MASS VAXX SITES TO DOUBLE TO 12: Maryland will get six new coronavirus mass vaccination sites in April, which will bring the total number of mass vaccination sites in the state from six to 12, Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday. The existing mass vaccination sites are located in Baltimore City (2), Prince George’s County (1), Wicomico County (1), Charles County (1), and Washington County (1), Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter writes.
- As he unveiled plans to open mass immunization sites in six of the state’s most populous counties, the Republican governor rebranded the inoculation effort “as a race between the vaccines and the variants,” Alex Mann and Bryn Stole of the Sun reports.
- Maryland will expand eligibility for coronavirus vaccinations to residents with disabilities at the same time it plans on doubling the number of mass vaccination sites, reports Bryan Sears in the Daily Record. Hogan and the leaders of other states were told to expect significant increases in the amount of doses being shipped by the federal government beginning next week.
- Harford County could start vaccinating 21,000 people per week once its mass vaccination site is up and running next month, County Executive Barry Glassman said. Glassman said it remains unclear where the site will be, but he hopes the state will choose Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen which he wants to operate as a drive thru clinic, Ray Strickland reports for WMAR-TV.
- Montgomery County’s mass vaccination site at the Germantown campus of Montgomery College will open the week of April 5, Briana Adhikusuma of Bethesda Beat reports.
- With the state currently in Phase 2A of its vaccination program, Hogan announced an expansion of Phase 2B to include people with disabilities, Bruce DePuyt reports in Maryland Matters. “People with disabilities experience significant barriers to accessing health services,” he said. State agencies “are working together to try to close that gap and make sure that no one is left behind.”
SURGE IN SCHOOL FAILURE RATES FOR 2nd QUARTER: Failure rates surged in Maryland schools during the second quarter, with new data showing percentages doubling or tripling in key classes in most of the state’s 24 school districts, Donna St. George of the Post reports. The numbers are another sign of the academic toll of the coronavirus pandemic.
KIRWAN 2.0 ADVANCES, ADDRESSES LEARNING LOSS: A Senate committee on Tuesday advanced a complementary bill to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, the multi-billion-dollar education reform measure that was enacted into law this year. “Kirwan 2.0” would adjust the timeline of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, as well as address the learning loss that occurred during the coronavirus pandemic, Elizabeth Shwe reports in Maryland Matters.
EMERGENCY VAXX ROLLOUT CONTRACTS GET REVIEW: A set of emergency contracts signed by the Hogan administration to help the state with its COVID-19 vaccine rollout will get their first official review today, providing a window into the millions in public spending done quickly and in private to combat the pandemic, Hallie Miller and Meredith Cohn of the Sun report.
TAX REFORM PACKAGE KILLED: As crossover day passed Monday, a package of bills a coalition of House Democrats touted as creating a more equitable tax structure in Maryland was missing, reports WYPR-FM’s Joel McCord. The coalition abandoned the bills after Senate leaders warned them away. The bills would have restructured Maryland’s tax brackets so high-income earners would pay more and lower income earners would pay less.
SENATE REMOVES GOV FROM PAROLE DECISIONS: A years-long fight over whether the governor should be the arbiter of parole decisions in Maryland may be nearing an end. On Monday, the state Senate passed a bill removing the governor from the parole process, after the House of Delegates did the same earlier this month, Rachel Baye of WYPR-FM reports.
SENATE PANEL BEGINS DEBATE ON UNDOCUMENTED RESIDENTS BILL: The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee began debate on a hard-fought piece of immigrants’ rights legislation Tuesday, reports Hannah Gaskill for Maryland Matters. The TRUST Act would provide protections for Maryland’s undocumented residents and limit the ability of state and local government to share data with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and other federal agencies.
COMPLAINTS FILED AGAINST DOCTOR/LEGISLATOR: Complaints have been filed with the Maryland Board of Physicians and the General Assembly’s ethics committee against a state lawmaker who twice joined legislative meetings by video from the operating room, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports.
NEWER MODEL CARS TO BE EXEMPTED FROM EMISSIONS CHECKS: Maryland transportation officials plan to exempt cars 6 model years old or newer from emissions checks, a move that would double the amount of time new vehicles can go without testing. Current rules require that Marylanders bring in cars for testing after they’re 3 model years old, Christine Condon of the Sun reports.
TRACKING BILLS: Pamela Wood and Bryn Stole of the Sun continue to track the progress of bills in the General Assembly. Click here for their latest updates.
VICTIMS’ ADVOCATES SEEK END TO COURT APPEARANCE FEES: Groups representing Maryland domestic violence victims are urging lawmakers to enact legislation barring circuit court clerks from charging attorneys an appearance fee in protective order proceedings, saying the $10 to $20 charge creates a needless hurdle to legal representation at a perilous time, Steve Lash of the Daily Record reports.
BLAIR TO ANNOUNCE RUN FOR MO CO EXEC: Potomac businessman David Blair is announcing his bid for Montgomery County executive today, becoming the first known challenger to incumbent Marc Elrich (D), who plans to seek reelection in 2022, Rebecca Tan of the Post reports.
FREDERICK COUNCILWOMAN TO RUN FOR EXEC: In her seventh year on the Frederick County Council — with well over a decade of public school teaching experience — Jessica Fitzwater (D) will formally announce she is running for county executive this evening. Jan Gardner (D) is the current county executive, reports Steve Bohnel of the Frederick News-Post.
TRONE TOUTS PPP DIRECTLY TO BUSINESSES: On Tuesday, Marlene England’s bookstore on North Market Street in Frederick was among businesses that got a visit from Congressman David Trone (D-Md.-6th) and County Executive Jan Gardner. Trone was in town to promote the benefits of the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion relief package recently passed by Congress, Ryan Marshall of the Frederick News-Post reports.
PROSECUTOR CONTRIBUTED TO MOSBY OPPONENTS: One of the two lead prosecutors in the probe of State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and City Council President Nick Mosby is a campaign contributor to two of Mosby’s political opponents, Jeff Abell of WBFF-TV reports. Campaign Finance Records show Asst. U.S. Attorney Leo Wise contributed $100 to the campaigns of Ivan Bates and Thiru Vignarajah. Both candidates ran against Marilyn Mosby in the 2018 city state’s attorney race.
ANTHONY McCARTHY MOVES TO B’MORE OIG OFFICE: Anthony McCarthy, the former journalist and political strategist whose professional stops have included a stint as editor of The Afro-American newspaper in Baltimore and as a spokesman for three Baltimore mayors, has a new job with the Baltimore City Office of Inspector General, the agency charged with stopping waste, fraud and abuse within city government and with vendors doing business with the city, Josh Kurtz reports for Maryland Matters.