FRANCHOT FAVORS TAX BREAKS TO SPUR VACCINATIONS: Comptroller Peter Franchot said Monday that he supports giving small tax breaks to both individuals and businesses that can provide proof of vaccination against the coronavirus, writes Bryan Renbaum for Maryland Reporter. Franchot’s endorsement of “small economic incentives” comes as states and jurisdictions throughout the country-including some places in Maryland-have offered everything from doughnuts to pizza to beer to baseball game and lottery tickets to encourage their residents to get vaccinated.
HOGAN TO SIGN DOZENS OF BILLS TODAY: Bryn Stole of the Sun reports that Gov. Larry Hogan will sign dozens of bills Tuesday passed by the General Assembly, including measures to get rid of Maryland’s Confederate-sympathizing state song and legislation to allow college athletes in the state to potentially profit off their names, images or likenesses.
- In an effort to reduce carbon emissions faster, Maryland lawmakers introduced a bill this year to promote the use of geothermal energy — one of the most efficient ways to heat and cool buildings — through renewable energy credits. Gov. Hogan is expected to sign the bill today, writes Elizabeth Shwe for Maryland Matters.
- Hogan is expected to sign a bill today that will ban state officials and employees from retaliating against someone who reports a violation of Maryland’s ethics law or participates in an ethics investigation, Bennett Leckrone of Maryland Matters reports.
SCHRADER: NEXT VAXX PUSH TO BE ‘A GRIND:’ Maryland’s health secretary warned Monday that the next phase of the state’s coronavirus vaccination campaign will be costly and time-consuming, as officials work to reach people who have not yet agreed to get the shot, reports Pamela Wood of the Sun.
- Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader told state lawmakers on Monday that he expects the distribution of the “next million” shots to be “a grind,” reports Bruce DePuyt for Maryland Matters.“It took us six months to get where we are,” he told the state Senate’s Vaccination Work Group. “To get to the next million could take us six months.”
B’MORE EXTENDS MASK WEARING: Baltimore City residents and visitors will be wearing masks indoors and at outdoor events for a bit longer as Mayor Brandon Scott announced Monday that the requirements will remain in place until at least 65% of adults are partially vaccinated, Christine Condon of the Sun reports.
CARROLL VACCINES UP, COVID CASES DROP: With more and more Carroll County residents having received a COVID-19 vaccine, the number of new cases in the county has plummeted. The Carroll County Health Department reported Monday afternoon that Carroll finished last week with 81 new cases, the county’s lowest weekly total in seven months. Bob Blubaugh of the Carroll County Times reports that this week is off to a similar start, with Monday afternoon data from the health department showing just 13 cases from the previous 72 hours.
STATE GETS $192M IN RENTAL ASSISTANCE: Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday an additional $192.9 million in funding has been awarded to local governments and service providers through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, the Daily Record reports. These federal funds will support local Maryland Eviction Prevention Partnership initiatives that assist tenants whose ability to pay rent has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
MAYOR SCOTT VETOES RENTERS BILL: Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott delivered a last-second veto Monday on a bill that supporters said would give renters more options when paying security deposits, but which housing advocacy groups said would create a system that preyed on tenants, Hallie Miller and Emily Opilo of the Sun report.
- Fern Shen of Baltimore Brew reports that Scott’s action brought quick praise from the critics who have been imploring him to veto the measure, but condemnation from City Council President Nick Mosby, who denounced the veto as “modern-day redlining with an outsized impact by a vocal advocacy class.”
- The bill required landlords to provide at least one of two alternatives to security deposits: security deposit installments, and surety bonds, which it called “security deposit insurance.” While advocates supported installments, they pushed against surety bonds, saying they do not function like insurance and are predatory, Sarah Kim reports for WYPR-FM.
SEN. HOUGH TO RUN FOR FREDERICK COUNTY EXEC: State Sen. Michael Hough, a Republican who represents Carroll and Frederick counties, won’t seek reelection as he instead plans to run for Frederick County executive, the Carroll County Times reports.
OPINION: RACE FOR GOVERNOR: WHO’s IN, WHO’s OUT: Brian Griffiths of the Duckpin handicaps the race for governor as it continues to take shape. For the second straight month, he writes, the top candidate announced he wasn’t running. Johnny Olszewski, who ascended to the No. 1 spot last month after Boyd Rutherford declined to run, announced that he was running for reelection as Baltimore County Executive.
CONGRESSMEN TARGET DAMAGE FROM ‘HIGHWAY TO NOWHERE:’ Democratic members of Maryland’s congressional delegation expressed hope Monday that — for the first time in decades — there may be an opportunity for funding to redress damage done by West Baltimore’s so-called Highway to Nowhere, Jeff Barker reports for the Sun.
BLACK CARROLL STUDENTS DISCIPLINED AT HIGHER RATE: While Carroll County schools reports a mixture of increases and decreases in student discipline at the different levels of school over the last three years, the overall assessment is that there has been no net change. However, reports Kristen Griffith for the Carroll County Times, one takeaway from the data is that the discipline rates of Black students are disproportionate.
NEW CONCOURSE OPENS AT BWI: Tens of millions of dollars were poured into a concourse expansion at BWI Marshall Airport that adds five new gates and features big windows with natural light, charging outlets at every seat and some favorite hometown restaurant vendors, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports.
SUPREMES REMAND B’MORE’s BIG OIL SUIT TO 4th CIRCUIT: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday revived Big Oil’s bid to have Baltimore’s climate change lawsuit against about two dozen fossil fuel companies litigated in federal rather than state court, Steve Lash reports in the Daily Record. In a 7-1 decision, the justices ruled that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had applied too narrow a standard for federal court jurisdiction over the city’s lawsuit.