State Roundup: Senate work group, Health secretary at odds over school vaxx mandate

State Roundup: Senate work group, Health secretary at odds over school vaxx mandate

The Maryland State House. photo

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SENATE WORK GROUP PUSHES MANDATED SCHOOL VAXX: Members of a Senate oversight group renewed pressure on the Hogan administration Monday for mandated COVID-19 vaccinations in public schools, Bryan Sears reports for the Daily Record. The push by members of the Senate Vaccination Oversight Work Group — all Democrats — comes as cases climb among school age children. Some compared the desired mandate to vaccination requirements for measles, polio and other diseases.

  • Health Secretary Dennis Schrader clearly demonstrated his disinterest in mandating COVID-19 vaccines for school-aged students, Hannah Gaskill reports for Maryland Matters. Under Maryland’s education code, the Department of Health has the ability to issue regulations that require students to be inoculated to attend school.

HOGAN SEEKS FEDERAL DISASTER AID FOR IDA DAMAGE: Gov. Larry Hogan requested a presidential disaster declaration Monday for the impacts of Tropical Depression Ida, including a tornado that tore through Annapolis and major flooding that displaced dozens of people in Rising Sun, Christine Condon of the Sun reports.

SENTENCING TODAY OF CAPITAL GAZETTE STAFF KILLER: The man who killed five Capital Gazette employees is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday at a hearing where he faces more than five terms of life in prison, Alex Mann reports for the Capital Gazette. His sentencing will bring to a conclusion legal proceedings that have stretched beyond three years after the June 28, 2018, mass shooting at the newsroom in Annapolis, which claimed the lives of Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.

  • This summer, a jury found Jarrod Ramos had the mental and emotional capacity to be held criminally responsible for the mass shooting, Emily Davies and Katie Mettler of the Post report. Although Ramos had pleaded guilty to the murders, he had argued he was not legally sane at the time and should be sent to a psychiatric hospital with the potential for release instead of prison. The jury had arrived at its verdict in less than two hours.
  • Prosecutors are seeking five life terms in prison without the possibility of parole for Jarrod Ramos, who committed the homicides with a shotgun at the Capital Gazette in June 2018. Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Michael Wachs will decide the sentence, Brian Witte of the AP reports.

REPUBLICANS PUSH FOR GEOGRAPHIC DIVERSITY ON KIRWAN ACCOUNTABILITY PANEL: Republican state lawmakers are imploring the committee charged with selecting nominees to oversee the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future education reform plan to reconsider its decision to decline sending a new slate of potential appointees to Gov. Larry Hogan (R) after he cited concerns about a lack of diversity among their nominees. Elizabeth Shwe of Maryland Matters reports that Republicans representing rural parts of the state decried the lack of nominees from the Eastern Shore, Western Maryland and Southern Maryland on the Accountability and Implementation Board.

STATEWIDE COVID CASES RISE: Mike Stucka of USAToday Network writes that Maryland reported 8,707 new cases of coronavirus in the week ending Sunday, from 8,554 the week before of the virus that causes COVID-19. Wicomico County reported 342 cases and four deaths in the latest week. A week earlier, it had reported 339 cases and six deaths. Throughout the pandemic it has reported 10,057 cases and 201 deaths.

OPINION: PITTMAN NOT DEMOCRATIC, BUT DIVISIVE: In an op-ed for the Capital Gazette, Herb McMillan, a Republican candidate for Anne Arundel County executive, opined, that the current county executive, Steuart Pittman, “paints himself as a uniter; but ‘you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.’ His divisive record speaks for itself.” He writes that Pittman’s actually fanned “the flames of division. Pittman ruled by executive order too long; apparently, he’s forgotten that disagreement with his policies is not ‘division.’ It’s democracy.”

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PUSHBACK OVER MO CO SCHOOL VAXX MANDATE: When Montgomery County’s school board this month updated the district’s vaccination requirement for employees, the move received widespread praise for adding another layer of COVID-19 protection. But some people remained opposed and are pushing for the district to reverse it, or risk having to fire hundreds of staff members, Caitlynn Peetz of Bethesda Beat reports.

FREDERICK PANEL OKs PRECINCT MOVE: Frederick County’s nine-member Redistricting Commission on Monday adopted a proposal that would move County Council precincts encompassing Libertytown and Unionville. The precincts, home to 4,430 voters in the eastern part of the county and currently part of council District 2, would become part of District 5, which includes much of the northern part of the county, Jack Hogan of the Frederick News-Post reports.

HARFORD RCC MEMBER JAILED ON HARASSMENT CHARGE: A member of Harford County’s Republican Central Committee is being held without bail after he was accused of harassing a former romantic partner and their friend, according to court documents, James Whitlow reports for the Aegis. Patrick Haggerty Jr., 28, of Bel Air, is charged with harassment, stalking and violating a peace and protective order in connection with a series of incidents catalogued in court documents.

HOPKINS HEALTH RAISES MINIMUM WAGE TO $15: Johns Hopkins Health System raised its minimum wage to $15 and increased employees’ base pay by 3%, Marcus Dieterle of Baltimore Fishbowl reports. The changes went into effect Sunday for non-union employees, while changes to pay for employees who are represented by a union will be addressed during the renewal cycle for collective bargaining agreements, health system officials said.

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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