From left: Min Xu, counselor at Chinese embassy; Nobuko Sasae, wife of Japan's ambassador; First Lady Yumi Hogan; Seon-Hwa Lee, wife of Korea's ambassador; Mi Schill Kim, chair Maryland-Gyeongsangnam Sister State Committee; Kikko Murray, chair of Maryland-Kanagawa Sister State Committee; and Bob Zhang, chair of Maryland-Anhui Sister State Committee.

Asian Sister State programs honor First Lady Yumi Hogan

Maryland's Asian Sister States program, along with representatives of the ambassadors of China, Korea and Japan, honored First Lady Yumi Hogan at a welcome reception Thursday hosted by UMBC's Asian Studies Program. Mrs. Hogan, a native of South Korea, is the first Asian American to serve as a state's first lady in the country.

Comptroller Peter Franchot

Franchot flips out over standardized testing contract

Gov. Hogan said, "I share a lot of concerns that the comptroller has with respect to Pearson, PARCC, and over-testing. We still think we're over-tested." Hogan noted that he had signed into a law a commission to study and make recommendations about the amount of testing in public schools. "Everything [Franchot] said, I agree with," Hogan said. But "if we don't do it, it could be worse."

Proposed 3rd district

Fairness is the place to start on redistricting reform

There are so many things wrong with how legislative and congressional districts are drawn in Maryland and across the United States that it is hard to know where to begin.

The place to start is fairness. The current process is egregiously unfair to average voters who would like to choose their representatives and not have their legislators choose them. It is unfair to minorities of every stripe: not just Republicans, but blacks, Latinos and residents of all persuasions in counties with no business being cut up into so three and four districts.

Gov. Larry Hogan announces the members of his redistricting reform commission Aug. 8. Photo from Governor's Office.

State Roundup, Monday, Aug. 10, 2015

Reaction to Hogan redistricting plan; JPR chair Bobby Zirkin seeks formula for pot growing;
people still red over Red Line; MTA eyes $58m for marc engines; sentencing law; unaffiliated voter rolls grow; Taney bust controversy in Frederick; Young Republicans not so young; Franchot pushes tax free week; wage protest at Pimlico; Hogan gets new round of chemo;
group says Maryland needs to address cancer; Rep. Edwards fights for Naloxone; Leggett won't run; Montgomery schools debate holiday closings; Steven Kreseski, Gov. Bob Ehrlich's chief of staff, dies at 58.

Gov. Larry Hogan and Public Safety Secretary Stephen Moyer at the Baltimore City Detention Center Thursday.

Hogan shuts jail, evoking memories of ‘Do it now’ Schaefer

Gov. Larry Hogan's performance in Baltimore Thursday evoked memories of William Donald Schaefer, the legendary "Do it now" mayor and governor, as Hogan announced the immediate closing of the Baltimore City Detention Center.

Hogan's large bald head from his chemotherapy added to the impression, but it was more the tone, attitude and approach that was Schaeferesque: impatient, angry, concerned with the people affected, and denigrating those other politicians who couldn't get the job done.

Maryland State Board of Education

New PARCC tests of Common Core standards saving money

A new Maryland commission to study over-testing of children in public schools has yet to begin work, but new standardized tests based on the Common Core curriculum standards are already saving the state money, and four out of five Maryland students who took the tests did them online.

Pete Rahn 2

Md. transportation secretary makes a good punching bag

A month after Gov. Larry Hogan made the decision to ditch the Red Line light-rail project in Baltimore, the city's political and business establishment, including editorial writers and columnists, continue to express outrage.

There's little indication that anyone beyond the immediate Baltimore area is paying much attention to the angry outbursts, and certainly not Hogan himself.

Wall Street stock exchange (by zonnabar, flickr)

Md. pension fund earns 2.68%, missing annual target

Maryland's $45.8 billion pension fund for state employees and teachers earned 2.68% for the past fiscal year, almost 5 percentage points below its target of 7.65%, but better than benchmark returns for its various asset classes, its Board of Trustees was told Tuesday.

Ariana Kelly by MdFriendof Hillary

Prosecutors drop charges against Del. Ariana Kelly

Montgomery County prosecutors have decided to drop charges against Del. Ariana Kelly, a Bethesda Democrat who was arrested June 27 for trespass and indecent exposure at the home of her ex-husband, Barak Sanford. Kelly and Sanford issued a joint statement, and so did the state's attorney's office.