HOGAN CONDEMNS D.C. VIOLENCE, SENDS GUARD: Gov. Larry Hogan Wednesday condemned the supporters of President Donald Trump who stormed the U.S. Capitol while members of Congress were counting the Electoral College votes that were certain to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the Nov. 3 contest, Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter writes. Hogan also said he was sending Maryland state troopers and National Guard members to assist Capitol Police in securing the premises.
- Maryland’s Republican lieutenant governor called GOP President Donald Trump’s incitement of violence at the U.S. Capitol that left at least one person dead an “impeachable offense,” Pamela Wood of the Sun reports.
- Hogan said he was sending in 200 state troopers and had instructed the adjutant general of the Maryland National Guard “to call up a rapid response force to support law enforcement and restore order.” Five hundred members of the Guard were being sent, according to a spokesman for the governor, Justin Fenton and Pamela Wood of the Sun report.
MARYLAND’s CONGRESSMEN DESCRIBE SURREAL EVENTS: In a day they described as alarming and surreal, members of Maryland’s congressional delegation were locked down in their offices or other secure locations as a mob supporting President Donald Trump breached security barricades, stormed into the U.S. Capitol and tried to enter the House chamber, Jeff Barker of the Sun reports.
- During the mob attack, Rep. David J. Trone (D-Md.) waited for the all-clear in his office in the Longworth House Office Building, where he spoke by phone with Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters. The conversation is long, but interesting.
REP. HARRIS IN ALTERCATION ON HOUSE FLOOR: Republican Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland and Democrat Rep. Colin Allred of Texas yelled at each other to “sit down” “no, you sit down!” from across the floor during a speech by Democrat Rep. Conor Lamb in which Lamb said “it was inspired by lies, the same lies that you’re hearing in this room tonight.” They both then confronted each other in the aisle. At least a dozen other members got up from their sides. Rep. Al Lawson of Florida, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, and a senior Democratic staffer helped break up the confrontation, report CNN’s Kristin Wilson and Daniella Diaz.
- Harris was involved in a late night shouting match that nearly became physical writes Timothy Bella in the Post at 2:27 a.m. Wednesday. Republicans were reacting to a statement by Democrat Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania. After shouting at each other to sit down, Harris and Colin Allred (D-Tex.) met in the aisle and about a dozen legislators leapt up to intervene. No punches were thrown.
- Here’s Dom Calicchio’s report for Fox News. Scroll down to see the video, from PM Breaking News.
CARDIN IN LINE TO CHAIR BIZ PANEL: The looming change in Senate management means that Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin (D) is poised to become a committee chairman: He’s the senior Democrat on the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Ariana Figueroa of Maryland Matters writes. Cardin is also in line to become chairman of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
FRANCHOT ANNOUNCES BREAK FOR BUSINESSES: Comptroller Peter Franchot on Wednesday announced that his office has provided a three-month forbearance period for business tax returns and payments and a two-month forbearance period for employer withholding tax returns and payments. Additionally, Franchot said self-employed individuals and independent contractors will also be granted a three-month forbearance period for quarterly estimated income tax returns and payments, writes Bryan Renbaum for Maryland Reporter.
- Businesses will not have to apply for an extension to take advantage of this forbearance, nor will they owe any interest or penalties. Franchot estimates that this action will save Maryland consumers and businesses more than $1 billion, reports Johanna Alonso of the Daily Record reports.
- Franchot, a Democrat who has already announced he will be running for governor in 2022, took similar action last year during the early stages of the pandemic. He had been considering repeating the move again in recent weeks and made it official Wednesday at a meeting of the Board of Public Works, Holden Wilen of the Baltimore Business Journal reports.
KEY HOGAN HIGHWAY STAFFER RETIRES: Lisa B. Choplin, the staffer in charge of Gov. Larry Hogan’s ambitious plan to widen two Washington, D.C.-region highways and rebuild the American Legion Bridge, retired at the end of December, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters writes.
PG DELEGATION ADDRESSES UPCOMING ISSUES: The Prince George’s County House Delegation has begun online discussions on items such as vehicle height monitoring systems, to require the livestreaming of Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission meetings and regulation of concrete batching plants, William Ford of the Washington Informer reports.
HOGAN OKs AMPREY FOR MOSBY’s HOUSE SEAT: Gov. Larry Hogan approved lawyer Marlon Amprey on Wednesday to succeed Nick Mosby in the Maryland House of Delegates, McKenna Oxenden of the Sun reports.
MARYLAND STATEHOUSE PLAN TO MANAGE COVID: As lawmakers in Maryland and around the U.S. convene this winter to deal with the crisis created by the pandemic, statehouses themselves could prove to be hothouses for infection. The risk is more than mere speculation: More than 250 state lawmakers across the country have contracted COVID-19, and at least seven have died. Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson said Wednesday that he and other leaders in the General Assembly developed a plan to hold the 2021 session that took into account an expected surge in January, the AP’s Amy Beth Hanson reports.
MAYOR SCOTT GOES VIRAL WITH ‘PULL YA MASK UP:’ By now, it’s the subject of a TMZ story, a city health department advertisement and even a musical remix. “Shorty, pull ya mask up,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said at a news conference Tuesday about COVID-19 regulations, during an exchange that has since caught the attention of thousands on Twitter and beyond, Christine Condon of the Sun reports.
PANDEMIC SCHOOLS: BUS DRIVERS, MAINTENANCE STAFF: Kristen Griffith of the Carroll County Times does a two-part series on the school workers who aren’t the immediate focus of attention during the Covid-19 pandemic but who are vital to making schools and children safe: Bus drivers and cleaning and maintenance staff.
- Here’s Part I: Stewart Herbst, a contract bus driver for Carroll County Public Schools, and fellow bus driver Robert Meekins spoke about what could be improved for drivers during the pandemic and noted how they are sometimes left out of the health and safety conversation.
- And here is Part 2: Building supervisors explained what their jobs have been like this year. Some staff members shared safety concerns and made suggestions on what could be improved with hybrid learning set to resume on Thursday, Jan. 7.
BA CO SCHOOLS RECOVER FILES: Baltimore County public school leaders say they have gained access to files that were feared lost in November’s devastating ransomware attack, including student transcripts, first-quarter grades and vital records for children in special education programs, Lillian Reed of the Sun reports.