State Roundup: WalletHub ranks Maryland economy 7th best; glitches in state benefits portal continue

State Roundup: WalletHub ranks Maryland economy 7th best; glitches in state benefits portal continue

A heron rests calmly on a rock below Conowingo Dam as water from the dam’s floodgates roils in the background. Bay Journal photo by Dave Harp

WALLETHUB: MARYLAND ECONOMY RANKED 7th BEST: Maryland is included among the top 10 states with the strongest economies in the nation, according to a WalletHub study released Monday. It said that Maryland’s economy is the 7th best in the nation. Utah ranked first. Hawaii ranked last. President Joe Biden won 8 out 10 of the states that were ranked in the top tier, writes Bryan Renbaum for Maryland Reporter..

GLITCHES CONTINUE WITH STATE BENEFITS PORTAL: Jobless Marylanders continued to report problems Monday with claiming unemployment benefits through the state’s online portal, even as the state said the system is working properly. Hundreds of people began reporting problems Sunday, when they couldn’t file their required weekly questionnaire to continue receiving benefits, known as certification, Christine Condon and Alison Knezevich of the Sun report.

WHAT’s KNOWN ABOUT MARYLAND’s JOBLESS BENEFITS SYSTEM: When hundreds of unemployed Marylanders logged on to the state’s online benefits portal early Sunday morning, many were met with a confusing sight. The option to send in their weekly claim certification — a requirement for receiving benefits — was missing. Christine Condon of the Sun explains what is known about the situation thus far.

STATE TO OFFER GRANTS TO BOOST LOCAL VAXX EFFORTS: Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday the state health department will make a total of $3 million in grants available to community groups to support local vaccination and outreach efforts, Joel McCord reports for WYPR-FM. The department’s Office of Minority Health Based Initiatives is to award grants ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 to approximately 30 organizations through its Community COVID-19 Vaccination Project.

LAWMAKERS, ED LEADERS UPBEAT ON CHOUDHURY: Maryland lawmakers and education leaders say they are looking forward to a reinvigoration of the state’s public school system with the announcement of a new state superintendent of schools, Mohammed Choudhury. But lawmakers also warn that Choudhury is undertaking a difficult job, especially coming from out-of-state, Elizabeth Shwe of Maryland Matters reports.

WES MOORE JOINS RACE FOR GOVERNOR: Author, former nonprofit executive and combat veteran Wes Moore on Monday afternoon officially joined the field of Democratic candidates vying to become the next governor of Maryland in 2022, Bryn Stole of the Sun reports. Moore, 42, said he plans to make “economic opportunity and economic stability for all of our families” the centerpiece of his bid to replace outgoing Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who is term limited.

  • Moore, 42, released a video talking about his upbringing, the trajectory of his life and his plan for closing Maryland’s wealth gap and creating opportunities for economic stability, reports Ovetta Wiggins for the Post. “I’ve seen this firsthand from my life and from my work, that opportunity is just readily available to some and just dangerously absent to others,” Moore said in an interview.
  • Moore said that even though he’s seeking the Democratic nomination against seasoned Maryland officeholders and potentially two former members of President Obama’s cabinet, he believes that he has the right experience to prevail in the primary and the general election — and to achieve his ambitious policy goals, Josh Kurtz reports in Maryland Matters.

CASINOS – EXCEPT HORSESHOE — SET ANOTHER RECORD: Maryland casinos have set a monthly revenue record for the second time in three months, the AP is reporting. The Maryland Lottery announced Monday that the six casinos generated $172.4 million in May. The previous single-month record was set in May 2021 with $169.2 million.

  • Four out of the state’s six casinos were allowed to operate at full capacity as of March 12, while the remaining two — MGM National Harbor and Horseshoe Casino — continued to be limited by capacity restrictions at the local level. Now, all six casinos are operating at 100% capacity, though not all slot machines and table games are available, writes Johanna Alonso for the Daily Record.
  • Despite the lifting of capacity restrictions at Horseshoe on May 17, 2021, revenues were lower at the Russell Street casino last month than in April. Compared to the hoopla seven years ago when city officials declared the casino an economic “game changer” for Baltimore, Horseshoe has been a financial disappointment from the start, Mark Reutter of Baltimore Brew reports.

ANALYSIS: CONTINUING SEARCH TO FIX EAST-WEST ECONOMIC SPLIT: In a column for the Post, Robert McCartney writes that many “have tried, all have failed. But yet another group is trying to promote cross-border cooperation within greater Washington to overcome our region’s chronic east-west economic divide. The new initiative comes from Connected DMV, a broad coalition of leaders from government, business, higher education and philanthropy. … The disadvantage is most acute in majority-Black communities in Prince George’s and the District east of the Anacostia River. ”

COURT: PET’s WRONGFUL DEATHS CAPPED AT $10,000: Owners of pets killed by the negligence of others can recover at most $10,000 under Maryland law, the state’s top court ruled Monday in denying any recovery beyond the statutory cap for a Glen Burnie man’s emotional anguish after his beloved dog was shot to death by a grossly negligent police officer, Steve Lash reports for the Daily Record.

COFFERS IN THE 6th DISTRICT RACE: In a political roundup column, Steve Bohnel of Bethesda Beat writes about the financial coffers of those running for the 6th District race for the House, including incumbent David Trone, who has less than $36,000 cash in hand, and Wes Moore’s run for the Democratic nomination for governor.

PANDEMIC AID TO CONTINUE IN ARUNDEL: Pandemic assistance programs supported by federal funds will continue receiving money under the American Rescue Plan Act in Anne Arundel County Steuart Pittman’s budget, and his administration is drafting language to include the County Council on future spending decisions, Danielle Ohl of the Capital Gazette reports.

CARROLL ED BOARD ASK HOGAN TO END MASKING NOW: The Carroll County Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution requesting the governor rescind the mask requirement for the end of the school year, summer recovery, and into the fall for the new school year, Kristen Griffith of the Carroll County Times reports.

MO CO ENDS MASK MANDATE FOR MOST COUNTY FACILITIES: Montgomery County ended its mask requirement for most county facilities and buildings Monday, as health metrics associated with the coronavirus pandemic continue improving, Steve Bohnel of Bethesda Beat reports.

HOPKINS ENSLAVEMENT DEBATE CONTINUES: Like other wealthy businessmen of his time, Johns Hopkins surely benefited indirectly from the slave trade, researchers wrote in a paper published online, and cannot be absolved of complicity. But they say the school went too far in drawing conclusions that Hopkins enslaved people and have asked the university to strike language from its website that states that, Susan Svrluga writes in the Post.

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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