State Roundup, May 8, 2019

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3 MORE RESIGN FROM UMMS BOARD: The chairman of the embattled University of Maryland Medical System board of directors announced his resignation Tuesday — along with two other board members — as an additional contract with one of the departing board members was revealed, Luke Broadwater and Kevin Rector of the Sun report.

HOPKINS PROTESTERS ARRESTED: The Johns Hopkins University president and provost describe the “forcible occupation” of the campus’ main administrative building as a violation of criminal law and are offering amnesty to students who leave, in an open letter Tuesday to protesters, Catherine Rentz of the Sun reports. Breaking: But Baltimore Police on Wednesday morning arrested students who locked down the Johns Hopkins University main administration building as part of an ongoing protest over the creation of a private police force and the university’s contracts with ICE.

UMB TO OFFER DEGREE IN RX POT: The University of Maryland, Baltimore would become the first university in the country to offer a graduate degree in cannabis therapeutics under a proposal granted preliminary approval Tuesday by a committee of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, Tim Curtis reports for the Daily Record.

OPINION: POOL INSURANCE PURCHASE NOW: In an op-ed for the Sun, former Del. Dan Morheim urges Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions and school districts to contact the State Department of Budget and Management to start the process of coordinating buying of insurance, analyzing benefit packages and reviewing this with employees. In 2018, he sponsored a bill that now enables all these entities to buy health insurance together if they choose to do so. Volume purchasing, he writes, saves money. The savings in Maryland could be substantial — up to $2,000 per year per employee.

OPINION: PAY TEACHERS FAIRLY: In an op-ed for MarylandReporter, Prince George’s County teacher Yvonne N. Baicich opines that too many inspiring educators, faced with personal financial and family pressures, are forced to give up their dreams to seek higher paying jobs. The reason is no secret: its simple math. The Economic Policy Institute found Maryland teachers earn 14% less, on average, than similarly skilled workers in other jobs in Maryland’s state economy.

OPINION: KEEP ANTIBIOTICS OUT OF FOOD STREAM: In an op-ed for the Sun, Emily Scarr of Maryland PIRG opines is urging Gov. Larry Hogan to sign legislation that will help keep antibiotics out of the industrial farming system, writing that antibiotics should be reserved for when they are needed most — sickness and surgery — and not as a crutch for the industrial farming system.

MO CO TO REQUIRE OUTSIDE POLICE PROBES: The Montgomery County Council on Tuesday voted to require investigations by outside law enforcement officers of police-involved deaths in the county, becoming the first major jurisdiction in the Washington region to do so, Jennifer Barrios of the Post reports.

JEALOUS PONDERS CITY RUN, WORKS FOR JUUL CO.: Former Maryland gubernatorial hopeful Ben Jealous (D), who is now pondering a run for mayor of Baltimore, has landed a consulting gig with Juul, the leading electronic cigarette manufacturer, Bruce DePuyt and Josh Kurtz report for Maryland Matters.

GONZALES BALTIMORE CITY POLL: Here are the full results of the Gonzales Research and Media Strategies Poll about next year’s race for mayor in Baltimore City and the state of the city these days — heading in the wrong direction, residents say, and worse than it was 10 years ago.

  • The campaign to become the next mayor of Baltimore is wide open, with one former mayor holding an early but albeit slim advantage according to the poll, released today. The poll suggests, however, that residents of Charm City are dissatisfied with crime and education in their city. The incoming mayor — whoever it is — will face significant challenges, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.

CITY TO PONDER ABC CONTRACTS: Baltimore City’s Board of Estimates will determine today whether $14 million in postponed contracts will finally be awarded to Associated Black Charities, for distribution to local organizations offering HIV and AIDS services, Morgan Eichensehr  reports in the BBJ. It has been two weeks since the board postponed the awarding of contracts to Associated Black Charities amid questions about the nonprofit’s involvement in “Healthy Holly” book deals.

CITY GOV’T HIT WITH RANSOMEWARE: Baltimore city government computers were infected with ransomware Tuesday, the mayor’s office said, the second time in just over a year that hackers demanding payment disrupted the city’s technology systems, Ian Duncan and Colin Campbell report in the Sun.