State Roundup: Hogan signs bills repealing state song, legalizing sports betting among many others

State Roundup: Hogan signs bills repealing state song, legalizing sports betting among many others

For the first time in a year, the bill signing at the State House was maskless and smiling. From left, Senate President Bill Ferguson, Gov. Larry Hogan and House Speaker Adrienne Jones. Governor's Office photo

HOGAN SIGNS 220 BILLS INTO LAW: Gov. Larry Hogan signed more than 220 bills passed by the General Assembly into law on Tuesday, including measures that repeal Maryland’s pro-Confederate state song, legalize sports betting, and extend the authorization for off-the-premises alcohol delivery for two years, reports Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter.

  • Among the other pieces of legislation signed are a measure that makes Maryland the latest state to allow college athletes to profit from their names; and a bill that continues a pandemic-era rule allowing restaurants and bars to sell and deliver alcohol off their premises, Ovetta Wiggins reports in the Post.
  • Maryland is one step closer to having legal sports gambling, reports Pamela Wood for the Sun. It’s not clear, however, exactly how long it will be before Marylanders can place bets on their favorite team. Some state lawmakers have expressed hope that at least some level of gambling might be in place in Maryland in time for this fall’s NFL season.
  • A new multipurpose stadium in Hagerstown is one step closer to being built after Gov. Larry Hogan signed legislation authorizing the start of the process, Madeleine O’Neill reports for the USA Today Network.
  • Leaders shook hands with one another. Gone were the masks that marked the 2021 General Assembly session. Stacks of real, paper bills – which, instead, were shuffled about the chamber floors digitally during the legislative session – were passed between the lawmakers for signing, Danielle Gaines reports in Maryland Matters.

PG COUNCIL REGISTERS OPPOSITION TO MAGLEV: The Prince George’s County Council approved a resolution Tuesday to oppose a proposed high-speed maglev train project slated to run through parts of the county between D.C. and Baltimore, William Ford reports for the Washington Informer.

  • In their letter to Acting Federal Railroad Administrator Amit Bose and Maryland Transportation Secretary Greg Slater, county leaders amplified many of the criticisms that residents have voiced for years. Chief among them: that construction would tear through environmentally sensitive areas and that the 311-mile-an-hour train would cause vibrations and hurt property values, Bruce DePuyt reports in Maryland Matters.

2nd ANNAPOLIS FIREFIGHTER SEEKS DELEGATE SEAT: Another Annapolis firefighter is running for one of two Maryland delegate seats representing Annapolis in 2022. Brooks DuBose of the Capital Gazette reports that Lt. Doug Rathell, a 15-year veteran of the Annapolis Fire Department, is running as a Republican in District 30A. Rathell’s colleague, Battalion Chief John Ortlieb, announced his candidacy last week

TROUBLED VAXX MAKER, FOUNDER GAVE $2M IN POLITICAL DONATIONS: When Fuad El-Hibri, founder and executive chairman of Emergent BioSolutions, appears today before a House subcommittee to explain how the company’s Baltimore plant ruined millions of doses of coronavirus vaccine, he will be questioned by lawmakers he and his employees spent tens of thousands of dollars helping to elect, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Chris Hamby and Rebecca R. Ruiz report in the New York Times.

FOWLER’s REPUTATION FALTERS WITH ONE TESTIMONY: With one day of testimony at the Derek Chauvon trial, the reputation of Dr. David Fowler, Maryland’s former medical examiner, was in tatters, write Tim Prudente and Phillip Jackson of the Sun. Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the former Maryland health secretary and city health commissioner, watched with confusion. “It’s hard for me to square the Dr. Fowler who I worked with on child mortality issues with what I saw during the trial,” Sharfstein said.

MO CO LIFTS SOME MASK REQUIREMENTS: Montgomery County officials on Tuesday voted to relax some mask-wearing requirements, aligning with recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Steve Bohnel of Bethesda Beat reports.

MO CO BILLS WOULD STRENGTHEN POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY: Montgomery County lawmakers on Tuesday introduced three bills to strengthen police accountability and expand training for officers, the latest step in an ambitious effort to overhaul policing in the suburb of 1 million people, Rebecca Tan reports for the Post.

SHAKEUP IN B’MORE POLICE LEADERSHIP: The Baltimore Police Department announced a major shakeup of its top ranks, including new leadership for the homicide section, internal affairs, the training academy and patrol operations as part of a re-organization following the departure of a top deputy commissioner, Justin Fenton reports in the Sun.

B’MORE PUSHES FOR OVERSIGHT OF ELECTED OFFICIALS’ TRIPS: The Scott administration has issued revised rules that would require Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and other elected officials to secure approval for future out-of-town travel regardless of who pays for their trips, Mark Reutter of Baltimore Brew reports.

CARROLL BOARD OKS $1M IN SCHOOL STAFF BONUSES: With one dissenting vote, Carroll County’s Board of Commissioners approved granting the Board of Education an additional $1 million to fund bonuses for school staff not receiving step increases on the condition the school system matches the funds, Madison Bateman reports for the Carroll County Times.

BA CO COUNCIL WANTS DETAILS ON RESCUE FUND SPENDING: Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski’s administration is working on a blueprint on how to spend the $161 million it’s expecting to get from the American Rescue Plan. But at Tuesday’s county council meeting the chairman pushed for details before the council signs off on that spending, John Lee reports for WYPR-FM.

FILLED STADIUMS MAY BE FAR DOWN THE ROAD: Despite the flurry of activity to ease outdoor masking and distancing restrictions due to Covid-19 — coming with baseball season in full swing — experts say it could be a long time before Maryland’s teams play in stadiums filled with maskless, cheering fans, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports.

2nd GENTLEMAN ADDRESSES ANNAPOLIS RESTAURANTS: Four Annapolis restaurant owners who overcame hurdles to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic met Tuesday morning with second gentleman Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, Danielle Ohl reports for the Capital Gazette.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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