State Roundup: Elrich touts Montgomery’s high vaxx rate; state faces bill for $1B in pandemic spending, Budget Secty says

State Roundup: Elrich touts Montgomery’s high vaxx rate; state faces bill for $1B in pandemic spending, Budget Secty says

Heavy rain is predicted Friday. Photo by ephien with Flickr Creative Common License

ELRICH TOUTS MO CO HIGH VAXX RATE: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich Wednesday attributed his county’s best in the state COVID-19 vaccination metrics to consistent scientific-based messaging about the dangers posed by the virus, Bryan Renbaum reports for Maryland Reporter. About 75% of Montgomery County residents are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC, and about 83% of the county’s residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

STATE MUST COVER $1B IN PANDEMIC SPENDING: Maryland’s budget secretary told legislators Wednesday that the state will need to cover more than $1 billion in spending that federal pandemic aid was initially going to provide. Bryan Sears of the Daily Record reports that Budget Secretary David Brinkley warned the joint budget committees of the House and Senate that changes in what the federal government will cover with pandemic aid will require adjustments to a spending agreement with the legislature.

LAWMAKERS PRESS BUDGET OFFICIALS ON ARPA FUNDS FOR SCHOOLS: State lawmakers pressed budget officials Wednesday afternoon on whether they’ll use federal dollars to help school systems dealing with staff shortages, Sarah Kim reports for WYPR-FM. During a briefing on federal relief spending, Del. Jared Solomon, a Montgomery County Democrat, asked whether any of that money will go to alleviating the shortage in bus drivers. Budget officials told a joint House-Senate committee that school systems already have plenty of resources

  • Pamela Wood of the Sun reports that while state lawmakers were briefed Wednesday on how the process has been going on getting the ARPA money out to people and programs needing assistance, there are five key facts that they learned.

MLB HOPES TO CURB HIGH RISK SPORTS BETTING: With sports betting looming in Maryland, Major League Baseball said Wednesday that it wants to team with the state to guard against the rigging of “particularly risky” bets — such as whether a game’s first pitch will be a ball or a strike, Jeff Barker of the Sun reports.

HIGH COST OF FLOODED ROADWAYS: A new report puts a dollar value on what it means to get stuck on flooded roads in Maryland. In the first eight months of 2020, the economic cost of motorist and freight delays was nearly $15.1 million, according to the study, in which researchers analyzed the effect of flooding on about 20% of state-maintained roadways, or about 15,000 lane miles, Rosane Skirble reports for Maryland Matters.

DRAW YOUR OWN CONGRESSIONAL MAP: Allison Mollenkamp of Capital News Service reports that interested citizens can draw their own congressional and legislative maps to submit for consideration to Maryland’s two redistricting commissions. The commissions – one established by Gov. Larry Hogan and one run by the legislature – are holding public meetings to develop maps based on the new 2020 census data. The article appears in Maryland Reporter.

OPINION: GET POLICE OUT OF SCHOOLS: In an opinion piece for Maryland Matters, John Marinelli opines on the state’s reliance on police in schools and the effect they actually have, writing that, “Presumably, in sending law enforcement to the state’s middle and high schools, policymakers intend to promote school security. But empirical studies of similar programs show that school resource officers do not make campuses any safer. And too often they have the opposite effect.”

COLUMN: AT ODDS WITH TEACHERS UNION, KIRWAN: In a column for The Duckpin blog, Mark Uncapher writes that Peter Franchot, Maryland comptroller and Democratic candidate for governor, has staked out an educational position dramatically at odds with his party’s other candidates and, most notably, the state’s powerful teacher’s union. While routinely expressing support for some of the education reforms floated by the Kirwan Commission, Franchot has repeatedly opposed additional taxes to pay for them.

ESSEX MAN FILES TO RUN AS REPUBLICAN FOR GOVERNOR: Joe Werner of Essex is the first Republican to file to run for governor. This isn’t Werner’s first run for office but oddly his first one as a Republican. Werner was the Democratic nominee for Congress against Andy Harris in 2016 and lost the Democratic Primary for House of Delegates in District 8 in 2018, reports Brian Griffiths for the Duckpin.

Driving Change: The Future of Transportation: Transportation is being rapidly reformed by technology. Smarter, connected vehicles will bring increased automation, increased driving functions, and safety for both public and private modes of transport. This FREE Webinar on September 28th examines a broad range of related topics from micro-mobility (LEVs) and hydrogen fueled vehicles now on the horizon, to vehicle-to-grid applications and strategies for rapid conversion of bus and truck fleets.

COVID RISING IN SCHOOLS: With more than two weeks of school under their belts, Baltimore-area school districts are beginning to see COVID-19 cases emerge in larger numbers — forcing hundreds of students into quarantine and prompting systems to alter plans and cancel events, Christine Condon reports in the Sun.

200+ HOWARD SCHOOL STUDENTS, STAFF TESTED POSITIVE: More than 200 staff members and students in the Howard County Public School System have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the school year, according to a school system official, Allana Haynes reports for the Howard County Times.

MO CO STUDENTS FALL BEHIND IN MATH, LITERACY BENCHMARKS: After more than a year of virtual classes, Montgomery County’s youngest students were significantly less prepared to meet math and literacy proficiency benchmarks than students in previous years, Caitlynn Peetz reports for Bethesda Beat.

PARENTS BLAST ARUNDEL SCHOOL BOARD OVER COVID POLICIES: Some parents in Anne Arundel County say they’re fed up with the Board of Education. At the board meeting last night, parents and some students said the board has not shown adequate data to support it’s pandemic policies and decisions. Kelly Broderick reports for WMAR-TV that some stepped up to criticize the board’s decision to postpone homecoming, others say they disagree with the mask and vaccination mandates in schools.

UNION PROTESTS COLUMBIA HOTEL FOR FAILING TO REHIRE WORKERS: Unite Here Local 7, a union that represents Maryland’s hotel, gaming and food service workers, is calling for people and organizations to boycott the Merriweather Lakehouse Hotel, a hotel in Columbia, over allegations that it refuses to commit to rehiring laid-off workers, Johanna Alonso of the Daily Record reports.

ANNAPOLIS VOTING COUNT UNDER WAY: Following the first of two canvasses from three Annapolis primary elections completed Wednesday, two City Council incumbents extended their leads and a third race narrowed to within 13 votes, unofficial election results showed, Brooks Dubose of the Capital Gazette reports.

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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