The State Department of Education hasn’t been doing enough to make sure Maryland daycare workers have the required criminal background checks, and sometimes missed following up on criminal alerts for those workers, state auditors found. The department disputed some of the findings, but the auditors held their ground.
The Maryland State Department of Education kept more than $12 million of federal reimbursements for its own programs rather than return it to the state as required by state law, state auditors found in a report citing multiple problems with the department’s financial dealings..
The Office of Legislative Auditor’s report released Tuesday raised issues across the agency including improper handling of checks, spending that didn’t follow procurement guidelines, faults the business office for improperly handling funds and checks; and states MSDE neglected to report possible criminal or unethical activity of its employees for possible prosecution.
Maryland continues to hover toward the bottom of rankings by a nonprofit organization evaluating state road systems, but the State Highway Administration continues to take issue with the ranking methodology.
A consumer advocacy group is giving state lawmakers high scores for passing laws in the 2014 General Assembly session that raise the minimum wage and reduce the impact of foreclosures.
The Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, a nonprofit whose mission includes advancing fairness and justice for consumers, also released four-year scores that depicted state lawmakers as generally favorable to consumer issues. Only nine of 47 senators and 46 of 141 delegates got four-year scores lower than 80%.
Gov. Martin O’Malley gave his signature to unsung legislation that outlaws a surgical practice removing pet vocal chords, one that the bill’s advocates said is inhumane and often frustrating for the animal.
Many minimum wage workers will be getting a raise now that a hike to Maryland’s wage has been signed into law. But while advocates are ascribing the increase as a win, there’s a bitter aftertaste for one group that was left behind.