DEL. McINTOSH TO RETIRE AFTER 30 YEARS IN STATE HOUSE: House Appropriations Chair Maggie McIntosh (D), a powerful and trailblazing figure in Maryland politics and one of the most consequential legislators from Baltimore City in history, announced Sunday night that she will retire from the General Assembly next year rather than seek re-election, Josh Kurtz reports for Maryland Matters.
- The Sun runs McIntosh’s letter announcing her retirement.
WHAT’s IN THE FEDERAL BILLS FOR MARYLAND: Much more money than what is in the infrastructure bill is contained in President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion social spending and climate change mitigation bill known as “Build Back Better,” which remains in congressional limbo. Also on uncertain ground are dozens of targeted local projects for Maryland jurisdictions. Jeff Barker of the Sun reports on projects that are in both those bills.
ANALYSIS: SIMILARITIES IN LEGISLATIVE MAPS FORESHADOW FINAL ONE: The release of four “conceptual” maps by a legislative redistricting commission last week represents a significant milestone in the once-a-decade process of redrawing Maryland’s congressional boundaries, write Bennett Leckrone and Bruce DePuyt for Maryland Matters. The four plans contain numerous similarities, offering a tentative — but intriguing — glimpse into the final recommendation.
HOW TOUGH DO LEGISLATIVE MAPS MAKE IT FOR REP. HARRIS? Maryland Democratic lawmakers face a decision when they redraw the state’s congressional districts next month: Just how difficult to make life for U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, the lone Maryland Republican in Washington? write Bryn Stole and Pamela Wood of the Sun report.
OPINION: TOUGH RULES, GOOD RESULTS FOR CITIZENS REMAPPING: In a column for the Frederick News-Post, Walter Olson, one of the co-chairs of Gov. Larry Hogan’s Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission, touts the work that his group did to create congressional, state Senate and House of Delegates districts, opining that “the governor instructed us to draw lines without regard to the interests of any party or candidate. In fact, we were told not to take into account political data, such as figures on voter registration by party or past election results, in our deliberations. Nor could we take into account the place of residence of any incumbent legislator or other person. Those are strong rules. And I believe the results are strong too.”
OPINION: FAIR MAPS, NO CHANCE: The editorial board of the Frederick News Post praises the work of the governor’s redistricting commission, opining that it “proposed a new map of congressional districts that are compact and contiguous, respecting county boundaries and communities. It is a model of what a nonpartisan redistricting process would produce. And it has virtually no chance of being enacted by the Maryland General Assembly.”
ROAD TO LEGAL POT TO FACE EQUITY CHALLENGES: An effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Maryland will face challenges similar to those delaying the implementation of sports wagering, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. Lawmakers will wrestle with issues such as regulation and taxation, as well as the thornier issues of how to level the playing field — especially for Blacks, who have disproportionately been affected by America’s war on drugs. Finding a way to bring minorities and women into an established industry expected to reach $600 million in sales this year will look a lot like concerns related to sports betting.
JURISDICTIONS THAT AIDED RENTERS MAY GET MORE CASH: States, cities and counties that excelled at distributing emergency federal aid to renters struggling during the pandemic may soon be rewarded — with yet more cash, reports Laura Olsen for Maryland Matters. Their new funding would be drawn from sluggish states and localities that didn’t move as swiftly to help people facing eviction and homelessness, who were targeted for billions in assistance in relief legislation passed by Congress.
CLIMATE VOTERS GUIDE: FRANCHOT: “I was a huge anti-nuclear person,” Peter Franchot recalls about his opposition in the late 1970s. Today, with a sense of ambivalence and irony, the state comptroller, a Democratic candidate for governor, considers nuclear energy, at least for now, a vital part of his ambitious plan to put Maryland on the path to generating carbon-free electricity by the year 2030.
HUCKER TO RUN FOR MO CO EXEC: Montgomery County Council President Tom Hucker said Friday that he is planning to run for county executive in 2022 — but he won’t officially announce his candidacy until his term ends as council president in early December, Ana Radelat reports for Bethesda Beat.
CARROLL REPORTS PROGRESS IN TEACHER HIRING, ENROLLMENT: Carroll schools Superintendent Steve Lockard said it appears that at least half the lost students have returned to the public schools. Also, the average elementary school class size is 21.3 students, with no classes with at least 30 students. And 199 teachers were hired between Oct. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021, Kristen Griffith of the Carroll County Times reports.
MOSBY WANTS ARPA FUNDS TO REVIVE B’MORE DOLLAR HOUSE PROGRAM: Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby is calling on Mayor Brandon Scott to use funds from the city’s American Rescue Plan allocation to revive the city’s dollar house program and fund home repair grants of up to $25,000 awarded in areas of the city hardest hit by historical redlining. His bill would also offer assistance for older adults struggling with reverse mortgages.
CALVERT BOARD SEEKS TO DISMISS LAWSUIT OVER CRT: The Calvert County Board of Education is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a group of parents who say the school system is teaching tenets of “critical race theory,” reports Madeleine O’Neill for the Daily Record. The board in its response argues that the parents are overstepping in their effort to control educational materials and policies.
ROCKY GAP PARK WON’T BE PRIVATIZED, TASK FORCE SAYS: Members of a task force studying future potential uses of limited portions of Rocky Gap State Park said Friday the park will not be sold or closed to the public in favor of private developers. Greg Larry reports for the Cumberland Times-News. A meeting of the 11-member Task Force on the Economic Future of Western Maryland was held Friday.
FORMER MAYOR SPOKESWOMAN FOR RAPPER: Former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has a new gig as the spokesperson for rapper Travis Scott, whose Astroworld Festival concert in Houston last Friday was the scene of a crowd surge that killed nine people and that officials declared a “mass casualty” incident, Marcus Dieterle of Baltimore Fishbowl reports.
SAVING HISTORIC BOUNDARY STONES THAT MADE D.C.: The boundary stones placed in 1792 to mark the border between Maryland and the new federal district were neglected for much of the nation’s history and suffered ravages caused by time, weather, vandalism and suburban development. But of the 40 boundary stones put in place, 36 remain and preserved because a few people or groups cared for them. Nine of the stones were placed along Montgomery’s border. Charles Pekow writes about this historic markers for Montgomery Magazine