State Roundup, November 16, 2017

State Sen. Oaks faces new federal charges after prosecutors say he tipped off FBI target; analyst says state workforce is understaffed; DeMarco organization targets drug pricing; U.S. Senate panel questions oversight authority of Metro watchdog; school construction committee looks at possibility for new schools; Comptroller Franchot criticizes planned renovation of Lansdowne High, says it needs replacing; Dems may have found a challenger to Arundel Exec Schuh; and Annapolis historic preservationist quits, cites Buckley mayoral win.

State Roundup, November 15, 2017

New Opinion Works poll finds Gov. Hogan continues to ride a wave of approval in Maryland while President Trump does not; Virginia officials back proposal to rejigger Metro board, but Maryland, DC raise concerns; Del. Hixson, 84, won’t seek re-election; tug of war inside Atlantic States Fishers Commission over menhaden and Chesapeake Bay; national drug czar visits Arundel school; Democrat Katie Fry Hester to challenge Sen. Gail Bates in District 9; health cited as ex-state legislator, current Hagerstown Councilman Munson resigns; and Arundel councilman Peroutka is listed on re-released support letter for Roy Moore.

State Roundup, November 14, 2017

FBI report says reported hate crimes rose 5% nationwide, but dropped 14% in Maryland; as $15 minimum wage bill is signed into law in Montgomery, activists set sights on statewide effort; long-awaited report by former U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood on Metro suggests downsizing board and dedicating funding, but with no funding method; WBFF report on 13 Baltimore City schools’ lack of math proficiency incenses Gov. Hogan; two lawmakers blast state school construction committee; Kirwan commission ponders enhancing local schools’ career education programs; gubernatorial candidate Vignarajah unveils plan to address sexual harassment in state government, statewide; and Trump pick for Health and Human Services secretary is a Salisbury native.

More career programs in Md. schools one aim of Kirwan commission

In 2016, there were 97,857 students in Maryland enrolled in career and technology education programs across the 237 schools that offered them. A state education commission, helmed by former University System of Maryland Chancellor Brit Kirwan, is weighing how to increase the scope and funding for these programs as part of its broad look into improving Maryland schools.

State Roundup, November 13, 2017

Gov. Hogan calls on Roy Moore to quit U.S. Senate race following sex allegations; U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, who supported Moore, at first silent on situation, then posts on FB that Moore should quit race if accusation are true; Republican speechwriter, political columnist Richard Cross dies at 51; Gov. Hogan extends state parks benefit to all veterans; Chinese language immersion in Montgomery offers second generation way to absorb its parents’ culture; lawyer for acting secretary, former acting secretary calls salary withholding novel, illegal; Maryland’s Democratic Party seeks to reconnect with populace; Sentinel columnist filed to run for Congress, then editor tells him it’s a conflict and he withdraws; business David Blair running for Montgomery executive;.

New Faces Part 4: Montgomery County Chinese language programs link students to culture

Thirty-four percent of Montgomery County’s population is foreign-born. Of the seven districts that make up the county, two are more populated with Chinese-born people than any other nationality, according to a Capital News Service analysis. The large Chinese presence has had multiple effects in the surrounding area, including in the schools, where Chinese is taught.

State Roundup, November 10, 2017

Gov. Hogan to again seek end to state income tax on military retirees; Environment Secretary Grumbles to attend UN Climate Change Conference; chief of Maryland’s medical marijuana panel resigns, second one in two years; Democratic wins in Virginia could change dynamics for regional Metro board; following report that interim super did not disclose consulting income, Sen. Brochin calls for probe, audit of Baltimore County schools purchasing; Dru Schmidt-Perkins of 1000 Friends anti-sprawl group steps down after 19 years into two-year plan; U.S. Deputy Atty Gen. Rosenstein addresses rule of law in return to Baltimore; Arundel Councilman Peroutka urged to end support of Roy Moore; and Howard Councilman Ball to seek Democratic nomination for county executive.

Democrat Ball promises a positive campaign to unseat Howard County Executive Kittleman

Democrat Calvin Ball, an 11-year-veteran of the Howard County Council, on Thursday night announced his long-expected bid for county executive, hoping to defeat incumbent Republican Allan Kittleman who is seeking a second term. Joined by most of the elected Democrats in the county and a crowd of more than 200 in Columbia’s Kahler Hall, Ball promised an election that focused on “unity, hope, civility and our very best selves,” without “a barrage of personal attacks.”

Maryland’s veteran sprawl fighter leaves the ring

Dru Schmidt-Perkins figured she’d put two years into launching a new nonprofit in Maryland dedicated to fighting suburban sprawl. Nineteen years later, she’s finally left the helm of 1000 Friends of Maryland. Sprawl hasn’t been defeated, by any means, but it’s been slowed and even halted for the time being in some places.