SCHULZ SAYS MARYLAND BETTER WITH TWO-PARTY BALANCE: With Democrats having a solid veto-proof majority in the General Assembly, the state’s voters might be better served by electing another Republican to succeed two-term incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan next year, state Commerce Secretary and GOP gubernatorial candidate Kelly Schulz told Bryan Renbaum during an interview for MarylandReporter.com.
CLIMATE VOTERS GUIDE: TOM PEREZ: During his long career in public service, Tom Perez, who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor, has seen government do consequential work. And there have been times when he has been in the thick of major policy debates, Josh Kurtz writes for Maryland Matters. The lesson for Perez is that government works best when there are strong leaders articulating ambitious policies, then following through to ensure that they are enacted.
CAN FIRED VAXX REFUSERS COLLECT UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS? Vaccine mandates will test how far workers who don’t want them will go when their livelihood, or any income, is on the line. Many states have told workers, particularly in health and educational fields, they will not qualify for unemployment benefits. Others have passed legislation to allow vaccine refusers to get state-level benefits. It may be less clear-cut in Maryland. State officials say they will consider “mitigating factors,” though they did not spell out what those are, Meredith Cohn, Hallie Miller and Lorraine Mirabella of the Sun report.
WIDENING BOOSTER SHOT ELIGIBILITY DEBATED: State health officials are entangled in a debate over expanding eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots, Bryan Sears of the Daily Record reports. Maryland health officials note a growing number of reported cases in recent days and concerns about waning protection against the COVID-19 virus among larger groups of people.
MSBE RECONSIDERING MASK MANDATE: The Maryland State Board of Education heard a range of opinions from a slew of parents, teachers, county board members and health experts Tuesday as they consider withdrawing the statewide mandate requiring masks to be worn in public school buildings, writes Elizabeth Shwe for Maryland Matters. But Board President Clarence Crawford said the panel will decide on the mask mandate in December.
MO CO TO REINSTATE MASK MANDATE: Montgomery County’s indoor mask mandate will return Saturday, Steve Bohnel reports for Bethesda Beat. Mary Anderson, of the county’s Department of Health and Human Services, wrote in a text message that CDC data on Tuesday confirms a “substantial transmission” level countywide for seven straight days, meaning the mask mandate will go back into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.
REP. HARRIS SAYS COMPLAINT FILED FOR PRESCRIBING IVERMECTIN: Andy Harris, a Maryland congressman and anesthesiologist, says a complaint has been filed against him with a physicians board for prescribing ivermectin to treat COVID-19, Jeff Barker reports for the Sun. Ivermectin is used to treat parasites in humans but is not authorized for treating COVID-19 by the Food and Drug Administration, which says the medication can be dangerous in large doses.
- Emily Brooks of the Washington Examiner quotes Harris as saying: “An action is currently being attempted against my medical license for prescribing ivermectin, which I find fascinating, because as an anesthesiologist, I know I use a lot of drugs off-label that are much more dangerous.”
OPINION: HOW CAROLINE COUNTY SAVED ITS PENSION SYSTEM: Former Caroline County administrator Ken Decker writes, in a column for Maryland Reporter, about how Caroline County found a way to save its local pension system, which is now 97.5% funded. “That’s a remarkable turnaround in a decade, and a good story.”
CARROLL REPUBLICANS SUPPORT CITIZENS MAP: Carroll County Republicans and others are expressing support for the congressional map approved earlier this month by the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission and discussed by commission members at their final meeting Monday night, Madison Bateman reports for the Carroll County Times.
NO VIOLENCE AT RADICAL CATHOLIC EVENT: A protest and prayer rally headlined by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos led to verbal skirmishes with counterprotesters on Baltimore’s waterfront Tuesday, but city officials’ fears of a violent clash downtown were not realized, Emily Opilo, Jessica Anderson and Christine Condon of the Sun report.
NEW BA CO MAP FAILS TO CREATE 2nd MINORITY DISTRICT: A new Baltimore County redistricting plan introduced Monday fails to create a second majority-Black district despite calls to do so by civil rights groups and residents at a public hearing, Taylor DeVille of the Sun reports. The map, obtained Tuesday by the Baltimore Sun, unites Towson into a single-member district after residents of the county seat railed against a previous version of the draft map that split the town.
PG COUNCIL LAMBASTED FOR ‘DEVELOPER FRIENDLY’ REDISTRICING MAP: For five hours Tuesday, a half-dozen members of the Prince George’s County Council were raked over the coals by their constituents in unusually blunt terms, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports. In October, the six voted to give preliminary approval to a county council redistricting plan that they had crafted in secret and sprang on the public — and their colleagues — with little warning. Residents said the targeted candidates were those less likely to be sympathetic to developers.
B’MORE TO USE $55M IN ARPA FUNDS FOR ECONOMIC INCENTIVES: Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott announced Tuesday he’ll put $55 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding toward economic initiatives. The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development will receive $30 million to fund workforce development programs, while $25 million will go to creating a recovery fund for ailing small businesses, nonprofits and artists, Emily Sullivan reports for WYPR-FM.
DESPITE RISE IN CASES THIS WEEK, NO CARROLL RESIDENTS DIED FROM COVID: Although COVID-19 cases in Carroll County increased for a third consecutive week, no county residents died due to the virus last week, Madison Bateman of the Carroll County Times reports.
ST. MARY’S CIRCUIT JUDGE RETIRES: St. Mary’s County Circuit Court is shy one permanent judge for the time being. David W. Densford’s last day on the bench was Wednesday, Nov. 10, according to his secretary, Cindy Slattery. Densford officially retired in accord with state law when he turned 70 on Nov. 16, reports Caleb Soptelean for the St. Mary’s Enterprise.