State Roundup: Maryland leaders react to Biden win of presidency

State Roundup: Maryland leaders react to Biden win of presidency

A handmade sign in the Stevens Forest neighborhood of Columbia. MarylandReporter.com photo

HOGAN, OTHER LEADERS CONGRATULATE BIDEN: Jonathan Pitts of the Sun puts together comments from both Democrat and Republican Maryland leaders concerning Joe Biden‘s win.

  • In its roundup of comments from Maryland leaders, Maryland Matters quotes U.S. Rep. Andy Harris as saying, “Just like Hillary suggested to Joe Biden, President Trump should not concede until all legal votes are counted. Secret unobserved vote counting in the swing states means that we will have to wait until a court unravels what really went on.”
  • Just half-a-mile apart, divergent scenes played out in downtown Annapolis Saturday afternoon as the news of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 Presidential Election reverberated. On State Circle, a group of President Donald Trump supporters disputed the election, citing discredited claims of fraud by mail-in ballot. Meanwhile, a crowd gathered on Calvert Street to support Black-owned businesses was jubilant, Alex Mann of the Capital Gazette reports.
  • In Montgomery County, people waved American flags, banged tambourines and cheered. Some cars blasted songs such as “America the Beautiful,” “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” and “FDT” — a song title which stands for “f*** Donald Trump,” Briana Adhikusuma of Bethesda Beat reports.

Senators’ desks in and the State Senate floor will be surrounded by plexiglass, as in this photo from the State Senate.

COVID PLANS FOR NEXT ANNAPOLIS SESSION: Philip Van Slooten of Capital News Service reports in Maryland Reporter that Senate President Bill Ferguson, D-Baltimore, on Friday released an operational plan for how the Senate will conduct the next session during the ongoing pandemic, including how health checks, voting procedures, and public testimony will be conducted.

  • When Maryland’s 188 lawmakers return to Annapolis in January, they’ll see plastic booths around desks in the Senate chamber, half the state delegates shipped off to a second location and no lobbyists or activists prowling the halls, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports.
  • Ferguson said he opted against operating next year in a “bubble,” an isolation zone like the one the National Basketball Association used to protect its players from the virus and to complete its season. He said a public health adviser said: “If you create the sense of no risk, you actually enhance risk.” Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports.
  • Both the House and Senate will also make use of mobile air filters. Floor sessions and debates will be limited to about two hours, though some could be longer. When necessary, short breaks will allow for disinfecting of the chambers and for the air filters to cleanse the chamber, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.
  • Advocates – lobbyists — for corporate interests and activist groups alike are coming to grips with the idea that their daily routines are going to change drastically, at least for the three-month confab that will begin on Jan. 13, writes Josh Kurtz in Maryland Matters.

IMPACT IN MD COULD BE GREAT AS OBAMACARE GOES TO COURT: There will be some “very big numbers” at stake when the U.S. Supreme Court considers on Tuesday the latest challenge to the federal Affordable Care Act, especially in Maryland, which lawmakers, experts and observers say has embraced the law more than most. Among Marylanders with health insurance, one in five plans would be wiped out or significantly changed if the law, also known as Obamacare, was not upheld, Meredith Cohn of the Sun reports.

HOGAN SEES NO EVIDENCE OF FRAUD: Saying that he had not seen any evidence of widespread voter fraud, Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday morning that it was “time to get behind the winner of the race.” He made the comments during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper, John-John Williams of the Sun reports.

  • “He ought to at least acknowledge that he will, even if it may take a few more days for, you know, cooler heads to prevail, and to convince him that it’s the right thing to do for the nation,” Hogan told Tapper. Rachel Baye of WYPR-FM reports.

OPINION: LIKE HOGAN, GOP SHOULD STAND UP FOR DEMOCRACY: The editorial board of the Sun is urging all GOP leaders to stand up for our democracy as Gov. Larry Hogan has, opining that as “early as Wednesday, Gov. Larry Hogan called President Trump’s initial claims of victory ‘outrageous and uncalled for and a terrible mistake.’ And on Thursday, the governor accused Mr. Trump of ‘undermining of our Democratic process’ with ‘frivolous’ lawsuits that seek to reverse the election’s outcome.”

