HOGAN ANNOUNCES EQUITY PLAN, BALTIMORE CITY MAYOR DEFENDS CITY EFFORTS: Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that the state has launched a concerted first in the nation “equity operations plan” aimed at increasing access to coronavirus vaccines in Maryland’s most vulnerable communities, Bryan Renbaum reports for Maryland Reporter.
- The plan, which largely relies on churches and community groups requesting clinics in their neighborhoods, is intended to be a way to improve the pace of getting coronavirus vaccine shots into the arms of Marylanders who are not white, Pamela Wood and Hallie Miller report for the Sun.
- Distracting from the announcement was a video by Baltimore’s Mayor Brandon Scott, who accused Hogan of misinformation and a “Jedi mind trick” distracting people from efforts to vaccinate people in underserved minority communities, Bryan Sears reports for The Daily Record.
- Scott and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said the state’s online-only PrepMod system for registering for vaccination appointments perpetuates inequity in vaccine administration and that is why Scott requested some doses be transferred to other providers with different registration systems, Marcus Dieterle reports for Baltimore Fishbowl.
- A copy of a letter between city officials and the state is available in Tyler Waldman’s piece for WBAL NewsRadio, where he also talks about how the state has been trying to pass along millions in funding for vaccine distribution, but the city is insisting it will apply for direct reimbursement from the federal government instead.
- The state’s plan includes new pop-up clinics through partnerships with religious and community organizations, Morgan Eichensehr reports for the Baltimore Business Journal.
- It will be implemented by the state’s vaccine equity task force, which is headed by Brig. Gen. Janeen Birckhead of the Maryland National Guard, Madeleine O’Neill reports for the USA Today Network in the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.
VACCINE PLANS TO ADDRESS CONCERNS IN PG: The governor’s office also announced plans for the state’s Vaccine Equity Task Force to partner with the First Baptist Church in Glenarden and University of Maryland Capital Region Health to create a large, community-focused vaccination site in Prince George’s County in Upper Marlboro, Brian Witte reports for the AP in the Cumberland Times-News.
- County Executive Angela Alsobrooks urged Maryland to set aside vaccine appointments for Prince George’s County residents at the state vaccination site in Six Flags, Jonathan Tercasio reports for The Diamondback.
ANALYSIS: IS MD BETTER THAN MOST FOR VACCINES? Doing a deep dive into state rankings, Nathan Ruiz of the Sun questions whether Maryland should be considered “better than most states” in terms of vaccine distribution, as Hogan has claimed.
POLICE REFORM ACTIVISTS CALL FOR MORE: A crowd of activists marched on Annapolis Thursday afternoon, calling for “real police reform” only a day after the Maryland Senate passed a package of nine policing bills that many members touted as the most consequential policing reforms in 50 years, Bryn Stole reports for the Sun. Protesters called out for “no incremental change.”
- The pushback on policing reform has come from both sides of the issue, Hannah Gaskill reports for Maryland Matters. And activists have even organized district driving protests that have driven past senators’ homes blaring car horns and holding signs.
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.
LAWMAKERS TALK SPORTS BETTING: Maryland legislators have begun to discuss regulation of the state’s newly approved legalized sports betting market, which includes mobile wagering, Patrick Hauf reports for the Capital News Service in Maryland Reporter.
BWI WORKERS WOULD GET JOBS BACK WITH RIGHT OF RECALL: Labor activists are supporting a bill that would mandate private-sector employees at the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport be allowed to return to their jobs when hiring resumes after the pandemic that has hit the travel and hospitality industries so hard, Johanna Alonso reports for The Daily Record.
- This “right of recall” is already in place for hospitality workers in Baltimore City, Amanda Yeager reports for the Baltimore Business Journal.
HOGAN CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION INTO FAILING SCHOOL: Baltimore City Schools has known for almost two years about problems at Augusta Fells Savage Institute for Visual Arts, according to internal documents reported on by Amy Simpson at WBFF. Gov. Larry Hogan is calling for a state investigation into the school, Chris Papst also reports for WBFF.
SUICIDE RISE SPARKS LAWS TO HELP: A rise in suicides and concerns about police interactions with those threatening to self-harm have prompted measures that would ease costs for certain treatment and require more training for law enforcement, Darryl Kinsey Jr. and Callan Tansill-Suddath report for the Capital News Service in The Daily Record.
LEGISLATIVE FIGHT OF 2023: The legislative fight far into the horizon for the Maryland General Assembly is electric and natural gas deregulation, Josh Kurtz writes for Maryland Matters, covering a hearing of the bill doomed to fail this year.
BALTIMORE COUNTY MAN FACES CAPITOL INSURRECTION CHARGES: Elias Costianes, 42, of Nottingham, faces three federal charges for his alleged role in the U.S. Capitol insurrection, McKenna Oxenden reports for the Sun.
SCHOOLS PUT OFF STANDARDIZED TESTING: Worried about scheduling while so many students are virtual, the Maryland State Board of Education voted to postpone state standardized assessments until the fall, Katryna Perera reports for The Frederick News-Post.
SCHOOLS EMBRACING OPEN WINDOWS, EMPTY BUSES: As students return to classrooms, the buses are nearly empty and the windows are open even as heat is pushed through the buildings, but Anne Arundel schools are embracing the inefficiencies to keep everyone safer, Rachel Pacella reports for the Capital Gazette.
TRONE: COVID RELIEF WILL HELP WESTERN MD RESIDENTS: Western Maryland’s congressman Rep. David Trone says the American Rescue Plan currently making its way through the U.S. Capitol will have direct effects on western Maryland and help families and businesses who are struggling, Joseph Hauger reports for the Garrett County Republican.