State Roundup, Aug. 1, 2017

NO SPECIAL POT SESSION: Del. Cheryl Glenn on Monday renewed calls for the legislature to reconvene to overhaul the state’s troubled medical marijuana program in light of a Post article that several independent experts hired to score prospective businesses had ties to applicants for licenses to enter the cannabis industry, reports Fenit Nirappil in the Post.

  • There will not be a special legislative session to address charges of racial inequity in Maryland’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry, Erin Cox reports in the Sun. The General Assembly’s Democratic presiding officers have officially rejected the call from black lawmakers to summon the full legislature to Annapolis this summer, according to a letter obtained Monday by the Sun. Instead, Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch offered their “full support for passage of emergency legislation” to expand the marijuana industry early in 2018, when lawmakers reconvene for their annual legislative session in Annapolis.

EX-DELEGATE’s ATTY SEEKS TO TOSS WIRETAPS: Attorneys for a former state delegate from Prince George’s County charged with accepting bribes are asking a federal judge to throw out recorded phone calls that are part of the case, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. The attorney representing former Del. Michael Vaughn wrote in a filing that the wiretaps in question “were unlawfully intercepted, were based on insufficient probable cause, did not adhere to minimization guidelines, and did not result after the exhaustion of normal investigative procedures, and violated the Constitution.”

RISING COST OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY RUN: WBAL-AM reports that an open governance group released an analysis Monday that found it’s costing more and more money to mount a successful run for the General Assembly. The report from Common Cause Maryland found that between 2011 and 2014, state senators got an average of $290,070 in contributions, while delegates hauled in $79,878. There’s also a 5.5 minute audio interview with Jennifer Bevan-Dangel of Common Cause.

17th IN FINANCIAL SECURITY: Maryland ranks 17th among the states and the District of Columbia in a recently released scorecard measuring financial security, reports Tamela Baker for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. The report released Tuesday showed that nearly a quarter of the state’s families have little savings and couldn’t sustain a significant loss of income.

TRUMP URGED TO DECLARE OVERDOSE EMERGENCY: Christopher Ingraham of the Post reports that the White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis issued a preliminary report on Monday stating that its “first and most urgent recommendation” is for the president to “declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act.” “With approximately 142 Americans dying [of drug overdose] every day,” the report notes, “America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks.”

BROWN HOLDS TOWN HALL: Rachael Pacella of the Annapolis Capital writes that at a town hall Monday night, Rep. Anthony Brown discussed subjects ranging from international boycotts to local hospitals. He weighed in on national issues like health care. Brown said he is for single-payer health care — he has been the beneficiary of it himself, he said, during his time in the U.S. Army. He also add commented on transgendered persons serving in the military, saying the military should want anyone who is ready, willing and able to serve.

WHAT HOGAN CAN TEACH WASHINGTON: Former Republican National Committee chair Bill Brock, in a op-ed for the Sun, writes about what makes some governors popular in states that hold vast majorities of voters in the opposite party, such as Gov. Larry Hogan. The secret of each governor’s success, he writes, “ isn’t that he plays to his party’s base. It’s that each works hard to weigh the priorities on both sides of the aisle and do the right thing.” He then suggests contrasting that “with what’s happened at the federal level. Washington is currently hamstrung by a cohort of politicians who have been driven to the ideological extremes.”

SEN. HOUGH FILES FOR RE-ELECTION: State Sen. Michael Hough, a Republican from Frederick County, filed for re-election Monday, writes Danielle Gaines for the Frederick News Post. He’s seeking his second term to Maryland’s upper chamber. “I will continue to fight the Far-Left Democrat agenda of higher taxes, gun control and open borders,” he said in a press release to supporters.

DELANEY’s REACH: Josh Kurtz takes a look at newspapers in important states in the presidential nomination process to see if U.S. Rep. John Delaney’s announcement of his run for president has gained any traction. Not yet, he concludes. Also, former state Del. Mathew Mossburg (R), who only recently announced his candidacy for a state Senate seat in Frederick County, has decided instead to run for Delaney’s 6th District congressional seat.

ON DELANEY: In this 50-minute audio, Ryan Miner of A Miner Detail blog interviews Goucher professor and pollster Mileah Kromer about U.S. Rep. John Delaney’s decision to run for president as well as the crowded gubernatorial race.

FILLING DELANEY’s SEAT: Brian Griffiths of Red Maryland writes about the possible Republican candidates lining up to replace U.S. Rep. John Delaney in the 6th District, including Amie Hoeber and Maryland’s Secretary of Labor, Licensing & Regulation Kelly Schulz.

DELANEY DOMINOES: Adam Pagnucco at Seventh State assesses impact of John Delaney’s run for president on local and state races.

TRONE’s NEXT STEP: Ryan Miner writes that two sources have reported to A Miner Detail that multimillionaire David Trone is calling people and letting them know he is running for Maryland’s 6th Congressional in 2018. The Total Wine and More co-owner, sources say, could announce his decision as early as Wednesday. However, when reached by email last evening, Trone spokesman Alex Koren dismissed the rumors, writing, “David has not made a final decision.”

ALSOBROOKS LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN: Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks launched her campaign for county executive Monday with a celebration at her parents’ home that she said was a metaphor for the county as a whole, writes Arelis R. Hernandez in the Post. “This is our house,” Alsobrooks exclaimed as she shot both arms into the air. “For too long our focus has been on the potential of the county, it is not enough. … It is time for us to realize the dream. It is time for us to fulfill the promise.”

KAGAN’s FUTURE: Len Lazarick and Glynis Kazanjian write that state Sen. Cheryl Kagan is considering running for Montgomery County executive, a field that is already crowded. And her name has cropped up as a possible candidate for lieutenant governor. In an interview, Kagan said she started getting calls. “First people were telling me I was on two different short lists to be considered as lieutenant governor by various candidates and then people started calling suggesting I consider county executive. That is something I had never thought about before.”

OPEN MEETINGS SUIT: Heather Mongilio of the Carroll County Times writes about an Open Meetings trial that began Monday in a suit brought by the wife of a Taneytown City Council member. She is suing both the council and the mayor claiming that they held an illegal closed door meeting in June of 2016. The trial continues today.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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