State Roundup: Amid poll worker shortage, Hogan calls for ‘immediate’ election plan progress

State Roundup: Amid poll worker shortage, Hogan calls for ‘immediate’ election plan progress

Photo by Morning Brew for Unsplash

BATTLE CONTINUES OVER IN-PERSON VOTING: Gov. Larry Hogan has sent a letter to the State Board of Elections urging it to “immediately” make progress toward the November presidential election and that delays are unacceptable, reports Bryna Zumer for WBFF-TV.

  • Facing a shortage of poll workers with 1,000 dropping out over the past week, pressure is mounting for Gov. Larry Hogan to abandon plans to open every poll, Erin Cox reports for the Post.
  • On the eve of the elections board Friday meeting to consider proposals to consolidate poll locations, Hogan has warned it against the “wholesale” closure of polling places across the state to accommodate an election judge shortage, Emily Opilo reports for the Sun.
  • Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks is going after Hogan’s “disingenuous assertion” that the county’s election plan for November was an attempt to stop voters from participating in the election, Emily Opilo reports for the Sun.

STATE, MO CO DOUBLE DOWN ON PRIVATE SCHOOL CLOSURE DISAGREEMENT: The state health secretary has issued new guidance to local health officers that schools shouldn’t be closed in a blanket order, a day after Montgomery County’s health officer ordered private schools closed for a second time, Briana Adhikusuma reports for Bethesda Beat. The health officer’s order came after Gov. Larry Hogan intervened calling closing all private schools overly broad.

  • Maryland’s lone Republican in Congress is calling for a federal investigation into the Montgomery County Public Health Department, with Rep. Andy Harris saying in a letter to the CDC that the department benefits from federal funds and should be investigated to make sure all decisions are being made with “our children’s best interest and public health in mind,” Elizabeth Shwe reports for Maryland Matters.
  • Two protests were held this week against the order, and more than 4,000 people have joined the private Facebook group “Open Montgomery County, MD Private Schools,” Dana Gerber reports for Bethesda Beat.
  • The dispute is part of a growing feud between Hogan and Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and the relationship could benefit from someone more like former County Executive Ike Leggett, Adam Pagnucco writes for Seventh State.

PROPOSAL FOR CHILDCARE IN MO CO: Twenty state delegates are urging Montgomery County Public Schools to ask non-teacher employees like bus drivers or substitute teachers to volunteer for jobs to provide care and supervision for students who need it, Caitlynn Peetz reports for Bethesda Beat.

MD BUSINESSES FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY: More than 7,200 Maryland businesses have filed for bankruptcy this year, Bryan Renbaum writes for Maryland Reporter. Maryland ranks 42nd among states with the greatest year-to-year increase in bankruptcy filings.

PUBLIC SCHOOL REOPENING PLANS CRYSTALLIZING: As more Maryland jurisdictions have settled on back-to-school plans  — mostly online — McKenna Oxenden of the Sun compiles a roundup of what they have decided so far.

  • In Harford County, dozens of parents protested Thursday calling to reopen schools for in-person learning, Ray Strickland reports for WMAR-TV. The school board has voted for an all virtual fall semester with learning support centers for a limited amount of students.
  • The Howard County Board of Education on Thursday evening approved the school system’s reopening plan for the first semester of the 2020-21 academic year, including how it will take attendance virtually, Jacob Calvin Meyer reports for Baltimore Sun Media.
  • Washington County Superintendent Boyd Michael briefed that county’s Board of Education on how he plans to implement the start of the school year with virtual learning, giving details on schedules and online platforms that will be used, Alexis Fitzpatrick reports for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. No packets will be given out and work will be completed online under the plan.

WORKGROUP MEETING ON POLICE REFORM: More than 100 people were scheduled to testify Thursday during a hearing for a House of Delegates workgroup on police reform policies, William J. Ford reports for the Washington Informer.

BALTIMORE RESTAURANTS REOPEN AGAIN: Restaurants in Baltimore will be allowed to reopen for indoor dining at 25% capacity under a new executive order signed by Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Bryan Sears reports for The Daily Record.

BALT CO CRACKS DOWN ON BARS, RESTAURANTS: Seven bars and restaurants across Baltimore County have been collectively fined almost $2,000 by the liquor board for violating coronavirus restrictions, McKenna Oxenden reports for the Sun.

MD TRANSITIONS TO CASHLESS TOLLING: The tolls on Maryland’s bridges, tunnels and express lanes, which have been cashless since March as a coronavirus precaution, will be automated from now on, Colin Campbell writes for the Sun.

  • E-Z Pass transponders are available and drivers will soon be able to register for a pay-by-plate method that allows tolls to automatically be billed to credit cards at the cash rates, Tyler Waldman reports for WBAL-AM.

CARROLL COVID TESTING DELAYS PROMPT LAB CHANGE: The Carroll County Health Department has switched testing labs after some Covid-19 tests over the past month came in over two weeks after the testing date, Shreeya Agarwal reports for the Carroll County Times. The new lab has a much faster turnaround.

CCBC WORKS ON TUITION-FREE OPPORTUNITIES: The Community College of Baltimore County has gathered $35 million to provide students who qualify with tuition-free classes, Taylor Deville reports for Baltimore Sun media. The community college is offering job training for people who lost their jobs, where those jobs might not exist post-pandemic.

MD UNIVERSITY SYSTEM LOSING MONEY: The University System of Maryland is projecting $425 million in losses, Morgan Eichensehr reports for the Baltimore Business Journal. That could mean job losses, but the system’s chancellor says “that’s not where we are right this minute.”

POSITIVITY RATE HIGHER UNDER 35: The rate for positive coronavirus tests remains higher for Maryland residents younger than 35, with the gap between the two age groups widening, Marcus Dieterle reports for Baltimore Fishbowl.

MAIL DELIVERY COMPLAINTS IN BALTIMORE: “Some people in the Baltimore area have waited more than two weeks for mail delivery,” Kim Dacey reports for WBAL-TV. People have been lining up outside the Dundalk Post Office but haven’t gotten answers as to why delivery has been impacted.

CORONAVIRUS POETRY: Former Del.e Herb McMillan puts pen to paper in a mocking song against Anne Arundel County Executive Stu Pittman’s coronavirus decisions: “My political science says Covid comes out after ten/ So, bars must stop serving alcohol then!/Food after ten is ok, this isn’t about protecting people/It’s really about training them to obey me like a sheeple,” he writes for Eye on Annapolis.

FORMER ALLEGANY ADMIN JOINS ANNAPOLIS FIRM: The former Allegany County administrator is taking a position at Annapolis lobbying firm Greenwill Consulting Group to represent businesses in western Maryland and beyond, reports Greg Larry for the Cumberland Times-News. Brandon Butler announced on May 7 he was stepping down from the county job.

About The Author

Meg Tully

Contributing Editor Meg Tully has been covering Maryland politics for more than five years. She has worked for The Frederick News-Post, where she reported during the General Assembly session in Annapolis. She has also worked for The (Hanover) Evening Sun and interned at Baltimore Magazine. Meg has won awards from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association for her state and county writing, and a Keystone Press Award for feature writing from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. She is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. If you have additional questions or comments contact Meg at:

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