State Roundup: Hogan orders review of state funding for city State’s Attorney Office; legislators pick map that makes Harris district competitive

State Roundup: Hogan orders review of state funding for city State’s Attorney Office; legislators pick map that makes Harris district competitive

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was in Baltimore again Tuesday, announcing $22 million in federal grants for bus lanes. He was joined by Mayor Brandon Scott and other Maryland officials. Photo from the secretary's Facebook page.

Happy Thanksgiving! We’re taking the weekend off. Roundup will return Monday.

HOGAN ORDERS FUNDING REVIEW OF B’MORE STATE’S ATTY OFFICE: Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday that he has ordered the Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victims Services to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the funding the state provides to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, reports Bryan Renbaum for Maryland Reporter. His announcement comes just days after the city surpassed its 300th homicide for the year.

  • The governor, who has sparred frequently with Baltimore’s Democratic leaders – including State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby – over policing and their responses to violent crime, claimed “now was not the time for finger-pointing” over persistent killings in the city, which has one of the nation’s highest per-capita homicide rates, Bryn Stole and Tim Prudente of the Sun report.
  • A fiery Mosby blasted Hogan, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. She called his press conference political grandstanding, charged he was using “Baltimore as a punching bag,” and that Hogan was privileged and that he was “disrespecting me again.” “He’s especially OK with villainizing the Black woman prosecutor who’s challenging the status quo,” said Mosby.

DEM LAWMAKERS PICK DEM-STRONG CONGRESSIONAL MAP: Maryland Democratic lawmakers settled on a new proposed congressional map that would continue to give Democrats strong advantages in seven of Maryland’s eight congressional districts and make the state’s final district, currently a Republican stronghold, more competitive as well, Bryn Stole reports in the Sun.

  • Out of four proposals, the Maryland Legislative Redistricting Commission selected a map that notably changes Rep. Andy Harris’s Eastern Shore-anchored district by crossing the Chesapeake Bay to include parts of Anne Arundel County, surely making the district friendlier to Democrats but still gives Harris a viable shot at reelection, Meagan Flynn reports for the Post.
  • The Princeton Gerrymandering Project gave all four maps released by the lawmakers commission a failing grade after researchers rated them on “partisan fairness,” “competitiveness” and “geographic features,” Bennett Leckrone of Maryland Matters reports.

FOOD INSECURITY NEARLY DOUBLED DURING COVID: As grocery stores and restaurants shuttered during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of food-insecure Marylanders nearly doubled to more than 1 million, Elizabeth Shwe of Maryland Matters reports. And the Maryland Food Bank increased its food distribution by 88%, according to a report from the Maryland Food System Resiliency Council which tracked changes from 16 months before the pandemic began, in March 2020, through 16 months later.

B’BALL HOOPS UP, TENSION DOWN WITH NEW STATE LAW: Since a new state law barred “unreasonable” restrictions on portable hoops, the new homeowners’ association president of the gated community of Rockland Ridge in Baltimore County says she is pleased kids can get out and play the sport, and is thankful the legislation “eliminated some conflict within our community.”

OPINION: UNWELCOME IN OCEAN CITY: The editorial board of the Washington Post opines that “Ocean City, Md., is a beach community of roughly 7,000 residents whose summer population swells with sun-and-surf seekers. Town officials say it welcomes nearly 8 million visitors every year, but here’s the thing: A pair of incidents last summer suggests it doesn’t really welcome all of them, particularly Black teenagers who might be caught vaping on the boardwalk.”

OPINION: THE REAL IMPOSTER REPUBLICAN: Attorney Gordana Schifanelli, running mate of Delegate Dan Cox, referred to Governor Larry Hogan as an “Imposter as a Republican,” writes Brian Griffiths of the Duckpin. “It’s bizarre that Schifanelli would call Hogan an ‘Imposter Republican’ when Hogan has been a Republican literally his entirely life, even more so in comparison to Donald Trump …” Griffiths writes.

CLIMATE VOTERS GUIDE: WES MOORE: On the day Democratic gubernatorial contender Wes Moore sat down with Maryland Matters to discuss climate change, the state was being lashed by powerful storms, writes Josh Kurtz for Maryland Matters. Several Maryland communities were experiencing near-record flooding, and schools in at least five jurisdictions were closed due to the extreme weather. “We’ve had kids who have not had a stable academic situation, and we all understand the complications of that, with chronic absences and interruptions of instruction. Now we’re talking about the role the environment has been playing in this as well,” say Moore.

B’MORE SEES RISE IN COVID AMONG KIDS: Baltimore is seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases among children — a trend that health commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa called “particularly concerning.” Children under 10 are experiencing the highest rates of new COVID cases of all age groups in Baltimore. Dzirasa said this is a first during the pandemic, Sarah Kim of WYPR-FM reports.

CARROLL URGES MASKING FOR THANKSGIVING: While COVID-19 cases in Carroll County continue to increase for the fourth week in a row, a county health official is encouraging residents to mask up during the Thanksgiving holiday, Madison Bateman of the Carroll County Times.

ALLEGANY URGES RESIDENTS TO GET VAXX: “Get vaccinated” topped the Allegany County Health Department’s list of precautions local residents should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help keep themselves, as well as loved ones, safe this holiday season, Teresa McMinn reports for the Cumberland Times-News. At 19.85%, Garrett County’s case rate was more than five times higher than the statewide daily COVID-19 case rate of 3.75%. Allegany County was at 8.39% and Washington County at 10.14%.

MO CO SCHOOLS WON’T FIRE UNVAXXED EMPLOYEES: Montgomery County Public Schools has backed away from firing employees who don’t get the COVID-19 vaccine because it “can’t afford” to lose anyone, Caitlynn Peetz of Bethesda Beat reports.

BA CO IG: BEVINS VIOLATED CHARTER: A report issued Tuesday by Baltimore County’s inspector general says that Councilwoman Cathy Bevins violated the county charter when she briefly moved to a home outside her district, Taylor DeVille of the Sun reports. Inspector General Kelly Madigan wrote that the charter does not contain enforcement provisions related to violations of council residency requirements. As a result, she referred the matter of enforcement to the county’s law office to address.

POLL BOOKS GLITCH ALLOWED DOUBLE VOTES, ELECTION BOARD FINDS: A review completed Monday by the Maryland State Board of Elections into three voters from Ward 8 each casting two ballots in the 2021 Annapolis general election found certain records were not updated in electronic poll books on Election Day, which allowed them to vote in person despite also returning ballots by mail, Brooks DuBose of the Capital Gazette reports.

BUTTIGIEG TOUTS DEDICATED BUS LANES IN B’MORE: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg returned to Baltimore on Tuesday to tout a $22 million transit grant that state and local officials said will include 10 miles of critically-needed, dedicated bus lanes, Jeff Barker of the Sun reports. With him were Maryland Transportation Secretary Greg Slater, Mayor Brandon Scott, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen and other officials.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

cynthiaprairie@gmail.com
https://www.chestertelegraph.org/

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 news outlet, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at: cynthiaprairie@gmail.com

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