WITH AMENDMENTS, HOUSE FAST-TRACKS ED REFORM: An education reform bill is on a fast-track to passage in the House of Delegates after key subcommittees voted Tuesday in favor of an amended bill that slashes county spending obligations, Danielle Gaines reports for Maryland Matters.
OPINION: LAWMAKERS GET REAL ABOUT KIRWAN FUNDING: The editorial board for the Sun opines that after months of focusing on the estimated $4 billion annual statewide cost of Kirwan at full implementation in fiscal 2030, lawmakers got down to basics: the realistic responsibility each district can bear, balanced with the state’s share, and how that should be determined.
OPINION: MARYLAND’S BURDENSOME TAX: In a column for the Maryland Public Policy Institute. Stephen J.K. Walters opines that “while Maryland lawmakers debate a massive increase in the sales tax burden they impose on their constituents, they should keep in mind that although ‘everyone is entitled to their opinions, they’re not entitled to their own facts.’ Sadly, the point man for this historic tax hike is playing fast and loose with some key facts.”
COVID-19 UPDATE: Tim Curtis of the Daily Record reports that Gov. Larry Hogan announced on Tuesday that the federal government has approved the Maryland Department of Health to test for the disease caused by the coronavirus.
- Seven more Maryland residents were being tested Tuesday for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number tested for the disease in the state to 13. There are no confirmed cases of the disease in the the state, writes Heather Mongilio for the Frederick News-Post.
- The Maryland Department of Health has not released any information about the people being tested, other than that some had traveled to heavily affected areas in China, Meredith Cohn reports in the Sun.
- Units from an Army command based at Fort Detrick are working to better understand and prepare to respond to the new coronavirus. Several units that fall under the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, including the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, are working on understanding or preventing COVID-19, which has infected nearly 90,000 people globally, Heather Mongilio of the Frederick News-Post reports.
STATE OF EMERGENCY PROPOSAL: The Maryland Senate’s top-ranking Republican is making a late push for a bill that would allow the governor to declare a state of emergency in Baltimore due to the city’s high murder rate, Pamela Wood and Jeff Barker are reporting in the Sun.
POLICE TRANSPARENCY: Sponsored for the second year in a row by Del. Gabriel Acevero (D-Montgomery), proposed legislation in the name of Anton Black – a young man who died in police custody – would be aimed at increasing levels of police transparency and accountability in the state, Hannah Gaskill reports in Maryland Matters.
SPORTS GAMBLING BILL MOVES FORWARD: A measure to allow Marylanders to gamble on sporting events cleared an important hurdle on Tuesday when a Senate committee voted unanimously to approve a bill sponsored by a Montgomery County lawmaker, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports
STRIPPING GOV OF PAROLE SAY: Maryland governors would be stripped of the final say in parole decisions for inmates sentenced to life with the possibility of parole who have served 20 years in prison, under legislation being considered by the House Judiciary Committee, Steve Lash writes in the Daily Record.
MANDATING PHYS ED: Sen. Ron Young (D-Frederick) emphasized to a panel of Maryland lawmakers on Tuesday the need for legislation requiring the state’s public elementary schools to set aside at least two-and-a-half hours each week for students to engage in daily physical activity, Bryan Renbaum of MarylandReporter writes.
BILLS WOULD BOOST TECHNOLOGY: Tim Curtis of the Daily Record reports that according to the backers of several technology bills, Maryland has fallen behind other states when it comes to supporting innovative technology companies, and several bills presented Tuesday to the Senate Finance Committee would help the state stay competitive.
PUSH FOR PERMANENT DAYLIGHT SAVING: At 2 a.m. Sunday, hundreds of millions of Americans will “spring forward” one hour in the annual observance of Daylight Saving Time — gaining an hour of sunlight but losing an hour of sleep. Some Maryland lawmakers are aiming to change that, reports CNS’s Jeff Barnes in MarylandReporter. “Whether it’s gaining an hour or losing an hour, the time change can be disruptive.”
BILL TO KILL LOCAL TAXING FAILS: An Anne Arundel County Council resolution urging members of the General Assembly to kill bills that would give local jurisdictions the authority to impose higher taxes on wealthier residents failed Monday night after contentious debate that danced along party lines, Olivia Sanchez of the Capital Gazette reports.
INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR RARE ILLNESSES: Del. Alfred Carr, a Montgomery County Democrat, is sponsoring a bill that would make health insurance coverage mandatory for a rare childhood illness known as PANDAS, a strep-related autoimmune disease that is affecting at least one Carroll County family, Jon Kelvey of the Carroll County Times reports.
POLL: DIXON LEADS IN MAYOR’S RACE: Luke Broadwater and Talia Richman of the Sun report that a new poll for the Sun, the University of Baltimore and WYPR-FM shows that former Mayor Sheila Dixon has opened up a slight lead in a crowded, competitive race to become Baltimore’s next mayor.
MO CO DELAYS VOTE ON SCHOOL POLICING: Montgomery County elected officials Tuesday delayed votes on a community policing bill and funding for more school police officers, bowing to pressure from activists who say the presence of law enforcement can be more threatening than safe, Rebecca Tan reports in the Post.
REACTION TO CITY FAILURE TO BILL: Amid disclosures about the magnitude of Baltimore’s failure to bill certain big-volume water users, some key figures are either keeping quiet or steering clear of specifics, Fern Shen and Ian Round of Baltimore Brew report.