State Roundup: Inflation threat looms, economists say; Hogan to end pandemic jobless programs

State Roundup: Inflation threat looms, economists say; Hogan to end pandemic jobless programs

Shots for shots: A patron gets vaccinated at Seacrets bayside bar and nightclub in Ocean City May 28 during a visit by Gov. Larry Hogan. Anyone who received a COVID-19 vaccine was given a voucher for savings on their favorite dish, beverage or merchandise. It was part of a tour bringing mobile clinics and vaccine outreach to cultural and community events, bars and breweries, and popular destinations across the state. Governor’s Office photo

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INFLATION THREAT LOOMS, ECONOMISTS SAY: With the price of commodities rising and every day items slowly becoming more expensive economists seem to agree that the threat of inflation is looming and may just be around the corner. The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates at near-zero for sometime but it is unclear how much longer that will be the case, reports Bryan Renbaum for Maryland Reporter.

HOGAN TO END PANDEMIC JOBLESS PROGRAMS, INCLUDING $300 PAYMENT: Maryland will stop paying jobless residents an extra $300 a week soon and will end other federal pandemic unemployment programs, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday. The changes will take effect in early July, Alison Knezevich, Hallie Miller and Pamela Wood report in the Sun.

  • Hogan (R) cited the widespread availability of vaccines and a tight labor market in explaining his decision, which according to the most recent unemployment filings would affect about 15,000 people, Rachel Chason of the Post reports.
  • Hogan’s decisions will end unemployment insurance checks at 26 weeks. A pandemic-era change extended them to 39 weeks, but that will expire early next month. Hogan’s move also ends a $100-per-week payment available to “mixed earners” — typically gig workers who have multiple sources of income, reports Bruce DePuyt for Maryland Matters.
  • Democratic legislative leaders denounced the move, saying Hogan’s action would harm the most vulnerable of the state’s workers, the Daily Record reports.

STATE PROSECUTOR TO PROBE SMITH CAMPAIGN BANKROLLING: The Maryland State Prosecutor has opened an investigation into the campaign slate used by former Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. to bankroll candidates of his choosing in local elections. Last month, The Brew disclosed that $100,000 in cash, transferred by Smith’s campaign committee to the Victory Slate in 2014, went unreported for six years by its treasurer, William “Chris” McCollum, Ann Costantino and Mark Reutter report for Baltimore Brew.

NEW SCHOOL SUPER’s SALARY $310,000: Mohammed Choudhury, Maryland’s newly chosen state school superintendent, will earn $310,000 a year, significantly more than the current superintendent but in line with most large district superintendents in the state, Liz Bowie of the Sun reports. Current Superintendent Karen Salmon is earning $275,000, a $40,000 increase from 2019. She retires on June 30.

BALL TO SEEK RE-ELECTION AS HO CO EXEC: Howard County Executive Calvin Ball will seek another term leading Maryland’s wealthiest and sixth largest county, Jacob Calvin Meyer reports for the Sun.

RIEMER JOINS RACE FOR MO CO EXEC: Montgomery County Council member Hans Riemer (D-At Large) announced Tuesday that he is formally entering the race for county executive in 2022, promising an agenda that prioritizes affordable housing, police reform and environmental policy, Rebecca Tan of the Post reports.

  • Riemer, who has clashed with incumbent Marc B. Elrich (D) over economic policy, said in an interview that Montgomery County needs “progressive leadership that is effective and forward-thinking,” Bennett Leckrone reports for Maryland Matters.
  • He’s been critical of Elrich on several issues in recent months, including a proposal to single-track the Purple Line in a downtown Bethesda tunnel and keeping libraries closed despite coronavirus health metrics improving countywide, Steve Bohnel of Bethesda Beat reports.

B’MORE PLANS FOR SPENDING $640M IN PANDEMIC FUNDS: Baltimore finance officials outlined a plan Tuesday for how they’ll dole out $640 million in federal pandemic relief and announced the creation of an office to review applications from city agencies and nonprofit organizations for the aid, Emily Opilo of the Sun reports.

NICK MOSBY DELAYS ADOPTION OF TRAVEL EXPENSE POLICY AGAIN: Baltimore city’s adoption of a new expense policy for its elected officials — recommended in the wake of an investigation into State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s travel — is again being delayed at the request of City Council President Nick Mosby, who is also her husband, Emily Opilo of the Sun reports.

  • Mosby’s request was made, according to an email obtained by The Brew, so that his office could work “on additional clarifying and strengthening amendments to the policy that will not be ready for consideration at tomorrow’s meeting.” Mark Reutter reports the story for Baltimore Brew.

CARROLL SCHOOLS STRUGGLE TO GET DIVERSE STAFF: When Charles Evans III received an offer from Carroll County Public Schools to teach at East Middle School in 2013, he accepted. Of the 82 staff members at the school, Evans, a 2012 graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, is one of 10 staff members of color there and the only Black man. Diversity in the staff at public schools in Carroll County has a problem that administrators have been trying to fix — with little success — for years, Kristen Griffith reports in the Carroll County Times.

FORMER DEL. CHARLES BOUTIN DIES AT 79: Charles R. Boutin, a former Aberdeen mayor and City Council member, state delegate and Harford County Board of Education president, died May 23 at a Kent County marina. He was 79 and lived in Aberdeen, David Anderson writes in the Sun. As state delegate, Mr. Boutin was the chief deputy minority whip. Former Gov. Bob Ehrlich appointed Mr. Boutin to the Public Service Commission in 2005. From 2007 to 2012, Mr. Boutin was a state administrative law judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings.

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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