Maryland one of three states most targeted by Russian ads in 2016

Heavily Democratic Maryland was one of the three states most targeted by Russian ads during the 2016 presidential election, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Wednesday. Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, used the example in an apparent effort to diminish the perception that Russian ads may have had an impact on the election of fellow Republican Donald Trump to the presidency. 

Legislators weigh recommendations to expand pre-kindergarten

The state’s income threshold for families to qualify for free pre-kindergarten should be increased by more than 60%, a state workgroup told a legislative panel Tuesday.  The Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families, weighing universal schooling for 4-year-olds acknowledged, the need for an increase in funding for the early education program statewide. Maryland’s Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education has also tentatively agreed to recommend universal pre-K.

Maryland State Board of Elections

Legislators consider improving Md. election security after hearing with state elections board

Legislators learned last week that Maryland’s electronic balloting system may need better security measures to protect voters’ information and that the lawmakers must be the ones to add those protections. The State Board of Elections told lawmakers Sept. 6 that they are powerless to make those changes, and that any security changes must directly come from the legislature.

Ocean City businesses fear losing 4,000 seasonal workers if J-1 visa program is cut

As the summer tourism season comes to a close in Ocean City, Maryland, many businesses fear they may soon lose much of their seasonal workforce if the Trump administration cancels the J-1 visa program. The White House may be considering reducing the J-1 visa exchange visitor program, which brings in more than 100,000 students from foreign countries to the U.S. each summer, often to work in tourist destinations like Ocean City

Maryland Divided Part 5: Can Salisbury and small enclaves make rural Maryland cool?

This is the last part of a five-part series on the divide between rural Maryland and the rest of the state. People are dying faster than they’re being replaced in rural Maryland, and where they’re not the numbers are trending that way. So retaining residents and attracting new ones is vital, and cities like Salisbury, Frederick and Cumberland — small urban anchors in Maryland’s rural areas — could be where the revitalization begins.

Maryland Divided Part 4: Can solar, aquaculture supplant Big Chicken?

This is the fourth in a five-part series about the divide between rural Maryland and the rest of the state. The old economic mainstays of crop farming, raising chickens and catching fish and crabs provide jobs and preserve the Eastern Shore’s character, but all three industries face economic pressures that make their future uncertain.

Maryland Divided Part 2: Western Maryland fracking fight reveals divergent economic visions

This is the second part in a five-part series examining the divide between rural Maryland and the rest of the state. Allegany and Garrett, the state’s two westernmost counties, tend to be lumped together as “Mountain Maryland,” their problems similar, their prospects equally muddled. But the two counties’ economic issues — and their approaches to solving them — differ starkly.

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.”