Gov. Larry Hogan uses his Facebook page for generally positive statements about his administration and his fight against cancer. But last week, a staff writer went too far with a negative comment about a legislative hearing that turned out to be plus for the administration.
To some politicians and pundits, the governor's Redistricting Reform Commission is a waste of time. Certainly covering its hearings and deliberations as much as MarylandReporter.com has done is seen as a huge waste of time and space. Len Lazarick writes that propositions that face uphill fights often take years to pass. It is part of the process of educating the legislators and their constituents, changing minds and influencing public opinion.
A majority of Maryland high school students who took the state’s first Common Core standardized assessment exams last spring did not meet standards for 10th grade English and about 70% didn’t meet the bar for Algebra I, state education leaders learned Tuesday. Few minority students met the new standards.
The Maryland Redistricting Reform Commission met Tuesday to craft recommendations for ways to fix gerrymandering in Maryland, focusing on establishing an independent group to redistrict both congressional and legislative districts. The commission hashed out intricate rules to limit partisan influence and ensure the independence of the new panel.
Stung by the loss of the governorship to Republican Larry Hogan, Sen. Barbara Mikulski told a crowd of 500 cheering Democrats, "We take a pledge that we will never again lose a statewide election." Beyond that, she said it is not enough that nine out of 10 members of Maryland's congressional delegation are Democrats. She wanted a "100% Maryland delegation" of Democrats.
Baltimore's political, business and media leaders are never going to forgive Hogan's dismissal of 10 years of planning and $900 million in federal transit aid as a "boondoggle." They criticized Hogan for having no backup Plan B. When he unveiled Plan B, to them it looked like Plan Blech.
Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday announced a $135 million investment to improve, expand and connect the transit system in the greater Baltimore area. Hogan said that the current performance of the transit system is “notoriously abysmal,” citing slow buses and long routes that ensure people cannot get from their home to work conveniently.
As we look back to the future this week, the problems of congressional and legislative redistricting are not new in Maryland, and potential solutions aren't particularly new either. Maryland's Constitutional Convention of 1967 dealt with the same issues Gov. Larry Hogan's Redistricting Reform Commission is grappling with this week: what kind of group should draw the lines, who should serve on it, what standards for the districts should they follow and even whether all the members of the House of Delegates should serve in single-member districts.
A Maryland General Assembly ethics panel is weighing criteria for recognizing and allocating resources for official legislative caucuses. The issue of recognizing what makes a caucus is under consideration because of a new, Latino caucus, which wants the same recognition as the black and the women’s caucuses, said Del. Bonnie Cullison, D-Montgomery.
While her colleagues debated how they might come up with an independent nonpartisan redistricting commission -- as the governor instructed them to do -- the highest ranking legislator among them urged them to propose something lawmakers might actually pass: Rational standards for compact and contiguous congressional districts. "Don't you want to come out of this with something?" asked Sen. Joan Carter Conway, a Baltimore Democrat who chairs the Senate committee that would likely handle any legislation the commission might recommend. "We want something that works."