96% OF COVID DEATHS SINCE LATE JANUARY WERE UN-VAXXED: Nearly everyone in the state who has died from COVID-19 since the end of January was unvaccinated, according to data the Maryland Department of Health provided to MarylandReporter.com. Since Jan. 26, 1,525 people in Maryland have died from COVID-19. The deaths included 1,464 people who had not been vaccinated and 61 people who had been vaccinated.
STATE ‘NUDGING’ EMPLOYERS TOWARD COVID MANDATES: In order to improve coronavirus vaccination rates, Maryland’s top health official said Tuesday that he’s hoping employers will require workers to get the shot. Pamela Wood of the Sun reports that Health Secretary Dennis Schrader said the state isn’t considering any widespread vaccination mandates, instead “nudging” companies to institute their own requirements.
DEMS URGE STATE TO ORDER MANDATES: Maryland Democratic lawmakers Tuesday called for state mandates on coronavirus vaccinations and mask use as variant-driven COVID-19 cases continue to surge. Members of the Senate Vaccination Oversight Work Group pressed state Health Secretary Dennis Schrader for those mandates during a one-hour meeting, Bryan Sears reports for the Daily Record.
- “We really believe that local authority knows best,” Schrader said at the Senate Vaccine Oversight Workgroup meeting Tuesday afternoon. As COVID-19 delta variant infections continue to crop up, members of the workgroup urged Schrader to impose tougher standards, Hannah Gaskill reports for Maryland Matters.
HARFORD BOARD OUSTS UNRULY PARENTS: The Harford County Board of Education temporarily suspended its meeting and threw out attendees Monday night in Bel Air after people who came to criticize the school system for mandating universal masking in its buildings became unruly, shouting and speaking over board members, Kristen Griffith of the Aegis reports.
CATHOLIC SCHOOLS TO MASK DEPENDING ON LOCAL CASES: The Archdiocese of Baltimore will not require COVID-19 vaccinations for Catholic schools this fall and told parents this week that masking requirements for each school will depend on local case counts, Lillian Reed reports for the Sun.
CARROLL COVID LEVEL DROPS TO ‘MODERATE:’ As weekly reports of new COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Carroll County moved to being classified at the substantial COVID-19 transmission for a day, but then moved back to the moderate level on Tuesday evening, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports Madison Bateman for the Carroll County Times.
VAN HOLLEN TOUTS CLIMATE BILL FUNDED BY FOSSIL FUEL FIRMS: Just months after Annapolis and Anne Arundel County sued 26 oil and gas companies over climate-change damage, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen introduced a bill that would require fossil fuel companies to pay fees into a $500 billion climate-change fund based on their share of global emissions. The fund would help pay for expensive flood-mitigation projects such as is needed in Anne Arundel, Meagan Flynn reports in the Post.
- Van Hollen was at the Annapolis City Dock Tuesday, along with Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman and Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley, to press the case for his Polluters Pay Climate Fund Act, Joel McCordd reports for WYPR-FM. The popular gathering place is increasingly vulnerable to flooding because of rising sea levels due to climate change.
COUNTY CLIMATE OFFICERS THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY: More Maryland jurisdictions are hiring climate change professionals, those people who can cut across county agencies to ensure a consideration of the climate at all levels of decision-making. Elisabeth Shwe of Maryland Matters writes about those people, sometimes called sustainability officers, and how they perceive and conduct their jobs.
HOGAN APPOINTS ACTIVIST TO DEL. HAYNES’ SEAT: Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday appointed Baltimore activist Roxane Prettyman to fill a vacant seat in the House of Delegates. Prettyman was the choice of Baltimore Democrats, who nominated her to replace Del. Keith Haynes, who retired earlier this summer, Pamela Wood reports for the Sun.
PG DEMS TAP DEL. WATSON FOR VACANT SENATE SEAT: The Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee on Tuesday unanimously chose Del. Ronald L. Watson (D) to fill the District 23 state Senate vacancy created by the resignation of Douglas J.J. Peters (D), Bruce DePuyt reports for Maryland Matters.
DISTRICT 32 INCUMBENTS FILE FOR RE-ELECTION: Four Democratic incumbents have filed for candidacy in 2022, looking to continue to represent District 32: Sen. Pam Beidle and Dels. Sandy Bartlett, Mark Chang and Mike Rogers, Rachael Pacella of the Capital Gazette reports.
DELEGATE WANTS TO BRING RECALL ELECTIONS TO MARYLAND: With California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) facing a high-profile recall effort, one state lawmaker wants to bring recall elections to Maryland, reports Bennett Leckrone for Maryland Matters. Del. Reid J. Novotny (R-Howard) said that he has fielded calls from constituents asking if Maryland has a formal recall system. Although various local governments have their own provisions for removing office holders, Maryland has no recall system for officials elected to statewide office or other state lawmakers.
LIERMAN PICKS UP MO CO ENDORSEMENTS: Del. Brooke Lierman (D-Baltimore city), a candidate for state comptroller next year, was endorsed by more than two dozen members of Montgomery County’s state delegation and a dozen county officials at an event in Bethesda Tuesday, Steve Bohnel of Bethesda Beat reports.
COURT UPHOLDS $30.7M AWARD TO B’MORE POLICE, FIRE RETIREES: A unanimous Maryland high court on Monday upheld a $30.7 million award to Baltimore police and firefighters who were retired or retirement eligible as of June 30, 2010, to compensate them for the city’s elimination that year of a stock market-based benefit from its pension program, Steve Lash reports for the Daily Record.
CONGRATULATIONS TO WYPR, RACHEL BAYE: WYPR has been honored with a Radio Television Digital News Association 2021 National Edward R. Murrow Award for “Large Market Radio Station: Hard News.” Rachel Baye’s “Maryland Foster Children Stay in Hospitals Because They Have Nowhere Else To Go,” revealed the added trauma of Maryland’s hard-to-place foster children who are languishing in hospitals, because there is nowhere to place them. The story originally aired on NPR’s Weekend Edition in February 2020.