State Roundup, August 18, 2017

The 145-year-old statue of former Supreme Court Justice Taney is removed from the State House; Senate Pres Miller says vote on Taney statue should have been done in public; Gov. Hogan, congressmen criticize President Trump as not presidential, “unfit for office;” federal battlefield monuments to remain; experts expect to see ancillary businesses to spring up with growth of state’s medical marijuana industry; islands for sale in Maryland, state considers purchasing three; Jealous campaign walks back Cory Booker endorsement statement; and Montgomery council candidates flock to public financing.

Buy a piece of the Potomac River? Three islands for sale

No man is an island. But, for less than $175,000, a man (or woman) could buy three of them in the Potomac River — if he or she acts fast. Real estate agent Buzz Mackintosh said the islands, about seven miles upstream of Williamsport, Md., have garnered interest from a handful of prospective buyers since going on the market earlier this year, but no one has taken the leap. Now, the state of Maryland, which already owns and manages several nearby islands, is weighing purchasing them.

State Roundup, August 17, 2017

Gov. Hogan calls President Trump’s blaming of both sides for Charlottesville violence “a terrible mistake;” meanwhile, the State House Trust votes to remove statue of chief justice Taney; Baltimore Mayor Pugh expresses frustration with predecessor over not resolving Confederate statue issue under her watch; Hogan asks school system to come to Annapolis to explain construction funding requests; costs of running for State House are on the rise, Common Cause study finds; and Montgomery minimum wage-job loss survey is flawed, survey company says.

Rockville town square

What is Montgomery Reporter?

Montgomery Reporter just published as complete a list as we could come up with of candidates in Montgomery County for local, state and federal office. What is Montgomery Reporter anyway? Montgomery Reporter is the edition of devoted to news about Montgomery County government and politics.

State Roundup, August 16, 2017

Baltimore City removes four Confederate statues overnight; Gov. Hogan calls for removing Taney statue at State House; Warren Deschenaux, for decades the go-to budget guru in the Department of Legislative Services, to retire on Dec. 1; acting Health Secretary Schrader defends pace of moving mentally ill criminal defendants into treatment; Gov. Hogan OK’d state participation on Trump voter fraud panel; Rep. Hoyer says Republican congressmen also see need for new FBI HQ; and Ben Jealous arrested at immigration rights demonstration.

State Roundup, August 15, 2017

Charlottesville violence spurs Maryland to once again look at its Confederate statues as calls rise to remove Taney statue at State House and Baltimore City, Howard County mull removal of theirs as well; eight medical marijuana growers get final OK to begin growing; meanwhile marijuana panel’s chief asks panel to extend deadline for companies approval on a case-by-case basis; Under Armour’s Plank quits President Trump’s business panel over slow response to call out racists over Charlotteville violence as Sen. Hough tweets his criticism; and Johns enters race for House of Delegates to see more women in office.

State Roundup, August 14, 2017

Maryland politicians, communities stand in solidarity against racism after deadly weekend in Charlottesville, Va.; Maryland’s medical marijuana growers must be operational today to meet deadline; watermen, scientists, pols debate oyster harvesting in sanctuaries; Gov. Hogan wants tougher stance against violent offenders in Baltimore City; gubernatorial candidate Vignarajah defends record, gets blasted by anonymous fellow Democrats; and Montgomery County’s District 1 council race gets crowded.

Pension board

Rascovar: Md. state pension investing: Goldilocks vs. Chicken Little?  

In Maryland, it has become an annual rite of August for critics to lambast state pension trustees when they fall short on their investments. The biggest lament is the state’s huge “unfunded liability,” which stands a bit below $20 billion. That’s a mighty hefty number. Is the pension program for 387,000 state workers, teachers and retirees going broke as doom-and-gloomers insist? 

State Roundup, August 11, 2017

As state tackles opioid crisis, two physicians indicted on charges they illegally prescribed sedatives and painkillers; two health insurers remain in state ACA exchange while only one will serve much of Maryland; Republican delegates ask Atty. Gen. Frosh to recuse himself from defending redistricting plan, citing role in Democratic Senate leadership; Gov. Hogan tours State Center with Mayor Pugh, casts doubt on current project moving forward; Hogan orders midge eradication; and Baltimore County considers body cams for off-duty uniformed officers.