HOW WOULD HOGAN FARE IN GOP PREZ PRIMARY? Gov. Larry Hogan has said he is not interested in running for U.S. Senate, however he has not ruled out running for president in 2024. Hogan’s decision to leave that door open, writes Bryan Renbaum for Maryland Reporter, raises questions about how a moderate-leaning Republican from a deep-blue state might fare in a GOP presidential primary where former President Donald Trump is still considered the most influential person in the party and is teasing another run for office.
MARYLAND TO GET $6B FROM FED INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE: Maryland would receive as much as $6 billion from the roughly $1.2 trillion package passed by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday to improve roads, bridges, transit systems and broadband and help fund Chesapeake Bay restoration, according to White House and congressional estimates, Jeff Barker of the Sun reports.
- Provisions will also reauthorize a $150 million annual federal contribution for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for another eight years, and allocate funding to remove infrastructure projects like Baltimore’s “Highway to Nowhere” that divide neighborhoods, Jacob Fischler and Danielle E. Gaines report for Maryland Matters.
MOST COUNTIES SEE HIGH COVID TRANSMISSION: Less than two weeks ago, just one locality in Maryland was colored orange on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s map — signifying “substantial” coronavirus spread. None were red, which would mean the level of transmission is high. As of Tuesday, all but two counties were in the substantial or high transmission zone, Alex Mann reports for the Sun.
- The number of hospital beds occupied by a COVID-19 patient in Maryland has increased from 97 to 424 in the past 40 days. Daily virus case rates in Allegany and Garrett counties exceeded the statewide average on Tuesday, while those jurisdictions also had some of Maryland’s lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates, Teresa McMinn of the Cumberland Times News reports.
- While Carroll is one of two counties in the state experiencing only moderate transmission of COVID-19, new cases in the county increased by about 45 percent last week over the previous week’s total, reports Madison Bateman of the Carroll County Times.
HOWARD PUSHES TO INCREASE VAXX RATE: Howard County leaders on Tuesday stressed the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19, Katie Jones reports for the Sun. While more than 237,000 Howard County residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine in the past eight months, according to Maryland Department of Health data, County Executive Calvin Ball said, “There is still work to be done.”
- Howard County officials said they will use the remaining summer weeks before school starts to increase vaccinations, especially among eligible students. The push comes as schools in the county prepare to open in late August, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.
WICOMICO PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO REQUIRE MASKS: Wicomico County public schools will require masks indoors during the upcoming 2021-22 school year, Maddie Aiken reports for the Salisbury Daily Times. At Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, Wicomico County Superintendent Donna Hanlin announced the school district will require all students, teachers and staff to wear masks indoors and on school buses, regardless of vaccination status.
DUELING REDISTRICTING COMMISSIONS: This year marks the first time in many decades that Maryland has had a Republican governor when legislative districts are redrawn, setting the stage for an unusual and contentious process as two separate commissions are set to propose new district maps, Bennett Leckrone reports for Maryland Matters.
6 MD MILITARY AREAS SEE HIGH CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION: The groundwater of at least nine military installations near the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Virginia is contaminated with high levels of toxic fluorinated “forever chemicals,” according to a report Wednesday by an environmental group that cites Defense Department records. Brian Witte of the AP reports that six facilities are in Maryland.
MONTGOMERY COLLEGE TO USE COVID FUNDS FOR STUDENT DEBT: Montgomery College will use nearly $6 million it has received in COVID-19 relief funds from the federal government to offset its students’ past-due tuition accrued during the pandemic, Caitlynn Peetz reports for Bethesda Beat.
CARROLL CONSIDERS COVID FUNDING USE: As local governments plan how to use federal COVID-19 relief dollars, Carroll County commissioners continue to work through a process of reviewing potential projects brought forward by various department heads, Madison Bateman of the Carroll County Times reports.
CITY ACTIVISTS BACK ANTI-DIGITAL REDLINING BILL: Baltimore City teachers, students and activists are backing a bill that aims to give the Federal Communications Commission the ability to investigate internet service providers for discrimination, Emily Sullivan reports for WYPR-FM. The Anti-Digital Redlining Act, introduced by Rep. Yvette Clarke, a New York Democrat, would also mandate that providers provide service to areas that are “digitally redlined.”
QUESTIONS ON FREDERICK CLUB’s TAX STATUS: Questions are beginning to mount about the status of the Frederick County Conservative Club and whether or not they are violating their tax status by engaging in political behavior, writes Brian Griffiths in his Duckpin blog.
NAVAL ACADEMY ALUM NEW NAVY SECRETARY: A 1983 graduate of the Naval Academy has been confirmed as the 78th secretary of the Navy, Heather Mongilio of the Capital Gazette reports. The Senate confirmed Carlos Del Toro as the next secretary of the Navy on Saturday. Toro will replace acting Navy Secretary Thomas Harker.
MARYLAND MAN FACES JAIL FOR INSURRECTION PARTICIPATION: A Maryland man who twice entered the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 insurrection could spend two months in jail and be forced to pay a $500 fine, according to a sentencing memorandum filed in U.S. District Court, James Whitlow reports for the Aegis.