In an unusual bipartisan statement, House Speaker Michael Busch, together with House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga and Del. David Moon, announced late Tuesday that the House of Delegates will begin live-streaming floor sessions during the 2020 legislative session. The two delegates, good government groups and journalists had pushed for the move for several years, as had Gov. Larry Hogan. Conservative Republican Szeliga and progressive Democrat Moon introduced their legislation requiring the streaming again Tuesday, and MarylandReporter.com wrote about the issue again two weeks ago.
Speaker Busch announces that House will begin live-streaming floor sessions in 2020; lawmakers hope to restore prescription drug program for retired state workers; ex-U.S. Rep. McMillan urges lawmakers to avoid corruption of college sports, should sports betting be legalized; legislators working on clean energy bills concerned that Gov. Hogan is slow-walking study on Renewable Portfolio Standards; Judiciary opposing partial expungement bill; Michael Bloomberg urges state to allow JHU police to carry guns; BPW to vote on contract for Tubman, Douglass statues; local officials to call for end to federal government shutdown; pro-business group says Montgomery County growth sluggish, high taxes are making it less attractive for private investment; and presidential hopeful Kamala Harris to open campaign office in Baltimore, but where?
Gov. Larry Hogan’s plans for expanding the Capital Beltway and I-270 could be pushed back for a year by a bill that would first require a completed environmental assessment. Maryland House Bill 91 would require all pre-solicitation reports for Public-Private Partnerships — or P3s — to be held until an Environmental Impact Statement is finished. This would force Department of Transportation and the Maryland Transportation Authority to pull their current pre-solicitation report, and not present a new one until 2020.
It was deemed too frigid Monday afternoon for the peace march from St. Bernadine’s parish in West Baltimore to walk the few blocks around the church where eight people, including a 7-year-old girl, were shot and killed just in the past year. Instead, in honor of Martin Luther King, we sang and prayed and listened to Archbishop William Lori. He condemned racism and acknowledged the complicity of the church in supporting it, including several of his 19th century predecessors who owned slaves themselves.
As we begin national School Choice Week, here’s an open letter to Brit Kirwan, chair of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, which completed its preliminary report on Friday with no mention of charter schools.
Below is a gallery of 19 photos from Gov. Larry Hogan’s second inauguration, most of them posted on the governor’s Facebook page and taken by the photographers of the Governor’s Press Office. Click on the arrow at right to move ahead.
Shady deals at MTA, persisting problems with social services, issues with developmental disabilities, UMES, auditors find
In four reports released in the past week, state auditors found: potential shady contract deals at the Maryland Transit Administration that they referred for prosecution, persisting problems at local social services agencies, failure to follow state procurement regulations and check residency requirements at a state university, and problems in verifying that Marylanders with developmental disabilities are getting the help they need.
In the three months since its implementation, Maryland’s “red flag” gun safety law has prompted more than 300 protective orders across the state, law enforcement officials told state lawmakers Tuesday.
Author Victor Kennedy has examined the Bay’s past abundances of seafood, from terrapins and sturgeon to oysters and shad and waterfowl, sifting through anecdotal evidence and early surveys to arrive at a sense of just how full of life the Chesapeake was as Europeans began to settle it. His book also pulls together an accounting of how thoroughly we squandered the “immense protein factory” praised by Baltimore journalist H. L. Mencken. Kennedy says “generational amnesia” relating to historical abundances risks setting the bar too low for restoration goals.
On one of the top issues facing legislators in Annapolis this session, 61% of Maryland voters favor raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and almost half (47%) strongly favor the idea, according to a new poll for MarylandReporter.com by Gonzales Research & Media Services. The move is broadly favored by more than three-fourths of Democrats (78%) and eight out of 10 African Americans (81%), as well as a majority of independents (55%). Only among Republican voters, a minority of the Maryland electorate, is their broad opposition to it, with almost half (49%) strongly opposed to the hourly hike.
Opening day of the new Maryland General Assembly was crowded with family and friends as 43 new delegates and 17 new senators (many of them former delegates) were sworn in along with the returning legislators. Here’s a gallery of photos that captures some of the day.