HOGAN URGES BIDEN TEAM FOR MORE STIMULUS FUNDS: Gov. Larry Hogan Monday has written to the transition of team of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to emphasize the need for another stimulus package to help states remain solvent and small businesses stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports Bryan Renbaum for MarylandReporter.com.
- Attorney General Brian Frosh (D), meanwhile, joined a coalition of attorneys general representing 43 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories in asking Congress to extend CARES Act funding through the end of 2021, Greg Swatek of the Frederick News-Post reports.
- Maryland is already looking at having to make some tough decisions when lawmakers return for the 90-day General Assembly session in January, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. Forecasts issued in October by the Board of Revenue Estimates projected a possible multibillion-dollar gap in expected revenues over the current and coming budget years.
HOGAN MUM ON NEALL REPLACEMENT: Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is playing it close-to-the-vest when it comes to announcing Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert Neall’s replacement. Neall’s retirement goes into effect on Tuesday, and as the clock ticked closer to midnight, no one seemed to know when the announcement will come or who will win the appointment, Hannah Gaskill of Maryland Matters reports.
METRO MAY END WEEKEND RAIL SERVICE: Metro is proposing the elimination of weekend rail service in its budget for the first time as the transit agency’s financial struggles deepen amid the coronavirus pandemic, Justin George reports for the Post.
DEL. MILLER TO RESIGN: Del. Warren Miller, R-Carroll and Howard, said Monday that he will resign from the House of Delegates effective Dec. 30, reports Bryan Renbaum for MarylandReporter. “After proudly serving for seventeen years in the Maryland House of Delegates, I have decided that it is time to refocus my efforts on my professional career,” Miller wrote in a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan and House Speaker Adrienne Jones. In his Facebook posting, Miller endorsed Reid Novotny to succeed him.
- Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters writes that Miller, 56, a lifelong resident of Howard County who lives on a small farm in Woodbine, was appointed to the House in 2003 by then-Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) to replace veteran legislator Robert Flanagan (R), whom Ehrlich tapped to serve as his transportation secretary.
VOTING RIGHTS ADVOCATES TO PUSH FOR MORE ACCESS: With more than 1.5 million Marylanders voting by mail during the November election, voting rights advocates say calls for expanded mail-in voting are likely to continue after the pandemic, Bennett Leckrone of Maryland Matters reports. Joanne Antoine, the executive director of Common Cause Maryland, said she’s already reaching out to state legislators about mail ballot access for future elections and she’s seen interest from both lawmakers and voters in keeping expanded mail-in voting.
NEW ENERGY FOR ENVIRO-JUSTICE PANE: Following criticism for its lack of action and efficacy, leaders of Maryland’s environmental justice commission have promised that the advisory panel has “reenergized” itself in preparation for the upcoming legislative session, Elizabeth Shwe of Maryland Matters reports.
CHILD UNDER 10 AMONG 16 NEW COVID DEATHS: Coronavirus-related hospitalizations continued to surge as Maryland reported 1,923 new cases Monday and 16 deaths tied to COVID-19, including the first death of a child under 10 years old during the pandemic, Ben Leonard reports for the Sun.
- The Carroll County Health Department on Monday announced three deaths attributed to COVID-19 and 159 new cases reported over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, Bob Blubaugh of the Carroll County Times reports.
COVID SURGE WORRIED WA CO HEALTH OFFICIALS: Washington County health officials continued to signal concern Monday about the recent surge of COVID-19 cases locally, Michael Lewis and Joyce F. Nowell report for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. The pandemic is showing “exponential growth” in this part of the state, according to Earl Stoner, health officer with the Washington County Health Department. “We, as a rural area, are really feeling it,” Stoner said.
HOGAN TO HOLD COVID PRESSER: Gov. Larry Hogan is expected to update Marylanders on Tuesday afternoon about the state’s fight against the coronavirus, McKenna Oxenden reports for the Sun.
LOTTERY INTEREST WANES, JACKPOTS DROP: The digital sign still flashes “POWERBALL” and “MEGA MILLIONS” in splashy, gold and red lettering at the BP station on U.S. 40 in Catonsville, one of the Maryland Lottery’s top retailers. But, writes Jeff Barker for the Sun, interest has slipped from mega to meager in the two national games, which once produced frenzied sales.
10 APPLY FOR VACANT SPECIAL APPEALS JUDGESHIP: Three judges and seven attorneys have applied for the Maryland Court of Special Appeals seat left vacant this year when Judge Timothy E. Meredith stepped down from the state’s second-highest court. The judges who have applied are Laura S. Ripken and Cathleen M. Vitale, both of the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, and Claudia A. Barber, an administrative law judge in the District of Columbia. Ripken also chairs the Maryland Conference of Circuit Judges, Steve Lash reports for the Daily Record.
PG PUSHES FOR HEALTHY CHILDREN’s MENUS: Prince George’s County has passed a law that will, over the next five years, require healthy drinks and meals to become the default options on children’s menus at restaurants — a move advocates are heralding as the first of its kind in the country, Rachel Chason of the Post reports.
B’MORE RETURNS TO QUESTIONABLE POLICE STRATEGY: Facing a continued barrage of shootings in the streets, Baltimore leaders are trying again an old strategy to stop gun violence, saying they now have the will and experience to bring peace. The city spending panel accepted last week more than $600,000 in grant money to launch the Group Violence Reduction Strategy. Based on a policing theory of “focused deterrence,” the strategy has been tried in Baltimore during the late 1990s and in 2014 with little success, Tim Prudente of the Sun reports.
BALL: FIRST RESPONDERS MAKE COLUMBIA SAFEST CITY IN U.S.: Howard County Executive Calvin Ball attributed the diligent work of the county’s first responders to Columbia, a suburban-planned community, being ranked as America’s safest city for the third year in a row in a recent study by the personal financial website WalletHub, Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter writes.
HOW MARYLAND’s ELECTORS WORK: As President Donald Trump fires off baseless allegations of voter fraud, the election methods of 50 states hold the spotlight, writes Ben Leonard of the Sun. At the tail end of the process is a group of electors from each state, who ultimately cast their votes for president. Who are Maryland’s electors and what is the state’s process?
OPINION: HOGAN URGES GEORGIA TO KEEP GOP SENATORS: In a column for the Washington Examiner, Gov. Hogan urges voters in Georgia – “for the sake of our nation, … to uphold America’s mandate for moderation and compromise by voting to keep David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler” in the U.S. Senate.