HOME-CARE WORKERS: Gov. Martin O’Malley said Monday that Maryland would review its collective bargaining arrangement for home-care workers following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that workers in Illinois could not be required to pay fees to cover a union’s negotiating costs, reports John Wagner for the Post. “We are still reviewing the details of the decision, but we are disappointed with the outcome,” O’Malley said.
- Gov. O’Malley said he was disappointed with the Supreme Court ruling that said some public employees could not be required to contribute to unions, writes Alex Jackson in the Annapolis Capital. In a 5 to 4 vote, the court ruled that public-sector unions in Illinois cannot collect fees from home health care workers who don’t want to be part of a union.
- Thousands of independent, state-approved home- and childcare providers in Maryland could have the ability to opt out of union dues under a ruling issued Monday by the Supreme Court, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.
- Union officials in Maryland also said they were reviewing the decision but were expecting to see some impact to some health care workers in Maryland, writes Bryan Sears in the Daily Record.
CONTRACEPTIVE RULING: Gov. Martin O’Malley sharply criticized Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that certain corporations can cite religious grounds in refusing to pay for employee’s contraception coverage, reports Erin Cox in the Sun.
- Sylvia Carignan of the Frederick News Post reports that in Frederick County, businesses and organizations are considering the ramifications of Monday’s Supreme Court decision that allows some companies to ignore a part of President Barack Obama’s health care law for religious reasons.
NEW LAWS TAKE EFFECT: Danae King of the Sun reports that Maryland joins at least a dozen other states today in banning the sale of 190-proof grain alcohol, a measure that lawmakers hope will help to reduce sexual assaults and binge drinking among college students. The bill is one of more than 200 that go into effect today.
- In reporting about the new laws that take effect around the Beltway. Jenna Johnson and Jenna Portnoy of the Post write that beauty salons in Montgomery County can apply for a beer and wine license so that customers can get buzzed while having their hair blown out — but liquor stores can no longer sell traditional grain alcohol because anything over 190 proof is now banned across Maryland.
- Maryland’s gas tax is scheduled to rise as part of a series of increases approved last year by lawmakers, according to an AP report in the Annapolis Capital. A gas tax hike of less than half a penny per gallon will take effect today.
- Two bills unanimously passed earlier this year by the Maryland General Assembly to benefit crime victims will take effect beginning today, reports Kaustuv Basu for the Hagerstown Herald Mail.
HEALTH EXCHANGE CONTRACTS: The Maryland health exchange board signed off Monday on most of its technology purchases for a new online marketplace set to launch in November, reports Meredith Cohn of the Sun. The board made the approvals after a closed evening session, bringing the total to be spent over the next five years to more than $96 million.
- The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange board awarded another handful of contracts Monday evening, together worth more than $5.1 million, for a variety of services related to revamping the health exchange, reports Alissa Gulin for the Daily Record.
FRANCHOT’S SCHOOL START: Center Maryland sits down with Comptroller Peter Franchot to discuss the effort that is under way in Annapolis to have Maryland’s school year start after Labor Day. Franchot, who has championed the effort, explains how the change would benefit the state’s tourism industry and small businesses.
FRANCHOT HONORED: A North-American government finance organization has awarded Comptroller Peter Franchot with the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, according to the Easton Star Democrat.
UM’S MOVE TO BIG 10: Don Markus of the Sun writes about the University of Maryland’s transition from the ACC to the Big Ten and how UM sports fans are handling the move.
SHE-CRAB HARVEST: Maryland plans to follow Virginia’s lead in restricting the number of female crabs that will be harvested over the next year, writes Pat Furgurson for the Annapolis Capital. The cutback in female crab catch is a reaction to last winter’s annual crab dredge survey results showing a drop in the total number of crabs in the Chesapeake Bay, and the female crab count was under the level considered sustainable by fisheries officials.
DEM SEEKS TO BEST HOUGH: It was fear of a Tea Party Republican winning the race in District 4 that got Dan Rupli, an old Democratic war-horse, to accept his party’s pleas to get into the race, writes Jeremy Bauer-Wolf for MarylandReporter.com. Now that Del. Michael Hough has beaten Sen. David Brinkley, the Senate minority leader, in conservative-minded District 4, Rupli and Hough will battle it out in the fall.
WHEN FROSH EYED VICTORY: Two weeks prior to the June 24 primary, following an 18-month campaign throughout which he struggled to get his name and message before Maryland’s Democratic electorate, state Sen. Brian Frosh finally knew he was on a glide path to win his party’s nomination for attorney general. Louis Peck writes in the Bethesda Magazine.
NONCOMPETITIVE RACES: Opinionmaker Blair Lee of the Gazette, in a post-primary assessment, writes that much has been written about the dismal voter turnout (20.7%) in last week’s primary election, the worst in modern history. Contributing factors include switching the election from September to June, lackluster candidates and voter burnout. He adds another — the lack of competitive races.
WAL-MART PLAN CRITICIZED: Prince George’s County residents are questioning a plan to construct a Wal-Mart in a South Bowie strip mall, saying that a planning board has ignored their concerns that the discount retailer would have a negative impact on adjacent neighborhoods, Arelis Hernández reports for the Post.