State Roundup: Fight over Hogan’s proposed budget cuts; unlikely return to normalcy for schools

State Roundup: Fight over Hogan’s proposed budget cuts; unlikely return to normalcy for schools

State Treasurer Nancy Kopp asks a question at Wednesday's Board of Public Works meeting with Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot. Governor's Office photo

FIGHT BREWS OVER HOGAN BUDGET CUTS: Gov. Larry Hogan has proposed $1.45 billion in budget cuts in an attempt to help offset the massive projected revenue loss, writes Bryan Renbaum for MarylandReporter. The cuts would reduce general fund expenditures by more than $610 million. A spokesman for Comptroller Peter Franchot said that he will oppose more than $205 million of the proposed cuts.

  • Cuts to state employee salaries and positions are getting a lot of attention. So is a proposed $200 million trim in state aid to public schools, although that needs the consent of the General Assembly to pass. What is less discussed is Hogan’s resumption of a time-honored practice used by higher level governments to dump their problems on lower level governments: the shift and shaft, writes Adam Pagnucco for Seventh State.
  • Hogan’s proposal to cut $672 million from the upcoming state budget because of the economic crisis is imperiled because his two fellow members on the Board of Public Works say they will reject a large chunk of the plan when the panel meets today, reports Colin Campbell and Jeff Barker in the Sun.
  • Franchot (D), a frequent ally of Hogan (R), said Tuesday that he will not back roughly a third of the $672 million in spending cuts during the BPW meeting, according to the Washington Post.
  • Broadly, the cuts Franchot said he cannot support involve education spending, teacher and state employee pay and retirement, programs that benefit young people, and supplemental aid to counties that lack the ability to raise large sums through the property tax, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports.
  • Slightly more than $1.6 million of state funds earmarked for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra — a pot of money that until recently had seemed like a done deal — is on the chopping block, writes Mary Carole McCauley for the Sun.
  • U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin also suggested state leaders wait before making cuts, reports Rachel Baye for WYPR-FM. “We are fighting hard in the United States Senate for additional federal fiscal relief to state and local governments to alleviate budget pressure,” they wrote in a statement.

PARTISAN DIVIDE OVER VOTER FRAUD STALLS DECISION: A partisan divide over whether voter fraud is a legitimate concern in mostly mail-in elections kept Maryland officials from reaching a consensus on how the state should conduct voting in the upcoming presidential election, Talia Richman of the Sun is reporting.

COVID-19 HOSPITALIZATIONS UP: Maryland officials reported 305 new cases of the coronavirus Tuesday to continue the state’s run of moderate increases in infections as caseloads surge in other states, though a slight uptick in current hospitalizations represented the largest increase in more than a month, reports the Sun’s Nathan Ruiz.

  • Eight new COVID-19 cases in Carroll County were announced by the county health department late Tuesday afternoon, with no new deaths, Shreeya Agarwal of the Carroll County Times reports.

LATINX COVID RATES 5 TIMES HIGHER THAN WHITES: A just-published study of Baltimore/Washington-area hospital and clinic patients finds that the rate of Covid-19 infection among Latinx patients tested was nearly five times that of white patients and more than twice that of Black patients, Louis Krauss of Baltimore Brew reports.

DOES MARYLAND HAVE ENOUGH CONTACT TRACERS? John Lee of WYPR-FM reports that contact tracers have been doing the critical job of tracking down people who might have come in contact with those who tested positive for COVID-19. While the program has been expanding, there is a debate over how many tracers are needed and whether Maryland has enough.

BALTIMORE-AREA SCHOOLS RETURN TO NORMALCY UNLIKELY: Baltimore-area public school students aren’t likely to return to in-person classes five days a week in the fall, school superintendents told state lawmakers, even though the school systems are developing a variety of options for the new school year, Liz Bowie of the Sun reports.

WA CO EXTEND SMALL BIZ AID DEADLINE: Washington County officials on Tuesday extended the deadline — again — for small businesses to apply for grants to help with costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The commissioners unanimously agreed to push the application deadline from June 30 to 11:59 p.m. July 14, Julie Greene of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail reports.

JHU GRAD STUDENTS SEEK TUITION HIKE ROLLBACK: Graduate students at Johns Hopkins University are asking the school to roll back a tuition increase they say is “shocking” and “tone deaf” amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and related economic downturn, Morgan Eichensehr of the Baltimore Business Journal writes.

DEL. IVEY SEEKS POLICE REFORM SPECIAL SESSION: Despite dozens of protests that have drawn large, diverse crowds across the state, Del. Julian Ivey’s effort to generate support for a special session, to tackle police reform, has generated scant interest, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports. The Prince George’s delegate contacted all 187 of his House of Delegates and state Senate colleagues on Friday, urging them to sign a petition to Gov. Larry Hogan.

STUDENTS CHALLENGE HIGH SCHOOLS’ ANTI-BIAS COMMITMENT: Baltimore area public and private high school students and alums are challenging their schools’ stated commitment to racial justice, many saying that they have been the target of in-school racial harassment and their schools did nothing about it, Lillian Reed of the Sun reports.

NAACP OPEN TO STAYING IN B’MORE: A day after the NAACP announced that it would move its national headquarters from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., Baltimore leaders said they were discussing strategies to keep it in the city, and the head of the organization said he has not ruled out a reversal in plans, Jonathan Pitts and Yvonne Wenger of the Sun report.

FREDERICK VOTERS TO GET CHARTER PROPOSALS: Steve Bohnel of the Frederick News-Post writes that Frederick County Council members voted to move four questions proposing changes to the county charter to the ballot this fall, including allowing for special elections for council members and the county executive.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

cynthiaprairie@gmail.com
https://www.chestertelegraph.org/

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online news outlet, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at: cynthiaprairie@gmail.com

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