State Roundup: Md. congressmen seek answers over handling of jobless benefits

State Roundup: Md. congressmen seek answers over handling of jobless benefits

At Dover Air Force Base in Delaware Sunday, President Biden and other officials attend the "dignified transfer" of the remains of the 13 troops killed at the Kabul airport. White House photo from the president's Facebook page

CONGRESSMEN SEEK ANSWERS ON JOBLESS BENEFITS MISHANDLING: The entire Maryland congressional delegation is seeking answers from the state Department Labor as to why the state’s distribution of unemployment insurance benefits was so badly mismanaged, especially when compared with that of other states throughout the nation, Bryan Renbaum reports for Maryland Reporter.

STARK OUTLOOK AS EVICTION MORATORIUM SET TO END: Nearly 26,000 Baltimore City households face uncertainty after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked President Joe Biden’s plan to extend an eviction moratorium until Oct. 3. That’s how many city households are behind on rent, according to a report by Chief Judge John P. Morrissey of the Maryland District Court, which handles eviction cases, Billy Jean Louis reports for the Sun.

  • With an eviction moratorium due to sunset, Rep. Steny Hoyer expressed frustration with the overall progress of distributing federal funds to tenants and landlords to stave off a scenario of low-income residents — negatively impacted by COVID-19 — literally being tossed out into the street, Marty Madden reports for the Calvert Recorder.

GA PANEL OK ON SCHOOL MASKS DELAYED TO SEPT. 14: A panel of Maryland lawmakers won’t be able meet to give their OK to an emergency rule requiring masks be worn inside public school buildings until after in-person classes begin for the year, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports. The General Assembly’s Joint Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review Committee, which must give its blessing to the Maryland State Board of Education’s action on masks, plans to hold a hearing and vote on Sept. 14.

  • The joint committee of delegates and senators may not be able to take that vote until the middle of September for that vote unless Republican Gov. Larry Hogan waives a 10-day waiting period, Bryan Sears reports for the Daily Record.

ØRSTED SEEKS PHASE II OF OFF-SHORE WIND PROJECT: Offshore wind farm developer Ørsted wants to develop a second phase of its project off the coast of Ocean City, possibly competing with a proposal by US Wind that was unveiled earlier this month, Lorraine Mirabella of the Sun reports.

FREE STATE POLITICS: VACCINES ON CAMPUS: Free State Politics episode 9 examines how Maryland’s colleges and universities are struggling to return to normal as they navigate the lingering impact of COVID-19. Students at all University System of Maryland campuses are required to be vaccinated with a few medical and religious exemptions. Host John Rydell also examines the 2022 race for Maryland comptroller, saying that some candidates are not only touting their fiscal experience, they’re also promoting their positions on social issues such as the legalization of recreational marijuana.

HEALTH DEPT. TACKLES BOOSTER SHOT QUESTIONS: The big questions looming in the debate about COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are who will need them and when. Maryland health officials plan to do some investigating, Meredith Cohn of the Sun reports. They are planning to draw blood soon from 500 seniors in nursing homes in an effort to “check on their immunity levels,” according to Charles Gischlar, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Health.

VOTING RIGHTS ADVOCATES RALLY: Thousands of voting rights advocates rallied across the country Saturday to call for sweeping federal laws that would wipe out voting restrictions advancing in some Republican-controlled states that could make it harder to cast a ballot, report Brian Slodysko and Bobby Caina Calvan for the AP.

OPINION: WHO WILL SAVE EDUCATION FROM ‘EXISTENTIAL THREAT?’ In a column for Maryland Matters, Kalman R. Hettleman, of the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, writes that the “way things are going, public schools may not survive much longer as the ladder to the American dream. And this danger is obviously greatest for children who are poor and of color. Is such a dire warning overwrought? Consider, first, the catastrophic harm done by COVID-19.”

WILL FROSH RUN OR RETIRE? Attorney General Bryan Frosh will turn 75 in October, and he did not attend the MACo summer conference in Ocean City or a recent Democratic Attorneys General Association gathering that was held online. The absences have fueled widespread speculation that the Montgomery County Democrat will not run for re-election. The $205,092 Frosh reported in his campaign account as of mid-January isn’t a lot for a veteran statewide officeholder, either. Bruce DePuyt, Hannah Gaskill and Josh Kurtz write the story for Maryland Matters.

CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR HOPES TO BREAK THROUGH THE NUMBERS: Brenda Ruggiero of the Garrett Republican interviews gubernatorial candidate Jon Baron during his recent visit to Frostburg. “Statewide, the poverty rate in Maryland is 9%,” he said. “You know what it was in 1995? It was 9% … In education, more than a quarter of middle school students in Maryland can’t read at a basic level. More than a third can’t do basic math. You know what those numbers were 20 years ago? They were the same.”

15 MO CO ZIPS SURPASS ‘HIGH TRANMISSION’ THRESHOLD: Fifteen of Montgomery County’s 38 ZIP codes have reported more than 100 new COVID cases per 100,000 residents for the past seven days, a figure that surpasses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s threshold for “high transmission.” Ten of them were downcounty, spanning from Rockville and North Bethesda to Silver Spring and Takoma Park, Bethesda Beat reports.

PG PARENTS SEEK ANSWERS TO FLAWED ETHICS REPORTS: A group of parents and activists is calling for an investigation of an ethics panel in Prince George’s County that produced factually flawed reports targeting elected members of the school board. They filed a complaint with the Maryland Office of the Inspector General for Education on Friday, accusing the ethics panel of using “taxpayer funds to conduct an apparently improper investigation,” Rachel Chason and Donna St. George report in the Post.

ABERDEEN PUSHES FOR UPGRADE AMTRAK STATION: Aberdeen will host a number of state and federal officials at its Amtrak/MARC train station off Route 40 next week in a bid to make improvements to the aging station — in line with President Joe Biden’s goal of investing in infrastructure, the city announced in a statement, James Whitlow of the Aegis reports.

MAYOR SCOTT HIRES ERNST & YOUNG: Baltimore City Hall’s embrace of outside professional services continues with Brandon Scott’s hire of Ernst & Young to counsel him on how to organize, prioritize and execute his vision for Baltimore, Mark Reutter reports in Baltimore Brew.

CHARLES COUNTY JUDGE FACES COMPLAINTS: A longtime Charles County judge could face sanctions after being accused of offering legal advice to two acquaintances who were facing domestic violence charges, Glynis Kazanjian and Mike Murillo of WTOP-FM report. The Commission on Judicial Disabilities — an independent body connected to the Maryland Courts system that looks into complaints made against judges in the state — began investigating one made against Judge W. Louis Hennessy.

RETIRED HEAD OF GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE DIES: William J. “Bill” Boarman, a retired Public Printer of the United States and a former union leader, died Sunday as a result of a fall while getting off his boat. The Severna Park resident was 75, Rose Wagner of the Sun reports.

MOUNT AIRY MAYOR DIES AT 58: Mount Airy Mayor Patrick Rockinberg, who served as the mayor of the town shared by Carroll and Frederick counties for more than a decade, has died at the age of 58, Phil Davis reports for the Sun.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

cynthiaprairie@gmail.com
https://www.chestertelegraph.org/

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 news outlet, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at: cynthiaprairie@gmail.com

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