STATE SEEKS JOBLESS BENEFITS SUPPLEMENT: Maryland has asked the federal government to supplement the state’s unemployment insurance system with an extra $300 a week in benefits, Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday. Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter writes that the benefits will be available to eligible claimants through Dec. 26, 2020. Maryland will match 25% of the federal contribution. Maryland’s unemployment rate is at 8% which is better than that of 32 other states in the country.
- Some economists question whether the amount is sufficient, both for recipients to live on and to boost a still flagging economy. Since the expiration of the extra $600 in weekly benefits, jobless Marylanders have received no more than the state’s maximum of $430 a week., Jean Marbella of the Sun reports.
- While several states, including Pennsylvania, Tennessee and now Maryland, have decided to apply for the federal grant, other local leaders are asking whether Trump is authorized to pull $44 billion from FEMA to pay for it, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports.
TEXT TO 911 STARTS: 911 call centers across Maryland are accepting text messages in addition to calls starting Thursday, according to the Maryland Association of Counties. McKenna Oxenden of the Sun said the association said in a news release that customers from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon will be able to send texts to 911 when a call can’t be placed.
- Kevin Kinnally of Conduit Street writes that text-to-911 is intended for use in three scenarios: for individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have a speech disability; for someone who is in a situation where it is unsafe to place a voice call to 911; and for an individual who is experiencing a medical emergency and may be unable to speak.
ELECTION OFFICIALS: POLL WORKER RECRUITING A CONCERN: Maryland election officials Wednesday blasted their local counterparts for not providing critical information on how they are recruiting election judges. Some said they are concerned about continued reports that local boards are telling some potential election judge volunteers to come back later, Bryan Sears reports for the Daily Record.
BALLOT PRINTING SET TO START SEPT. 3: In just two weeks, the printing of election ballots will begin, WBFF-TV reports. But, what is the state doing to ensure what went wrong in June, doesn’t happen this November? The Maryland Board of Elections said the board is on track to start printing election ballots by Sept. 3. That’s the earliest state law allows.
ELECTIONS OFFICIALS SEEK MORE STATE AID FOR BALLOT POSTAGE: Maryland election officials want the state to pay for the additional postage for mail-in ballot applications in the November election, Bennett Leckrone writes for Maryland Matters.
ARUNDEL ANNOUNCES VOTING PLAN: Anne Arundel County officials announced several voting options that would be available for election day, WMAR-TV reports. Expecting an 85% voter turnout or around 337,500 voters, the county Boards of Education and Elections are partnering to open 25 schools as voting centers along with three other locations. Seven of those sites will open for early voting, starting on Oct. 26.
MO CO RESTARTS COVID TESTING: Montgomery County is restarting coronavirus testing at some county-run testing sites beginning Thursday, nearly a week after testing was temporarily suspended when the county’s provider of COVID-19 tests was ordered by the state to halt operations, Jack Moore reports for WTOP-FM..
CARROLL DELEGATE QUESTIONS WAIVING LAW EXAM: Carroll County Del. Haven Shoemaker, a practicing attorney, is among a small group of elected officials pushing back against an effort to, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, waive the bar exam for recent law school graduates to obtain their licenses, Mary Grace Keller reports in the Carroll County Times.
DORCHESTER CO. SEES RISING SEAS: Scott Dance of the Sun writes about how Chesapeake Bay waves have eaten away at the land Gary McQuitty uses to offer hunting trips. The evidence of rising seas stretches to Dorchester County’s mainland, too, up the winding road toward the county seat of Cambridge. Across the rural southern half of the county, everything is projected to be inundated — frequently if not constantly — by the end of the century. A short video interview with McQuitty tops the article.
CECIL CANDIDATE TO STAY ON BALLOT: The Republican nominee for Cecil County executive can stay on the November ballot despite “a number of irregularities” in her candidacy, a judge ruled late Tuesday. Bennett Leckrone of Maryland Matters writes that County Executive Alan McCarthy (R) alleged that Danielle Hornberger, the Republican nominee who ousted him by a wide margin in the county’s GOP primary, filed a forged financial disclosure statement months after it was due. McCarthy asked that Hornberger be removed from the ballot, and that he take her place.
CARROLL SCHOOLS IMPROVE REMOTE LEARNING: When remote learning resumes next month, Carroll County school officials know there is room for improvement. The consensus seemed to be that the Carroll County Public Schools educational experience needs to be significantly different when students resume online learning Sept. 8. Officials have worked o improve remote learning, and that has resulted in plans for more real-time instruction — even in person for some programs, Bob Blubaugh reports in the Carroll County Times.
OPINION: KLACIK CAPTURES TRUMP’S ATTENTION: The editorial board of the Sun opines that whatever voters may think of the Republican nominee in Maryland’s 7th Congressional District (and judging by the results of last April’s special election, which she lost by a 3-to-1 margin, probably not much), Kimberly Klacik certainly has the ability to capture the attention of President Donald Trump.
OPINION: A SWIPE AT THE SUN & THE GOP CANDIDATE: Brian Griffiths in a column for his Duckpin blog opines on the Sun Klacik editorial, saying that Klacik is right, that party control of a city matter. But he also says that the video “has nothing to do with running for Congress and shows, as I have often said, that Kim Klacik isn’t running for Congress to be elected to Congress, she’s running for Congress to be a media personality.”
CANDIDATES SLAM DEMS WHO RUN B’MORE: Hannah Gaskill of Maryland Matters writes about Klacik’s ad but leads off with one by an independent candidate for Baltimore city mayor, businessman and former Republican Bob Wallace.
CITY COUNCIL PREZ REPRESENTED MD AT DEM ROLL CALL: Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott represented Maryland during the Democratic National Convention’s state roll call Tuesday night, while standing next to the Fells Point statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, Emily Sullivan of WYPR-FM reports.