State roundup: Veteran reflects on Afghanistan withdrawal, new GI Act could help correct inequity

State roundup: Veteran reflects on Afghanistan withdrawal, new GI Act could help correct inequity

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan liked the feel of the podium with the presidential seal as President Biden visited the Port of Baltimore in November 2021 Governor's Office photo by Joe Andrucyk

VETERANS DAY COVERAGE: LOCAL VETERAN COMMENTS ON AFGHANISTAN EVENTS: Cambridge native and Iraq War veteran Mike Detmer said Thursday on Veterans Day that he became extremely disheartened after hearing about the Biden administration’s decision to abruptly pull American troops out of Afghanistan following a 20-year campaign, Bryan Renbaum reports for Maryland Reporter. Detmer, now a reporter for the Dorchester Star and the Star Democrat, described the whole process as “deeply sad.”

  • Also on Veterans Day, Amy Lu reports for WBAL TV about how a new GI Restoration Act could help local families repaying them for the service of black World War II veterans. The bill was introduced by Democratic lawmakers Thursday, and would address the inequity that black veterans were denied when the GI Bill came out in 1944.

CROWD SOURCING A CAMPAIGN: Ashwani Jain, a 32-year-old former Obama administration official, is running a low-budget, unconventional campaign seeking ground-level ideas for policy for the Democratic nomination for governor, Josh Kurtz reports for Maryland Matters in the second of a series. The campaign is staffed exclusively by volunteers, and they’re helping him develop an agenda on climate change and countless other issues, along with people he meets on the road.

REDISTRICTING MAPS KEEP MOCO DISTRICTS: One county where not much is changing in congressional redistricting maps is Montgomery County, Ana Radelat reports for Bethesda Beat.  In all four proposals of the Maryland Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission, the boundaries in Montgomery County stay largely the same and most of the county would continue to be in the 8th district, now represented by U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, or the 6th District, now represented by U.S. Rep. David Trone. Both are Democrats and Trone’s district had previously included less of Montgomery County and had elected a Republican congressman before it was redistricted in 2011.

ANOTHER CONGRESSIONAL MAP: Chao Wu, current chair of the Howard County Board of Education, and Jerry Gao, a junior at River Hill School, spent a few months working together to come out with a new proposal for Maryland congressional districts. Here is their plan. [Editor’s Note: A map that has Congressman Kweisi Mfume representing Carroll County and part of Frederick County, two of the whitest and most Republican areas of the state, is not likely to fly politically.]

COMMENTARY: HOPKINS MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PROGRAM CRUCIAL TO CITY: Sen. Cory McCray offers a scathing review of a decision by Johns Hopkins institutions to cut people in Baltimore city and Calvert County from the Hopkins Medicare Advantage program in an op-ed for the Sun. He has been flooded with concerns from neighbors who have worked for Hopkins institutions, some of whom worked for 20 or 30 years. “Please search your conscience and ask yourself how your decisions impact people and the profound ramifications on one of our most vulnerable populations,” he writes.

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE HEARS ABOUT CHILDCARE STRUGGLES: The childcare business is struggling in Maryland, with more than 750 providers closing their doors during the pandemic and many parents choosing to keep their children out rather than face quarantine closures, Nathan Sterner and Rachel Baye report for WYPR. The closures could affect every business trying to find workers.

TEST TO STAY APPROVED FOR SCHOOLS: The state and Montgomery County have worked out details to start a “test to stay” program where close contacts of people with COVID-19 will be allowed to stay in school if they test negative daily, Caitlynn Peetz reports for Bethesda Beat. The issues with the program had been discussed for weeks.

MASK MANDATE TO BE DISCUSSED: With vaccinations underway, the Maryland State Board of Education is moving up plans to review its universal masking mandate, calling a special board meeting Tuesday, instead of December, Tim Tooten reports for WBAL-TV.

PLAN TO ADDRESS EDUCATIONAL GAPS: Charles County Public Schools representatives unveiled Tuesday a three-year plan that will focus to add specific instructional programs that will help students bounce back from gaps in their education after the COVID-19 pandemic, Ian Crawford reports for WTOP.

SCHOOL BUS DRIVER SHORTAGE FAR REACHING: In a presentation to the House Ways and Means Committee, lawmakers learned that out of 24 school systems in Maryland, only three reported having enough bus drivers, Rachael Cardin reports for WJZ. Up to 20% of the routes in the state are not covered on a daily basis, and drivers have told WJZ they want fair pay.

  • Carroll County is giving bonuses to school bus drivers and attendants, Kristen Griffith reports for the Carroll County Times. The county hasn’t had work stoppages, but wants to acknowledge their service during the pandemic.

LEGAL ADVOCACY GROUPS SUE MOSBY: A pair of legal advocacy groups is suing Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby over her office’s repeated denials of public records requests related to police misconduct, Madeleine O’Neill reports for The Daily Record.

MORE WET LAB SPACE KEY TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: The city of Baltimore’s promising location as a life sciences hub is being limited by the amount of laboratory wet space available to start ups and companies relocating, Hallie Miller reports for the Sun. Baltimore’s wet lab space is nearly 100% leased, and building more is an “urgent need,” said Colin Tarbert, executive director of the Baltimore Development Corp., the city’s quasi-public economic development arm.

TOWSON RADIO STATION COMES UNDER PUBLIC RADIO UMBRELLA: “Coinciding with Public Radio Music Day, public service broadcaster Your Public Radio (WYPR) 88.1 FM Wednesday announced that its acquisition of WTMD 89.7 FM from Towson University became official, bringing both stations under the Your Public Radio umbrella,” the staff of The Daily Record reports.

About The Author

Meg Tully

Contributing Editor Meg Tully has been covering Maryland politics for more than five years. She has worked for The Frederick News-Post, where she reported during the General Assembly session in Annapolis. She has also worked for The (Hanover) Evening Sun and interned at Baltimore Magazine. Meg has won awards from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association for her state and county writing, and a Keystone Press Award for feature writing from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. She is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. If you have additional questions or comments contact Meg at:

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