State Roundup, November 8, 2017

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THE BLUE WAVE: For Maryland Democrats, the 2018 elections can’t come fast enough, writes Josh Kurtz in Maryland Matters. On the heels of Tuesday night’s blue wave – in Virginia, in Annapolis and in Frederick, among other places – Democrats are already sensing a shift in the state’s political dynamic, and peril for Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on his march toward re-election. “I think we can start talking about a change narrative,” said state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D), one of eight Democrats running for governor next year. “Democrats are motivated, they’re angry, they’re engaged, and Hogan is a lame duck walking.”

Democrat Gavin Buckley swamped incumbent Republican Mike Pantelides to become the next mayor of Annapolis. From his Facebook page

BUCKLEY BEATS PANTELIDES: Danielle Ohl and Chase Cook of the Annapolis Capital report that Democrat Gavin Buckley beat incumbent Republican Mike Pantelides for mayor of Annapolis 5,439 votes to 3,354, according to unofficial results.

DEMS TAKE FREDERICK CITY: In Frederick city, Democratic Alderman Michael O’Connor was mingling with guests Tuesday night at La Paz restaurant after learning he had won the mayoral race in Frederick’s general election when a supporter alerted him that Republican Mayor Randy McClement was in the building. The two walked purposely toward each other among a sea of excited Democrats, shook hands and hugged, as McClement genuinely congratulated his newly named successor, reports Mallory Panuska for the Frederick News-Post.

MO CO PASSES $15 MINIMUM WAGE: The Montgomery County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to require a $15-per-hour minimum wage starting in 2021, joining a small but growing national movement and signaling a revived push to try to implement the wage statewide, Rachel Siegel of the Post reports.

***FARMERS USE SCIENCE-BASED APPROACH TO CROPS: Maryland farmers are legally required to file a Nutrient Management Program plan with the state. The plans are designed to determine how much fertilizer — whether it comes from a store-bought bag, manure or other sources — may be safely applied to fields to achieve reasonable yields and prevent excess nutrients from impacting waterways. Eric Spates’ Stoney Castle Farm is not far from the Potomac River in Montgomery County. His 1,100 acres are part of about 1.3 million that are regulated under the Nutrient Management Program. Here is his story. [https://mymdfarmers.com/the-science-based-approach-behind-maryland-crops/] SPONSORED CONTENT***

DC PROPOSES JOINT SALES TAX HIKE FOR METRO: D.C.’s sales tax would increase nearly a penny per dollar to fund Metro under a proposal unveiled in the D.C. Council on Tuesday. But the 0.75% tax increase would not take effect unless Maryland and Virginia enacted identical sale tax increases to support the struggling transit system, an unlikely prospect in the current political environment, Faiz Siddiqui reports in the Post.

WOMEN’s COMMISSION LISTENING TOUR: The editorial board for the Carroll County Times is urging Maryland women to attend one of the listening forums held across the state by the Maryland Commission for Women and called the Voices of Maryland Women project. The goal is to hear about women’s needs and concerns related to work, school, home and their community, then take the information to develop legislative, policy and program recommendations to address them.

ENDING MULTI-GENERATIONAL POVERTY: To end multi-generational poverty, state and local agencies should integrate services such as early childhood development, temporary cash assistance and mental health programming, a governor-mandated commission told Maryland lawmakers Tuesday. CNS’s Jess Felman, writing in MarylandReporter, reports that two state legislative committees met Tuesday in Annapolis to evaluate the benefits of the two-generational approach, which looks at the needs of a family as a whole, rather than viewing children and parents separately.

CHANGES TO CRAFT BEER LAWS: Comptroller Peter Franchot, who has emerged as the No. 1 cheerleader for Maryland’s craft breweries, this week concludes a months-long examination of state beer laws as his Reform on Tap Task Force winds up its schedule of 10 public meetings, writes Michael Dresser in the Sun.

BA CO SCHOOLS TO KEEP JEWISH HOLIDAYS: The Baltimore County school board voted Tuesday to approve an academic calendar that keeps schools closed next year on the Jewish High Holy Days and shortens spring break, writes Talia Richman for the Sun. The 9-3 vote follows the order of Gov. Larry Hogan that public schools in Maryland begin after Labor Day and end by June 15.

DEL. FOLDEN KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN: Del. William Folden, R-District 3B, formally kicked off his re-election bid last weekend with a fundraiser that attracted more than 200 people, reports Danielle Gaines for the Frederick News-Post. “There’s still more changing to do in Maryland. We’re not finished,” Folden said, borrowing the “Change Maryland” tag line from Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who attended the kickoff. “We just got started making Maryland better for the future.”

DEL. McCRAY SPEAKS: Del. Cory McCray of Baltimore city, who is challenging longtime incumbent state Sen. Nathaniel McFadden for his seat, sits down with Ryan Miner of A Miner Detail Radio to talk about growing up in Baltimore City, his former brushes with the law, and how his mother changed his life by helping him enroll in a trades’ program.

COUNTRY CLUB EXEMPTIONS: Montgomery County Del. David Moon is hoping to change the tax exemption for private golf country clubs in the county, which allows for their property tax burden to be reduced under certain circumstances, Andrew Metcalf reports for Bethesda Beat.

WA CO BOE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA QUESTIONED: A proposal to tie the county’s maintenance of effort funding for public schools to the consumer price index raised a few questions Tuesday among the Washington County Commissioners, writes Tamela Baker in the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. Members of the Washington County Board of Education attended the commissioners’ meeting Tuesday to present some of its priorities for the 2018 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly.

CAMPAIGN ACCOUNT THEFT: Erin Cox of the Sun writes that a worker at a popular venue for political fundraisers has pleaded guilty to a felony charge that she lifted bank information off a state delegate’s check and siphoned $10,806 out of the lawmaker’s campaign account. Maryland State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt announced Tuesday that Nicole M. Smith pleaded guilty to stealing from Del. Sally Jameson’s campaign account and used the money to pay off car and credit card debts.

MORE ELECTION MACHINES, NOT ENOUGH: Baltimore County is ordering extra ballot scanning machines for four dozen of the county’s busiest polling locations — far fewer than the 200-plus scanners sought by county elections officials, reports Pamela Wood in the Sun.

PART2: ETHIOPIANS IN MARYLAND: In Part 2 of a series on immigrants in Maryland, Mia O’Neill of the Capital News Service writes about Silver Spring’s strong Ethiopian presence. “This area became a hub for Ethiopians,” said Getachew Metaferia, an Ethiopian native and professor of political science at Morgan State University. “They contributed to the dynamics of multiculturalism.” The series appears in MarylandReporter.