State Roundup: Lawmakers ask Hogan to extend state of emergency; Ed Dept. stops short of mandating vaxx, masks

State Roundup: Lawmakers ask Hogan to extend state of emergency; Ed Dept. stops short of mandating vaxx, masks

The Maryland seal in the carpet of the Governor's Reception Room at the State House. photo by Len Lazarick

LAWMAKERS ASK HOGAN TO EXTEND STATE OF EMERGENCY: Maryland’s COVID state of emergency was set to expire Sunday, but top state lawmakers are urging Gov. Larry Hogan to reverse course and keep it in place, reports Pamela Wood for the Sun.

  • In a letter sent Friday, House Speaker Adrienne Jones and five members of the House leadership team said the recent increase in COVID-19 cases as the delta variant spreads across the U.S. “requires that we change course once again,” reports Danielle Gaines for Maryland Matters.

STATE DOE STOPS SHORT OF MASK MANDATES: The Maryland Department of Education strongly recommended multiple COVID-19 mitigation strategies for schools Friday, but stopped short of mandating vaccinations and mask-wearing before students return to school later this month, Lillian Reed reports for the Sun.

FREE STATE PODCAST: A RETURN TO CLASSROOMS: Maryland Reporter’s Free State Politics podcast puts public education on center stage as John Rydell speaks to the president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County. Cindy Sexton says the vast majority of students will finally return to in-person learning five days a week. Rydell also examines the plight of a Baltimore County businessman who obtained a patent to streamline the process of refinancing mortgages only to have the Supreme Court declare his patent null and void.

869 NEW COVID CASES ON SUNDAY: Maryland reported 869 new COVID-19 cases and four new deaths, according to state health department data released Sunday morning, WJZ-TV reports.

DELTA SURGE RENEWS HOSPITAL WORKERS CONCERNS OVER CARE: As the delta variant of COVID-19 drives a resurgence of cases in Maryland, weary hospital leaders and front-line workers say they have renewed concerns about their capacity to care for a potential onslaught of patients — especially as flu season approaches and children head back to school, Lillian Reed and Meredith Cohn report for the Sun.

4,500 MARYLAND FAMILIES FACE EVICTION: “This is a preventable public health crisis,” said Public Justice Center attorney Matt Hill. With Gov. Larry Hogan’s eviction protection order expiring Sunday, Hill said there are at least 4,500 Maryland families that could face eviction if a judgment is entered and they cannot pay to stay. Hill said with the surge in COVID-19 cases, this is dangerous, reports Abby Isaacs for WMAR-TV.

ONE COMMUNITY RANKS LOW IN VAXX RATE: Maryland boasts one of the highest vaccination rates in the country, with nearly 79 percent of the adult population having gotten at least one dose. But not in ZIP code 21853. The ZIP code, which includes the sleepy small town of Princess Anne in rural Somerset County, the most impoverished region of Maryland, has the lowest percentage of vaccinated residents in a community of its size in the state, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports.

MO CO SCHOOLS DECIDE ON WORKER VAXX, IN-PERSON CLASS: The Montgomery County Public Schools district announced on Friday that all Montgomery County Public Schools employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or agree to weekly testing, reports Caitlynn Peetz for Bethesda Beat.

  • Montgomery County Public Schools will have in-person classes in the fall and won’t revert back to virtual lessons unless the state orders that school buildings be closed, according to documents the district released on Friday.

B’MORE HEALTH DEPT VAXX CAMPAIGN ‘OWNS’ SOCIAL MEDIA: Baltimore City Health Department is using memes on social media to encourage people — especially the young — to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. And those memes are creating a buzz, Karina Elwood reports in the Post.

SPORTS BETTING REGULATIONS DELAY IMPLEMENTATION: When state lawmakers debated sports betting legislation earlier this year, they hoped that Marylanders would be legally allowed to place wagers by the time the NFL season kicked off in September. That timeline, it turns out, was a bit ambitious. It’s taking time for regulators to establish rules to govern the new industry, Bruce DePuyt reports for Maryland Matters.

COMPTROLLER CANDIDATES BACK LEGALIZED CANNABIS INDUSTRY: Both of the declared Democratic contenders for comptroller, Bowie Mayor Timothy J. Adams and Del. Brooke E. Lierman, Baltimore City, have made legalizing cannabis — and building an equitable marijuana industry in Maryland — a central aspect of their campaigns, Bennett Leckrone reports for Maryland Matters.

OPINION: CLOWN CANDIDATE COX TOUTS MY PILLOW STOLEN ELECTION GUY: As Del. Dan Cox aligns himself with conspiracy and stolen election adherents, including discredited My Pillow owner Mike Lindell, Brian Griffiths of the Duckpin blog writes that “I understand that Dan Cox and his supporters live in a bubble, oblivious to facts, reason, and perception. But even I’m impressed how committed Cox is to the bit.”

CENSUS DATA & REDISTRICTING: The Thursday release of preliminary 2020 census data provides a clearer picture of Maryland’s population. Those numbers will serve as the foundation for new congressional and state legislative districts to be drawn in the coming months. Bryan Sears reports for the Daily Record.

CARROLL PANEL TO BEGIN PARSING CENSUS NUMBERS FOR LOCAL DISTRICTS: New census data released on Thursday will guide a seven-member committee in reviewing the five existing commissioner districts in Carroll County and ensure those districts continue to have an equal population, Madison Bateman reports for the Carroll County Times.

STATE ED BOARD CAN’T REVIEW PG ETHICS ALLEGATIONS: Despite a plea from County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D), the Maryland State Board of Education said this week it is unable to review ethics allegations against several members of the Prince George’s school board, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports.

COMPLAINANTS APPEAL RULING ON ANNAPOLIS MAILING BALLOTS: Two Republican political candidates are asking Maryland’s highest court to reverse the decision by a Circuit Court judge to throw out their lawsuit intended to block Annapolis from mailing ballots to registered voters in its upcoming elections, Brooks DuBose reports for the Capital Gazette.

ON THE ANNAPOLIS ELECTIONS: Annapolis will hold its 2021 Democratic and Republican primary elections on Sept. 21 followed by a general election on Nov. 2. Brooks DuBose of the Capital Gazette reports on what will be different this year, including a new voting system in which ballots will be mailed to all registered voters in the city.

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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