Maryland Divided Part 1: Rural counties hope to gain political clout

The first in a five-part series in the divide between rural Maryland and the rest of the state. Earlier this year when Gov. Larry Hogan took the stage in Annapolis at P.A.C.E., a conference dedicated to Western Maryland, he opened with the following: “When I was sworn in two years ago, I said the war on rural Maryland was over — and I meant what I said.”

Pedestrian casualties mount in Langley Park as officials defer action

At least 138 pedestrians have been struck by vehicles in the past eight years on a lethal two-mile stretch of state highway that runs through Langley, Park Md., a low-income immigrant community in the Washington suburbs. Eight have died. A Capital News Service analysis of state accident data from 2009 through 2016 documented the casualties on University, a roadway that officials say wasn’t designed for the largely immigrant walking community now living along it in Prince George’s County. (It’s a long story, but worth the slog comparing what happened in College Park with what has not happened in Langley Park.)

Comptroller seeks more powers to combat tax fraud

Legislation supported by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and Gov. Larry Hogan would give new powers to the comptroller’s office to combat tax fraud. Testifying Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, Franchot, a Democrat, asked lawmakers to “give me the power to make a difference here.” At a summit he hosted last month, Franchot said it’s “an existential threat to our agency that tax fraud is increasing.”

State House Democrats propose legislation aimed at Trump policies

Democratic lawmakers in Annapolis announced five priorities Tuesday aimed at resisting policy efforts by President Donald Trump’s administration and the Republican-controlled Congress. One would withdraw all of Maryland’s past calls for a constitutional convention, another would direct the attorney general to oppose “harmful” federal policies, two would create commissions to monitor health and financial regulatory developments at the federal level, and the fifth would instruct the state’s congressional delegation and governor to resist any effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Maryland grows more politically polarized, like rest of U.S.

While Maryland voted for the Democratic candidate in 2016 for the seventh straight presidential election, a deepening Republican loyalty in more rural areas of the state indicates increased polarization throughout Maryland. While liberal-leaning urban areas helped Hillary Clinton secure Maryland’s 10 electoral votes and Democratic candidates won all but one U.S. House seat Tuesday, the state’s liberal base didn’t perform according to expectations.