State Roundup, January 22, 2019

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BLOOMBERG PUSHES GUN EFFORT IN ANNAPOLIS: Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire ex-mayor of New York who has taken a keen interest in Baltimore’s struggles, will spend Tuesday in Annapolis pressing Maryland politicians for gun control. Bloomberg, a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, will be joined by John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, Pamela Wood reports in the Sun.

  • Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters writes that Bloomberg is to meet with seven lawmakers who have been active on the gun control issue: Sens. Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City), Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George’s), James C. Rosapepe (D-Prince George’s), and William C. Smith Jr. (D-Montgomery), and Dels. Maggie L. McIntosh (D-Baltimore City), Kathleen M. Dumais (D-Montgomery) and Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore City).

GUN BILL GOES AFTER STALKERS: A group of state senators plans to introduce a bill this week making it illegal for people to own guns after being granted probation before judgment on stalking charges, Phil Davis reports for the Annapolis Capital.

IN WEST BALTIMORE FOR MLK DAY: It was deemed too frigid Monday afternoon for the peace march from St. Bernadine’s parish in West Baltimore to walk the few blocks around the church where eight people, including a 7-year-old girl, were shot and killed just in the past year, writes Len Lazarick in MarylandReporter.com. Instead, in honor of Martin Luther King, we sang and prayed and listened to Archbishop William Lori. He condemned racism and acknowledged the complicity of the church in supporting it, including several of his 19th century predecessors who owned slaves themselves.

OLSZEWSKI SEEKS SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION FUNDS: Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. says he has one request for the county’s state lawmakers: More money for school construction. Pamela Wood of the Sun reports that Olszewski, a Democrat who was elected in November, says he wants the state to give the county $100 million per year for school construction over the next five years.

ANNAPOLIS ASKS REIMBURSEMENT HIKE: Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley and his State House allies have been working on legislation since summer to increase reimbursement to Annapolis for the services it provides to the state, Danielle Ohl of the Annapolis Capital reports.

LEAD PAINT RESTITUTION HARD TO COME BY: A Chevy Chase company that made millions of dollars from deals with victims of lead poisoning targeted an “entire generation of youth coming of age in Baltimore” with its deceptive practices, Maryland’s top law enforcement official alleges. But even if a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Brian E. Frosh is successful, the amount of restitution those victims can receive is severely limited by a separate class-action claim, Rachel Chason of the Post reports.

MD FOREIGN TRADE ZONE EXPANDS: Maryland’s most active foreign trade zone will add Howard and Queen Anne’s counties to the designated area that already includes Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil and Harford counties, according to the Baltimore Development Corp., which administers this zone. Meredith Cohn of the Sun reports that foreign trade zones are areas where international goods can be stored and turned into products without becoming subject to taxes or duties until they are put on the U.S. market. They can also be re-exported.

OYSTER RESTORATION: Ten years ago, President Obama issued an executive order requiring Maryland and Virginia to restore oyster populations, decimated by disease, over-harvesting and pollution, to tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay by 2025. But that has been easier said than done, according to state and federal scientists meeting in Newport News, Va. Pamela D’Angelo reports the story for WYPR-FM.

TUBMAN, DOUGLASS STATUES: By next year, visitors to the Maryland State House can expect to be greeted in the Old House Chamber by two escaped slaves from Maryland, Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, writes Danielle Gaines for Maryland Matters. Work is under way on bronze statues that will depict the abolitionists in the mid-1860s, in the same room where the legislature adopted the Maryland Constitution of 1864 that abolished slavery in the state.

ON HOGAN BUDGET, BICYCLING: If you can stand listening to the 1-minute opening of “Conservative Refuge Radio,” from Red Maryland, Greg Kline goes on to speak about Gov. Hogan new budget proposal and the bicycling lobby, which is hard at work on its 2019 agenda before the General Assembly.

RASKIN STEPS UP: Ryan Marshall of the Frederick News Post writes about how U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat representing the 8th District of Maryland, is poised for bigger things in Congress. He recently joined a crowd of federal workers and union organizers protesting the partial government shutdown that was then about to head into its fourth week.

GARRETT COMISH on MACo BOARD: Garrett County Commissioner Jim Hinebaugh has been elected to the Maryland Association of Counties Board of Directors. MaCo is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that advocates the needs of local government to the Maryland General Assembly. Hinebaugh will help set the association’s legislative priorities, Elaine Blaisdell writes in the Cumberland Times-News.