friday from the NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland PAC, an organization that defends women’s reproductive rights and their access to health care, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports. Mark Stover, chairman of the PAC, said the decision wasn’t an “easy” one, considering “all of the qualified candidates,

KRASNOW & THE #METOO MOVEMENT: Rose Krasnow may prefer to be judged by voters for her credentials rather than her gender, but the fact remains she is the only female candidate in a crowded race of five white men running for county executive during the #MeToo movement, reports Glynis Kazanjian of MarylandReporter. A former county executive candidate and a well-known Maryland pollster see this as an advantage. The consensus is also that the June 26 Democratic primary election for county executive has no clear front runner and remains wide open.

MEET THE MO CO EXEC CANDIDATES: Bethesda Beat’s Louis Peck interviewed the six candidates for Montgomery County executive. We’ve linked to each interview here: Roger Berliner, David Blair, Marc Elrich, Bill Frick, Rose Krasnow and George Leventhal.

DELANEY ENDORSES IN MO CO COUNCIL: U.S. Rep. John Delaney, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president, issued endorsements of two Democrats in the crowded race for County Council at-large: Montgomery County Department of Recreation Director Gabriel Albornoz of Kensington, and retired attorney Bill Conway of Potomac. A total of 33 Democrats are seeking four at-large nominations in the June 26 primary, Louis Peck and Andrew Metcalf write in their Politics Roundup for Bethesda Beat.

DISTRICT 6 CONGRESSIONAL FORUM: Seven of the eight candidates for the Democratic nomination for Congress in District 6 gathered at Gaithersburg High School Thursday night in a forum that produced no sharp clashes over policy—but featured several digs at one of the front-running contenders, Potomac businessman David Trone, by his rivals, Louis Peck reports for Bethesda Beat.

RACE AGAINST KACH FOR BA CO COUNCIL: Four years after ousting a Republican incumbent by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, the councilman representing northern Baltimore County faces his own challengers in the GOP primary election next month — a contest that has long decided who holds the County Council seat, Alison Knezevich reports in the Sun. Two Republicans are running against Councilman Wade Kach of the county’s Third District, which stretches from Lutherville to the Pennsylvania line: businessman Ed Hale Jr. of Cockeysville and Doug Zinn, a researcher and grant writer, of Parkton.

ON THE SALMON-WHITE CONTROVERSY: Baltimore County school board candidate Pete Fitzpatrick, in an op-ed for the Sun advocating that the Maryland school superintendent reverse her decision on Verletta White, writes that Karen Salmon, acting on what seems to be incomplete or misunderstood information, refused to approve Ms. White as superintendent of BCPS. She was acting at the urging of a small but disproportionately loud minority of BCPS stakeholders — including the members of the board whose obstructionist efforts had failed and who were now resorting to independent action outside the mandate of their offices.

ON SUPERINTENDENT MAXWELL: In a lengthy piece for the Post, Donna St. George tracks the history of soon to be former Prince George’s schools Superintendent Kevin Maxwell, a hometown boy who made good only to be taken down by continuing scandals within the system. He had stellar credentials, deep ties, wide support. “He is truly one of our shining sons,” County Executive Rushern Baker said as he welcomed Maxwell. Five years later, the sense of promise is gone, and Maxwell is leaving the state’s second-largest school system marred by scandal, three years before his second contract as chief executive ends.