ANNAPOLIS BRACES FOR ARMED PRO-TRUMP PROTESTS: If armed protesters march on Maryland’s state capitol this Sunday the state’s law enforcement agencies will be ready to address the threat, according to Greg Shipley, spokesman for the Maryland State Police. And Gov. Larry Hogan said at a news conference on Monday morning that he is aware of the threat and that “additional security measures” will be implemented around state buildings in Annapolis, reports Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter.
- The FBI warned Monday that armed far-right extremist groups are planning to march on state capitals this weekend, triggering a rush to fortify government buildings amid concerns that the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol last week could spread throughout the country, Tim Craig, Holly Bailey and Matt Zapotosky of the Post.
- Gov. Hogan joined the leaders of Virginia and Washington in asking people not to travel to D.C. for Biden’s inauguration, Pamela Wood and Colin Campbell of the Sun report.
HOGAN PROPOSES $1B STIMULUS FOR POOREST FAMILIES, SMALL BIZ: Gov. Larry Hogan proposed a stimulus package exceeding $1 billion writes Erin Cox in the Post, suggesting the state’s poorest families should get $750 payments, waiving state and local taxes on unemployment benefits and letting small businesses keep up to $12,000 worth of sales tax levied on their customers among other measures.
- Hogan said he had not discussed or negotiated the details of his proposal with leaders in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly ahead of the session, outside of broad discussions, Pamela Wood and Bryn Stole of the Sun report.
- Bryan Sears of the Daily Record reports that families who apply for the earned income tax credit will receive $750 in additional payments while individuals will receive $450. A total of 400,000 people would be eligible, and no application would be necessary. The governor’s plan also calls for the elimination of all state and local income taxes on unemployment payments, an amount totaling about $180 million.
- Hogan said he is submitting the proposal as emergency legislation and that he will ask the legislature to pass it on the very first day of the session. And, he said, that even though he and legislative leaders are in general agreement on the need to pass COVID relief legislation, it is still possible that some disagreements over the proposal may arise, Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter reports.
84 STATE LAWMAKERS ASK HARRIS TO RESIGN: Adam Pagnucco of Seventh State writes that a group of state legislators including 13 state senators and 71 delegates has called on District 1 Congressman Andy Harris to resign. In a letter addressed to Harris, the legislators tell him, “You have for months joined in cynical, politically motivated attempts to undermine the legitimate, free, and fair election that selected Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.”
- Here’s Kelly Broderick’s story for WMAR-TV.
OPINION: HARRIS SHOULD RESIGN: In an opinion piece for the Sun, Peter Jensen writes that if “honor meant anything” to U.S. Rep. Harris, “he would recognize his misdeeds and tender his resignation right now. Not because he is a Republican. Not because he is politically conservative. Not because he has long been a fawning toady to President Trump (district voters presumably endorsed his servile obedience to the liar-in-chief when he was reelected by a 63% to 36% margin in November). But because he blatantly rejected his oath of office and obligation to defend the Constitution in attempting to overturn the election.”
REP. HARRIS LOSES DONORS MARRIOTT, COMCAST: Marriott International Inc., the world’s largest hotel company, and Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal, was for years a steady contributor to the reelection campaigns of U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, a Baltimore County Republican. Jeff Barker of the Sun reports that the Bethesda-based hotelier and the communications giant say they are suspending contributions to the 147 Republican lawmakers, including Harris, who refused last week to certify Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
INSURRECTION BRAGGARTS DELETING SOCIAL MEDIA TRAIL: In Maryland and beyond, those who once bragged about overrunning the Capitol are now deleting their photos and falling silent, including the adult son of a Maryland police chief and the former chairwoman of the Howard County Republican Central Committee, Tim Prudente of the Sun reports.
ARUNDEL OFFICER SUSPENDED DURING CAPITOL BREACH PROBE: The Anne Arundel County Police Department has suspended an officer with pay as the agency works with federal authorities to determine what involvement the officer may have had in the breach of the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, Ovetta Wiggins reports for the Post.
