HOGAN TOUTS $3.4B IN SCHOOL BUILD PLANS: Gov. Larry Hogan announced a plan Tuesday to fund $3.5 billion in school construction projects across the state, thanks in part to a new constitutional amendment that forces the addition of casino revenue to school funding. Hogan plans to submit legislation during the 2019 General Assembly session that would add $1.9 billion in new school construction projects over five years, Luke Broadwater of the Sun is reporting.
- Voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question Nov. 6 that mandated using all tax revenue from the state’s six casinos to supplement spending on K-12 education. The creation of the “lockbox,” which was backed by Hogan and had bipartisan support in the Democratic-majority General Assembly, will generate an additional $4.4 billion in school funding over the next 10 years, Rachel Chason of the Post reports.
- Danielle Gaines of Maryland Matters writes that there’s a massive backlog in state public school construction needs. There are more than $4 billion in requested school construction projects across the state in a five-year pipeline.
- The governor said the proposal, if passed, would pay for 90% of requests made by local governments for the 2020 through 2024 budget years, Bryan Sears writes in the Daily Record.
- Frederick County Public Schools, Emma Kerr of the Frederick News-Post writes, has experienced significant increases in student enrollment in recent years. This year alone, FCPS opened two new schools. New school construction is set to continue in the coming years, as 17 schools in Frederick County operate at or over capacity this year.
FED LAND SWAP FOR ‘SKINS STADIUM: Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday touted a tentative agreement he’s reached with federal officials to swap park land in Western Maryland to build a new stadium for the Washington Redskins football team in Prince George’s County, reports Luke Broadwater for the Sun. The Republican governor declined to release additional details about the plans — including the site under consideration in Western Maryland — saying the proposals were far from finalized.
- Intent on keeping the Washington Redskins in Prince George’s County, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has held a series of private meetings over the past two years with team owner Daniel Snyder and, more recently, has spoken with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke about acquiring control of federal land for a new stadium, Liz Clarke and Rachel Chason are reporting in the Post.
- In a column for his Red Maryland blog, Brian Griffiths opines that Maryland should not be in the business of securing land from the federal government for the purpose of building any sort of athletic stadium. Certainly not for a football team that is incorporated in Virginia, has it’s training camp in Virginia, practices in Virginia, and where most of its players live in Virginia.
MD, VA BALK AT METRO PLANS: Maryland and Virginia don’t want to pay for a Metro plan to expand rush-hour service, adopt a flat $2 weekend fare and make other service improvements designed to lure back riders, write Bob McCartney and Faiz Siddiqui in the Washington Post. Officials in both states say the proposal from General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld — to be considered at a Metro board meeting Thursday — would break a new 3 percent cap on annual increases in the operating subsidies they give the transit system.
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NO POLS AT TRUMP-BALTIMORE MEET: What was once planned as a Baltimore-based event for President Donald Trump to discuss urban revitalization has turned into a White House meeting on Wednesday with two confirmed Marylanders — neither of them elected officials. Mayor Catherine Pugh, Gov. Larry Hogan and U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings said through spokespeople that they won’t be attending, Jeff Barker writes for the Sun.
- Kevin Rector and Jeff Barker of the Sun report that Jose Portillo once saw an opportunity in the Baltimore neighborhood of Broadway East: a corner rowhouse for sale at a discounted price. Six years later, Portillo said he still sees huge potential in the neighborhood, and hopes that message gets across to President Donald Trump — despite a White House decision to cancel Wednesday’s planned trip by the president to Broadway East.
HOGAN SPEAKS AT CONSERVATIVE KLATCH: Gov. Larry Hogan didn’t mention President Trump’s name Tuesday when he opened a conference in downtown Washington focused on the future of the GOP. He didn’t have to. Hogan told the assembled political and policy thinkers that he ran for office four years ago because he was “completely fed up with politics as usual — and, quite frankly, I still am, maybe today more than ever,” Ovetta Wiggins and David Weigel report in the Post.
- Hogan presented himself as an upbeat if fed-up messenger for what The New York Times recently called “the exhausted majority” – or, as he put it, “the majority in the middle.” “I remain hopeful about America’s future,” the governor said. To a Marylander’s ear, Hogan’s address, full of talk about bipartisanship, moderation and “common-sense solutions” along with a denunciation of partisan warfare at the national level, sounded a lot like his standard campaign speech, with a few variations and updates. But to denizens of official and intellectual Washington, it was something new and exciting, Josh Kurtz writes for Maryland Matters.
NEW DEM PARTY EXEC DIRECTOR: The Maryland Democratic Party has a new executive director, Baltimore resident Ben Smith. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, recently elected as the state party’s chairwoman, announced Smith’s hiring on Tuesday. Smith has been a political consultant and is chairman of the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports.
OPINION: ROCKY ROAD FOR ROCKEYMOORE CUMMINGS: In a column for his Political Maryland blog, political prognosticator Barry Rascovar writes that when Maya Rockeymoore Cummings seized leadership of the Maryland Democratic Party, she bought herself a truckload of troubles. Despite a lopsided Democratic voter-registration edge in Maryland, the party is badly fractured. The far-left urbanist progressive movement cannot see eye to eye with traditional Democratic moderates.
A DIFFERENT REDISTRICTING FIGHT? One of the more important takeaways from the Maryland Republican Party Fall Convention from over the weekend was not the officer elections, but a new fight over redistricting that’s looming, writes Brian Griffths in his Red Maryland blog. The question comes as to whether or not multi-member districts provide uneven levels of representation.
‘TIME’ HONORS CAPITAL GAZETTE: Time magazine has chosen “The Guardians and the War on Truth” for its Person of the Year, and the staff of the Capital Gazette are among those being honored, Sarah Meehan writes The magazine unveiled four covers on Tuesday featuring journalists whose work led to their arrests or their deaths. In addition to the Capital Gazette staff, the honorees include slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi; Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were arrested in Myanmar and are represented on the cover in photos held by their wives; and Maria Ressa, editor of the Rappler news website in the Philippines, who is facing up to 10 years in prison.
- The editorial board for the Capital Gazette writes that being recognized by Time magazine “is a great and terrible honor. It’s great because we continue to do our job, despite the death of our colleagues on June 28. We’ve carried on. We’ve put out the newspaper, just as Chase Cook vowed that day.”