PRE-K SUSPENSIONS: Dozens of pre-kindergartners were suspended last school year in Maryland, with the most suspensions in Baltimore, highlighting a little-known practice that some education experts say is too extreme for toddlers who are just being introduced to educational settings, reports Erica Green in the Sun.
ROADKILL CREWS: There is no shortage of struck deer along the highways at this time of year, during deer mating season. State Highway Administration crews picked up 67 in one day late last month. Throughout the year, it removes about 1,000 carcasses. And a deer composting facility makes disposal easier. The nearly $200,000 SHA facility consists of eight wooden bins large enough to hold about 50 or 60 deer layered with wood chips and horse manure, reports Kelsi Loos for the Frederick News Post.
AFZALI PASSED OVER: Republican Del. Kathy Afzali hoped to join a Frederick County growth task force but was passed over for the appointment after Republican Sen. David Brinkley questioned how “fair and open” she would be on the panel, Bethany Rodgers reports the story for the Frederick News Post. “Afzali is about Afzali and not a solution to the problem,” Brinkley said.
VAN HOLLEN’S BURDEN: Bill Schroeder, owner of a bustling Italian grocery on Westminster’s Main Street, doesn’t know Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s voting history or many of his positions. But he knows his Democratic congressman lives in Montgomery County. And he finds it appalling, writes John Fritze for the Sun.
CHRISTIE’S NUMBERS: As the 2016 presidential race takes shape, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie comes out of his reelection with numbers that Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley can only envy, writes Josh Kurtz for Center Maryland. He took 60% of the vote in a fairly liberal state, and according to the exit polls, 51% of New Jerseyans think he’d make a good president. O’Malley took 56% when he was reelected in a considerably bluer state in 2010, and in a Gonzales poll in January, only one-quarter of Marylanders said they wanted O’Malley to run for president.
MEDICARE VS. OBAMACARE: Len Lazarick, in a column that first ran in the Business Monthly, admits to getting up there in years, so much so that he has recently applied for Medicare. In discussing medical insurance run by the government – Obamacare and Medicare – Lazarick writes that the federal government does indeed know how to run some health insurance programs efficiently. Of course, it has had 47 years to master Medicare, he writes.
MILITARY EXEMPTION: Gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown called Monday for fully exempting military retirement income from state taxation for veterans earning less than $150,000 a year, a move he said would reflect “our gratitude” for their service to the country, reports John Wagner in the Post.
Brown, who is a colonel in the Army Reserve, issued what he called his “Compact with Maryland Veterans” Monday with little fanfare on a day when he avoided scheduling campaign appearances and instead attended ceremonial functions in his official capacity, reports Michael Dresser and Erin Cox in the Sun.
AFSCME ENDORSEMENT: Lt. Gov. Brown is set to pick up the endorsement today of a key state employees union, adding to the labor support of his 2014 gubernatorial bid, reports John Wagner for the Post. AFSCME Maryland Council 3, which represents about 25,000 state employees and public university employees, plans to announce its backing of Brown at a news conference at noon in Baltimore.
MIZEUR RUNNING MATE: Del. Heather Mizeur looks to announce her running mate on Wednesday, leaving just two of the seven gubernatorial candidates left to complete their tickets, writes Kate Alexander for the Gazette. Her announcement would make just Republicans Del. Ron George of Arnold and Charles Lollar the only ones left to complete their tickets.
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MAYOR’S POWER: Annapolis Alderman Ross Arnett has been fielding angry calls from as far as California since Sunday, when it was reported that the Democrat would move to sharply curtail the power of the mayor, days after the city elected the first Republican to the job in 16 years, writes Arthur Hirsch of the Sun. Read the entire story for reaction from Mayor-elect Mike Pantelides to the proposal and the backlash.
Jack Lambert of the Capital Gazette reports that Arnett said that a council manager is not a partisan ploy against a newly elected Republican, Arnett said. He said he plans to work with Mike Pantelides, and that he advocated the same form of government with a Democratic mayor in office.
TRANSITION VOLUNTEERS: Annapolis Mayor-elect Mike Pantelides is soliciting volunteers to serve on his transition team, reports Elisha Sauers for the Capital-Gazette. Pantelides, a Republican who defeated incumbent Mayor Josh Cohen by 59 votes in the city election, met with some of his key campaign advisers Monday to discuss potential leaders to head his transition team. But Pantelides said he’d also like to incorporate volunteers.