- So far, Anne Arundel County is the only department in the region to identify an officer who may have been involved in the deadly Wednesday siege, when rioters broke into the Capitol building following a rally by President Trump, McKenna Oxenden of the Sun reports.
BILLS TAKE AIM AT RACIAL DISPARITIES: Democratic leaders in the state Senate unveiled a package of recommendations Monday aimed at addressing some racial disparities in environmental policy, health and access to government contracts, among other issues, Bryn Stole of the Sun reports.
- House Speaker Adrienne Jones, Senate President Bill Ferguson and Attorney General Brian E. Frosh have all convened workgroups to study the issue of racial equity in recent months and this week released their respective legislative agendas, reports Hannah Gaskill in Maryland Matters.
AFSCME SETS LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES: Maryland’s chapter of the nation’s largest public employees’ union will prioritize telework reform, higher education bargaining rights and essential worker protections in the coming legislative session, the union announced Monday morning, Johanna Alonso of the Daily Record reports.
- The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 3, the largest union representing Maryland government workers, released its list of prioritized legislation Monday, writes Hannah Gaskill in Maryland Matters. Two of the three bills included on the list directly relate to working conditions seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
OVERRIDE OF KIRWAN VETO MAY BE DELAYED: Democrats intend to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a 10-year multibillion-dollar education reform effort, but it may not happen until the middle of the General Assembly session, writes Elizabeth Shwe in Maryland Matters. Known as the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, the monumental bill aims to rebuild the state’s public school system through modified funding formulas and expanded programs recommended by the so-called Kirwan Commission.
MD SENATE GOP LEADERS PLAN COLLABORTION WITH DEMS: The Maryland Senate’s new Republican leaders are more conservative than their predecessors — but say they still plan to collaborate with their Democratic colleagues during the 2021 legislative session, writes Bennett Leckrone in Maryland Matters.
SPENDING BOOST FOR TRANSIT URGED: For the second year in a row, elected leaders from Central Maryland are urging the General Assembly to dramatically boost spending on the state’s existing bus and rail system, writes Bruce DePuyt in Maryland Matters. Those leaders say that without a three-quarters of a billion dollar infusion of new funds, commuters and employers in the Baltimore region would remain hamstrung by a transit network that is not reliable.
BILL WOULD OK BA CO LIBRARY WORKERS TO UNIONIZE: A bill pre-filed by Del. Cathi Forbes, who represents the Towson area, and another cross-filed by Sen. Shelly Hettleman, who represents portions of northwest Baltimore County, would authorize the county library’s 578 part-time and full-time employees to form a union and collectively bargain, Taylor DeVille of the Towson Times reports.
METRO MULLS NOT ASKING STATES FOR MORE CASH: Newly cash-infused Metro has gone from an agency on the financial brink to cutting its funding partners a break, writes Justin George in the Post. Metro is proposing to forgo asking Metro’s main funders – including Maryland – for an increase in its annual subsidy commitments next fiscal year, according to a Metro plan released Monday.
GILCHRIST AMONG EX GOP CONGRESSMEN URGING TRUMP IMPEACHMENT: Two dozen former Republican members of Congress — including the Eastern Shore’s former Rep. Wayne Gilchrest — are encouraging their successors to “protect American democracy by impeaching President Donald J. Trump.” The letter was sent Monday and circulated by the nonpartisan watchdog group Project on Government Oversight, writes Danielle Gaines in Maryland Matters.
‘MRS. O,’ GOV. O’MALLEY’s MOTHER, DIES: Barbara A. O’Malley, mother of the former governor of Maryland and a beloved Capitol Hill institution known as “Mrs. O” during her more than three-decade career as a member of Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski’s staff, died Wednesday at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. The former longtime Rockville resident was 93, Frederick Rasmussen of the Sun reports.