CITY FIELD HOSPITAL TO HOST PILOT VAXX PROGRAM TARGETING UNDERSERVED: Maryland’s leading health officials and the state’s top doctors Monday celebrated the news that the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital will be launching a pilot program aimed at administering coronavirus vaccines to members of underserved communities, Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter writes.
- Employees will go to existing community sites within specific neighborhoods, such as senior centers or places of worship, in hopes of identifying members of the public who are eligible for but have not yet received their vaccine, Johanna Alonzo reports for the Daily Record.
- People who show up to Maryland’s mass coronavirus vaccination clinics will not be turned away for lack of documentation or proof of eligibility — a possible benefit for some of the state’s most at-risk residents, but also for those exploiting the system, medical ethicists, logistics experts and lawmakers say. Hallie Miller and Alex Mann write the story for the Sun.
- The news did little to take the heat off acting Health Secretary Dennis Schrader, Bruce DePuyt reports for Maryland Matters. Lawmakers pounded Schrader at the state Senate’s COVID Vaccine Work Group meeting on Monday afternoon, grilling him regarding Maryland’s low minority vaccination rates.
CITY’s STATE SENATORS ASK HOGAN FOR BIGGER VAXX PUSH: Members of the state Senate who represent Baltimore City are asking Gov. Larry Hogan to redouble his efforts to get city residents vaccinated against COVID-19 — particularly people of color, Bruce DePuyt reports in Maryland Matters. In a Monday letter to Hogan, the lawmakers express “grave concerns” with the rollout of the state’s vaccination program, which they say “is not being executed equitably.”
STATE TO GET 50,000 JOHNSON & JOHNSON DOSES: Maryland will allocate nearly 50,000 doses of the newly authorized, single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week to vaccine providers, Gov. Larry Hogan said Monday. The company reports its vaccine, which is being made in an East Baltimore plant, is 85% effective in preventing severe illness caused by the virus, and completely effective in preventing COVID-19-related hospitalization and death, Hallie Miller of the Sun reports.
- Maryland’s first allocation of the new vaccine will go to state-run mass vaccination sites, hospitals, local health departments and community health centers, Madeleine O’Neill reports for the USA Today Network.
603 NEW COVID INFECTIONS MONDAY: Maryland reported 603 new infections Monday morning, bringing the total count of confirmed infections in the state to 382,702. Friday will mark the one-year anniversary of Maryland’s first confirmed cases, Nathan Ruiz of the Sun reports.
PLASTIC BAG BAN BILL ADVANCES: Maryland lawmakers advanced a bill Monday that would prohibit stores from providing plastic bags to customers starting July 2022, Elizabeth Shwe of Maryland Matters reports. An iteration of this legislation passed the House and was voted out of the Senate Finance Committee last year, but it did not reach the Senate floor due to the abbreviated legislative session.
REP. SARBANES’ ‘FOR THE PEOPLE BILL’ GAINS MOMENTUM: John Sarbanes did not go to Congress to write a bill that could be the biggest overhaul of the U.S. election law in decades. But his work was often affected by lobbyists and political action committees. Sarbanes said he wanted to get to the root of the lobbyist problem he saw. Heather Mongilio of the Capital Gazette reports. The result is H.R. 1 –The For the People Bill, which focuses on campaign finance and election reform.
OPINION: GLENDENING: I WAS WRONG ON NO PAROLE: Former Gov. Parris Glendening in a column for the Post writes, “Twenty-five years ago, I made a serious mistake. At the start of my two terms as governor of Maryland, I announced that I would not grant parole to anyone with a life sentence, even though they were supposed to have a chance to earn it. Governors after me followed suit. I know now that my statement in 1995 that ‘life means life’ was completely wrong. It meant that people whose sentences promised a chance at parole were denied it for decades, regardless of how thoroughly they worked to redeem themselves and make amends to those they harmed.”
FRANCHOT OFFERS TEMPORARY RELIEF TO FARMERS, FISHERMEN: Comptroller Peter Franchot on Monday announced that his agency is granting a limited, temporary waiver of estimated tax interest for farmers and fishermen who are impacted by provisions of the Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs, and Families Act, the Easton Star Democrat reports.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR EQUITY & INCLUSION: Innovative strategies, business models, and technologies can be used to address underserved markets. Join the Maryland Clean Energy Center for this Policy Watch Session on March 8, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., to discuss how new policies or changes in existing policy can be used to minimize or eliminate barriers in these areas. Advance registration is required.
FREDERICK DELEGATION OKs PLAN TO FILL SCHOOL BOARD VACANCIES: The Frederick County delegation approved a proposal Monday to allow for special elections in the case of some vacancies on the county’s Board of Education, Steve Bohnel of the Frederick News-Post reports. The measure is intended to return some power to county voters in the event of a Board of Education vacancy.
BA CO COUNCIL STRIKES BILL ON VOTER-DECIDED TERM LIMITS: A bill that would have allowed Baltimore County voters to decide whether to impose three-term limits on County Council members failed to get the five votes needed for passage, Taylor DeVille reports for the Sun.
ELRICH TO RUN FOR RE-ELECTION: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has decided to run for a second term next year, Briana Adhikusuma of Bethesda Beat reports. Four of the nine members of the all-Democratic Montgomery County Council have said they plan to run for re-election, too.
STRIP CLUB SUES B’MORE OVER SHUT DOWN: A Baltimore strip club is suing the mayor and city council over the city’s ban on adult entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic, Amy Kawata of WJZ-TV reports. While restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues have been able to reopen at limited capacity, strip clubs in the city remain closed.
NEW CONTENDER TO UNSEAT REP. HARRIS: R. David Harden spent years building economies overseas during his time with the foreign service. Now, the foreign policy strategist wants to do so in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District, and will join a crowded field to seek the Democratic nomination for a chance to unseat U.S. Rep Andy Harris in 2022, Bennett Leckrone of Maryland Matters writes.