State Roundup: Amid delta surge, vaccine mandates considered; 2022 governor race news

State Roundup: Amid delta surge, vaccine mandates considered; 2022 governor race news

Former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele file photo by Regina Holmes

EMPLOYERS WEIGHING VACCINE MANDATES: With the Delta variant rapidly spreading, the question of vaccine mandates looms on the horizon, Bryan Renbaum explores for Maryland Reporter. He speaks with Maryland employment attorneys to find out if businesses could soon require vaccines for their employees.

  • Many employers are asking for proof of vaccination, but a local expert said vaccine mandates are not necessarily coming outside the medical field, Sarah Kim reports for WYPR.

STEELE LAUNCHES EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE, 2022 GOV RACE: Ahead of a possible run for governor in 2022, Michael Steele, the former lieutenant governor and one-time chairman of the Republican National Committee, has created an exploratory committee, Josh Kurtz reports for Maryland Matters.

  • Steele has said for months that he has been assessing the race and plans to make a decision this fall on whether to enter the crowded field, Ovetta Wiggins reports for the Post.
  • The Baltimore Sun Staff analyzes the big political names for the gubernatorial race to replace term-limited Gov. Larry Hogan, with who’s in the running, who’s out, and who’s on the fence.
  • Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz, a GOP candidate for governor, visited a Cecil County zoo and met with business owners, Jane Bellmyer reports for the Cecil Whig.

SHALLECK TO RUN FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL: Montgomery County Board of Elections President Jim Shalleck announced he is resigning from that position to run for the Republican nomination for Maryland attorney general, Stephanie Lai writes for the Post. The former prosecutor has 49 years of legal experience and has practiced law in a private firm since 1994.

MCKAY ANNOUNCES SENATE RUN: Del. Mike McKay has launched his campaign for Maryland Senate, making an official announcement Sunday evening at the Allegany County Fair in Cumberland, the staff of the Garrett County Republican reports. Sen. George Edwards, a Republican, announced last week that he will not run for re-election in 2022.

HARRIS LEADS DOCTOR COLLEAGUES TO PUSH FOR VACCINE: Maryland’s lone republican congressman Andy Harris, a doctor, is promoting the Covid-19 vaccine and said it protects against the Delta variant during a press conference in Washington, Kate Amara reports for WBAL. Harris was a leading voice in Washington D.C. Thursday amid an organized messaging shift by a growing number of GOP lawmakers on the virus, the vaccines and the delta variant.

MARYLAND INCREASES PUSH FOR FEDERAL AID DISTRIBUTION TO STRUGGLING TENANTS: Maryland distributed $2.8 million in federal emergency help for renters in June, picking up the pace from just $200,000 in May, Laura Olson and Bennett Leckrone report for Maryland Matters. The federal government has approved $46 billion for struggling renters but only a fraction has reached renters so far and the national eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of this month.

REDISTRICTING COMMENTS IN MOCO: Several Montgomery County residents at a public hearing Wednesday evening urged members of the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission to keep multi-member districts in their proposed maps, Bennett Leckrone reports for Maryland Matters. They argued that such districts empower historically disenfranchised voters and are part of why Maryland’s General Assembly leads other states in inclusive representation.

MOCO READIES TO HELP MIGRANT CHILDREN: Montgomery County officials are bracing for local impacts to federal immigration policies, setting aside about $5.4 million locally to help migrant children and families seeking asylum in Montgomery County, Steve Bohnel reports for Bethesda Beat.

CARROLL NUMBERS SHOW MORE STUDENTS FAILING AS PANDEMIC NUMBERS COME IN: More students in Carroll County Public Schools are failing during the coronavirus pandemic, Kristen Griffith reports for the Carroll County Times. She writes, “The number of Carroll County Public Schools students with at least one failing grade in the fourth marking period dropped by about 7% since the third quarter, but the number of students who received at least one F in the fourth quarter was still five times higher than the previous year.” In the last quarter of 2020-21, 2,707 students received at least one failing grade, compared to 535 students receiving at least one failing grade during the same quarter in the 2019-20 school year.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FRAUD HAS RESULTED IN SOME PROSECUTIONS: More than 1.4 million Maryland unemployment insurance claims have been confirmed as fraudulent. Mallory Sofastaii examines some that have led to arrests for WMAR.

CITY SEEKS FEDERAL HELP FOR SEVERE POLICE SHORTAGE: Federal agents may soon help Baltimore police patrols, David Collins reports for WBAL TV. City officials announced the potential initiative seeking 100 federal agents during a quarterly consent decree hearing in federal court on Thursday, saying they faced a severe staffing shortage.

DRIVE-BY LAWSUITS OVER ADA: In a commentary for Maryland Reporter, Howard Gorrell writes that with the 31st anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) coming Monday, July 26, it is time to warn Maryland small businesses about ADA virtual-by lawsuits since Maryland has dropped coronavirus-related restrictions. Based on information on the internet or its lack, people with disabilities who haven’t actually visited a business or used its services sue over its failure to comply with ADA standards.

HOWARD COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN CAPITOL INSURRECTION: A Columbia man who livestreamed himself in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, Justin Fenton reports for the Sun. Andrew Ryan Bennett had said “chaos” was coming to Washington but his plea agreement notes he “admonished others not to be destructive inside the Capitol.” He faces a maximum of six months in federal prison.

About The Author

Meg Tully

Contributing Editor Meg Tully has been covering Maryland politics for more than five years. She has worked for The Frederick News-Post, where she reported during the General Assembly session in Annapolis. She has also worked for The (Hanover) Evening Sun and interned at Baltimore Magazine. Meg has won awards from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association for her state and county writing, and a Keystone Press Award for feature writing from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. She is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. If you have additional questions or comments contact Meg at:

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