BLACK WOMEN PRAISE HARRIS: Kamala Harris made history Saturday when she became the first woman, Black and Asian American to become vice president-elect. Prominent African American women in Maryland echoed Harris’ words while praising her in response to her historic win, John-John Williams and Alison Knezevich of the Sun report.

  • “Yes, I’m having champagne in the middle of the day,” former U.S. Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D) wrote in a Twitter post. “I cannot believe that someone just like me is the next vice president of the United States!” said state Del. Wanika B. Fisher (D-Prince George’s) — who like Harris is half Black and half Indian. Josh Kurtz reports the reaction story for Maryland Matters.

RECORD NUMBER OF VOTERS REGISTERED ON NOV. 3: A record number of Marylanders registered to vote at voting centers in the general election, the first presidential election that offered same-day registration for early and Election Day voting, Emily Opilo of the Sun reports. Same-day registration was used by 26,303 Marylanders — 12,728 during early voting and 13,575 on Election Day, the Maryland State Board of Elections announced Friday.

ARUNDEL GOP CALLS FOR COUNT OBSERVERS: The Anne Arundel County Republican Party on Friday was calling on local supporters of President Donald Trump to travel to battleground states to act as vote counting observers on a volunteer basis as the president mounts legal challenges while falling behind former Vice President Joe Biden, reports Olivia Sanchez for the Capital Gazette.

MD FEDERAL JUDGES RULE AGAINST TRUMP ON CENSUS: A panel of three judges in Maryland on Friday became the third federal court to rule that President Donald Trump’s effort to exclude people in the country illegally from the numbers used for dividing up congressional seats is unlawful. Mike Schneider of the AP reports that the court prohibited the Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau, from sending to the president any figures that include the number of people in the country illegally in each state when transmitting the apportionment count at the end of the year.

FEDS OK STATE WORKFORCE PLAN: Bryan Renbaum of MarylandReporter writes that the federal government has approved Maryland’s 2020-2024 State Workforce Plan, state Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson said Friday. State officials touted the newly approved plan.

OPINION: COVID NO EXCUSE TO DELAY PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUESTS: The editorial board of the Sun opines that getting “public records from state agencies was already a hassle in Maryland. Then came the pandemic. Access to public records has slowed considerably since March, when COVID-19 changed the way people work. It is also taking longer to settle disputes. … Nearly nine months into the pandemic, this is not acceptable. … it is time to move past the point of adjustment and to fully adapt to the new reality.”

5th DAY OF 1,000+ COVID CASES: Maryland reported 1,081 new cases of the coronavirus and 11 more deaths Sunday, extending a streak of more than 1,000 people contracting the virus to five straight days, reports Phil Davis in the Sun. The additions bring the state’s total to 153,996 cases of COVID-19 and 4,063 people who have died due to the disease or complications from it, since officials began tracking the pandemic in March.

VOTING PATTERNS IN MD PRETTY STABLE: Sean McGoey and Amina Lampkin of the Capital News Service report in MarylandReporter that, looking at the unofficial results of the 2020 presidential election in Maryland, one thing is clear: The more things change, the more they stay the same. As of Thursday morning, 23 of 24 jurisdictions had opted for the same party that they chose in the 2016 election.

B’MORE REINSTATES STRICTER COVID RULES: Baltimore became the first jurisdiction in the region to announce it would reinstate more strict coronavirus restrictions Friday, including tightening capacity restrictions, shutting down bars that don’t serve food, and requiring masks in all public spaces, indoors and out, Christina Tkacik of the Sun reports.

MO CO HAZARD PAY MISALLOCATED: Dozens of Montgomery County government employees received hazard pay they were not eligible for, costing the county at least tens of thousands of dollars over six months, the county’s Office of the Inspector General reported Friday, writes Rebecca Tan for the Post.

  • The county spent more than $49 million on hazard pay in all departments as of Sept. 26, adding to an estimated total of $72 million if the pay continued through the end of the year, according to the report, which was dated Oct. 29 and released on Friday, Briana Adhikusuma of Bethesda Beat reports.

HOWARD JAIL HAD ICE VIOLATIONS: The Office of Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security released a report in late October that found the Howard County Detention Center had multiple violations of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention standards, Ana Faguy of the Howard County Times reports.

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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