THE CLEANUP: Maryland will seek disaster relief from FEMA as the state continues to emerge from its heaviest ever snowfall, Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday morning. Hogan thanked people for mostly staying home but urged residents to continue to be patient as state and local road crews continue to try and clear snow, Ian Duncan reports for the Sun.
- Gov. Larry Hogan warned that cleanup and recovery from the weekend’s historic snowstorm will take days, and urged Maryland residents to continue to stay off the roads. The AP is reporting in a story in the Cumberland Times News that Hogan said at a news conference late Sunday morning that even though the storm has passed and the sun is shining, roads remain “extremely treacherous.”
- It could be days before neighborhood streets in Maryland are passable, Gov. Larry Hogan said Saturday as a blizzard dumped snow on the state, according to a report in the Daily Record. Hogan made the announcement on his Facebook page, citing an interview he gave to radio station WTOP, Washington.
- Sarah Meehan of the Annapolis Capital reports that extra work crews helped restore electricity to thousands of Marylanders who lost power as a result of the snowstorm and wind that swept the region Friday and Saturday.
- Howard County officials are urging residents to stay off the roads, and all county roads are expected to be cleared by Wednesday, with primary roads likely cleared by Sunday, Fatimah Waseem writes in the Howard County Times.
THE CLOSINGS: Maryland state government offices will be closed today as the winter storm cleanup continues, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Sunday. Emergency essential personnel should report as scheduled. But the Maryland State House and General Assembly open at noon, according to the Sun.
- Session in the House of Delegates and state Senate will start at 8 p.m. Officials are urging employees to consider their own safety when determining whether to report to work, reports Elisha Sauers for the Annapolis Capital.
- Officials throughout Maryland marshaled plows, dump trucks, even Humvees to begin hauling out the weekend’s snowfall, a labor that’s expected to last days, and is likely to test the patience of snowed-in families, Tim Prudente and Ian Duncan report in the Sun. Some secondary routes remained covered in snow and ice. Officials warned driving conditions during this morning’s commute would be dangerous after Sunday night’s re-freeze.
- Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh and Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides announced county and city government offices and departments will be closed for nonessential personnel on Monday. Their Emergency Operations Centers are still active, the Annapolis Capital is reporting.
- Baltimore City government is also closed today, according to the Sun.
- Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner says most road won’t be cleared of snow until today, the Frederick News Post is reporting.
- All flights out of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport were canceled on Saturday and more were expected to be canceled on Sunday, writes Ryan Sherrow for the Baltimore Business Journal. And more flights have been canceled for today, Sherrow reports.
HOGAN’S BUDGET: There’s not much in Gov. Larry Hogan’s spending proposals that General Assembly Democrats don’t like, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be wrangling.Michael Dresser of the Sun writes that legislative leaders are likely to try to adjust Hogan’s plans for who should receive tax breaks. And they want to guarantee that money is spent on their cherished priorities in the future.
- Writing in MarylandReporter.com, columnist Barry Rascovar writes that there is something for everyone to love and to hate in Gov. Larry Hogan’s latest budget offering.
GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY: The Free State Foundation’s Randolph J. May and Michael J. Horney publish an article on how Maryland can achieve government efficiency and government reform.
ENCOURAGING STEM STUDIES: A state delegate from Montgomery County wants Maryland students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math education outside of the classroom and is asking the state to chip in by supporting robotics clubs and competitions, Daniel Leaderman reports for the Daily Record.
SHERIFF SUPPORTS KILLING GUN FEE: Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, is working with state legislators during the Maryland General Assembly session in Annapolis to modify portions of the state’s gun laws. He recently expressed his support of a proposal by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to eliminate a $50 application fee for a handgun license, David Anderson of the Sun reports.
HOGAN ON THE LINE? Two weeks ago Gov. Larry Hogan told Democratic and Republican legislators if they had a phone they had an open channel to talk to him. But some legislators say that pledge isn’t all it seemed, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.
ANNAPOLIS UPDATE: WYPR-FM talks about the beginning of the 436th session of the Maryland General Assembly, which began more than 10 days ago. The first two minutes are taken up with the snowstorm. But then WYPR’s Tom Hall, Rachel Baye and Fraser Smith get down to business on what has happened thus far.
FROM STATE HOUSE TO CAPITOL HILL? Steve Lash of the Daily Record reports that six state lawmakers are campaigning this year to leave the State House in favor of a seat in the U.S. Capitol, and a seventh says he will file campaign documents within a week with hope to make the move to Congress as well. If victorious, five of the declared candidates – all Democrats – may be in for a rude awakening.
MCDONOUGH SEEKS TO OUST RUPPERSBERGER: Del. Pat McDonough, a staunchly conservative Republican, said Thursday that he will seek the GOP nomination this spring to unseat longtime U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md, reports Steve Lash for the Daily Record. “We’re moving in the wrong direction,” McDonough said, citing rises in terrorism and illegal immigration. “We not only need a new president, we need some new votes in Congress.”
BROWN CHIPS AWAY CAMPAIGN DEBT: Former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who borrowed $500,000 from a union during the waning weeks of his unsuccessful 2014 run for governor, has begun to chip away at that debt, reports Michael Dresser for the Sun. Brown, who is now running for Congress, repaid $40,000 to the Laborers Political Education Fund in $10,000 increments between March and December, according to a campaign finance report he filed this week.
FRANCHOT’S POPULARITY: Comptroller Peter Franchot is a supremely popular candidate, writes Adam Pagnucco in a guest column for the Seventh State blog. He analyzes Franchot’s statewide elections numbers compared to gubernatorial candidates Anthony Brown and Larry Hogan in 2014 and in a county-by-county breakdown with Brown. The numbers speak volumes about Franchot’s popularity.
ZUCKER BACKED FOR SENATE SEAT: Louis Peck of Bethesda Beat writes that the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee overwhelmingly recommended that Del. Craig Zucker be appointed to succeed former Sen. Karen Montgomery, who last month resigned from the District 14 seat she had held for the past five years.
HOGAN FOR 8: Ovetta Wiggins of the Post writes that Stephen Skippen went to the campaign rallies that Change Maryland held for Republican Larry Hogan two years ago and partied at Hogan’s inaugural ball last January. He was one of about 1,200 people who crammed into a large room to mark the one-year anniversary of Hogan’s inauguration as Maryland’s 62nd governor. And by the sound of Hogan’s speech, Skippen may be in party mode for quite a while.
LEOPOLD CIVIL TRIAL POSTPONED: A civil trial involving former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold, slated to start today, has been postponed because of snow, Amanda Yeager reports in the Annapolis Capital. Leopold was due back in Circuit Court for a case related to the dossiers he allegedly kept on political rivals, but the trial has been delayed with the closing of Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Monday.
PURPLE LINE VICTORY: Maryland’s highest court ruled Friday that a Chevy Chase man can’t claim ownership of land behind his house and in the path of the planned Purple Line light-rail, reports Aaron Kraut for Bethesda Beat.