State Roundup, May 31, 2019

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HOGAN NOMINATES 5 TO HANDGUN PERMIT BOARD: Gov. Larry Hogan is nominating five men to the state’s Handgun Permit Review Board, which is likely to exist only for a matter of months. State lawmakers passed a bill to dissolve the board this year, arguing it’s been too permissive in granting and modifying permits for handgun owners to carry their handguns, Pamela Wood of the Sun is reporting.

HOGAN SEEKS PROBE INTO HANDLING OF CAMPUS ILLNESS: Gov. Larry Hogan is calling for an investigation into how University of Maryland, College Park officials handled an outbreak of the adenovirus on campus last fall that led to one student’s death. Hogan has asked the University System of Maryland Board of Regents to investigate campus officials’ response to the outbreak, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports.

FIGHT AGAINST W. MD PIPELINE: Pipeline foes rallied Thursday to oppose what they called the taking of public land for private companies’ profits, Mike Lewis of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail reports. “Stand strong, because the fight’s not over,” Brent Walls, upper Potomac riverkeeper, told more than 50 people gathered along the Western Maryland Rail Trail in Hancock. “No means ‘no,’” said Brooke Harper, Maryland director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Harper was referring to a vote by the Maryland Board of Public Works. In January, the board unanimously rejected Columbia Gas Transmission’s request for an easement to run a natural-gas pipeline under the rail trail.

DESPITE STATE AID, BSO CANCELS SUMMER SERIES: Citing deep fiscal problems, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on Thursday abruptly canceled its summer concert series — only weeks after announcing it — and said it would move to shrink its season from 52 weeks to 40 weeks, cutting musicians’ pay and vacation time, Luke Broadwater and Mary Carole McCauley of the Sun report.

UMMS BOARD MEMBERS STAYED LONGER THAN TERMS: Gov. Larry Hogan has decried contracts that board members of the University of Maryland Medical System held with the organization they were tasked with overseeing, and promised to “clean house.” But state law long has called for housecleaning along the way, specifying that board members can’t serve more than two consecutive five-year terms. Both Hogan (R) and his predecessors, who appoint the board members, allowed some to stay well past a decade, Steve Thompson , Rachel Chason and Ovetta Wiggins report in the Post.

OPINION: KEEPING PREAKNESS IN BALTIMORE: The editorial board of the Sun opines that “We’re glad to see the leaders of Baltimore’s General Assembly delegation keeping the issue of the disinvestment in Pimlico and the future of the Preakness Stakes front and center. But we’re also glad to hear that Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young is seeking something of a reset in Baltimore’s relationship with The Stronach Group, which owns Pimlico and Laurel Park. In order to keep the Preakness in Baltimore, we need to keep the pressure on — and the lines of communication open.”

BA CO CONSIDERS SOLAR PANELS: Baltimore County officials are considering placing solar panels on a variety of government properties, from a community center in Randallstown to a police station in Dundalk, and in a park in Lansdowne, Alison Knezevich of the Sun reports.

SEN. McCRAY SISTER NOMINATED FOR CITY COUNCIL: A woman who worked as an aide to now-Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott was nominated Thursday to replace him as District 2’s representative on council. Phil Davis reports in the Sun that Danielle McCray, who worked in Scott’s office when he was a councilman and is the younger sister of Democratic state Sen. Cory McCray, won the nomination with nine of 11 votes from the vacancy committee created to recommend Scott’s replacement.

AGING CITY COMPUTER SYSTEM: Ian Duncan of the Sun reports that Baltimore’s information technology office issued a detailed warning that the city was using computer systems that were out of date, highly vulnerable to attack and not backed up, calling them “a natural target for hackers and a path for more attacks in the system.”

HOYER NOW FOR DC AS 51st STATE: House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said Thursday that he wants to see the District become the 51st state, reversing his long-held opposition to D.C. statehood, Jenna Portnoy reports in the Post.