NO SURPRISE: HOUSE PANEL PICKS LEGISLATIVE MAP, KICKS ASIDE HOGAN’s: The debate over how to redraw Maryland’s eight congressional districts came to a head on Monday afternoon as a joint legislative committee voted to advance one redistricting map over an opposing map. The map that will be sent to the floor during this week’s special session is the product of a bipartisan committee of General Assembly lawmakers. The map that failed to advance is the product of a citizens’ redistricting commission whose members were appointed by Gov. Larry Hogan. Bryan Renbaum/Maryland Reporter.
- By the end of the week, Democratic leaders plan to approve a new map that’s somewhat less convoluted than the state’s current congressional map — widely viewed as among the most gerrymandered in the nation — but will keep seven of the state’s eight seats safely in Democratic hands. Pamela Wood and Bryn Stole/The Baltimore Sun.
- Members of the public expressed a range of opinions on congressional redistricting. Walter Olson, Republican co-chair of the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission, touted the commission’s process, which he called “highly responsive to public comment,” as well as the proposed map. Allison Mollenkamp/Capital News Service.
- The House committee spurned appeals from Gov. Larry Hogan and good-government groups to choose a map proposed by the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.
- In its current form, the measure would make a series of noticeable changes to the state’s current — and controversial — congressional map. But like that map, in use since 2012 and the subject of much litigation, several districts wander the state in circuitous fashion. Bennett Leckrone and Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.
LWV TO RALLY FOR REDISTRICTING MAP: The League of Women Voters of Washington County wants local voices to be heard when the Maryland General Assembly meets in special session this week to consider proposals to redraw congressional and legislative districts. League board member Genie Massey said a delegation from her organization plans to attend the People’s Maps Rally on Dec. 8 sponsored by the statewide League in partnership with the People’s Maps Maryland organization, formerly known as Tame the Gerrymander. David Rhodes/The Hagerstown Herald-Mail.
SENATE VOTES TO OVERRIDE A NUMBER OF HOGAN VETOES: The Maryland Senate voted to override Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill that removes the governor’s office from parole decisions. The measure will become law if the veto is also overridden in the House of Delegates, where it is likely to be debated on Tuesday. Hannah Gaskill, Elizabeth Shwe and Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.
- The Senate voted Monday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of legislation to strip him and future Maryland governors of the final say in parole decisions for inmates sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.
DRUG PARAPHERNALIA REMAINS ILLEGAL: Maryland lawmakers won’t vote this week to decriminalize paraphernalia used to inject drugs, allowing a veto from Gov. Larry Hogan to stand. The Maryland Senate opted Monday to “postpone indefinitely” a decision on a paraphernalia decriminalization bill that the Republican governor vetoed earlier this year. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Sun.
DESPITE BREACH, STATE FINDS NO EVIDENCE DATA COMPROMISED: The Maryland Department of Health said Monday that there was “no evidence” any of its data had been compromised after a cyberattack forced the agency to take its website offline over the weekend. Christine Condon and Hallie Miller/The Baltimore Sun.
- Maryland Department of Health officials told workers not to use state-issued computers Monday and the agency’s servers remained offline as the department grappled with the effects of a cyberattack over the weekend. Steve Thompson/The Washington Post.
SPORTS BETTING IN B’MORE CASINOS STARTS FRIDAY: Baltimore-area casinos — which have waited years for permission to offer wagering on football, basketball and other sports — will open in-person sports betting to the public Friday. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.
CORDISH SELLS CASINOS TO REAL ESTATE BRANCH, RETAINS MANAGEMENT: The Cordish Cos., the Baltimore-based developer behind Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland and Power Plant Live!, will sell its three casino properties to a real estate investment trust that specializes in gaming sites. The deal with Gaming and Leisure Properties, announced Monday, is valued at as much as $1.8 billion. Cordish will lease back the properties and “continue uninterrupted to own, control and manage all the gaming operations of the facilities.” Hallie Miller/The Baltimore Sun.
OPINION: DEAFENING SILENCE FROM ALSOBROOKS ON PG MAP: In a column for Maryland Matters, Prince George’s County resident Tracy Thompson opines that she was “appalled on Nov. 16, 2021, as I watched the Prince George’s County Council approve the Davis/Franklin map (CR-123-2021) for the new Prince George’s County redistricting lines,” when more than 100 spoke against it and no one spoke in favor. “I was shocked that the council could so blatantly ignore the will of Prince George’s residents. What has also been shocking is the silence from our county executive, Angela Alsobrooks.”
82% OF FREDERICK GOVT STAFF VAXXED: One week after the deadline to qualify for a vaccine incentive, Frederick County government revealed that 82 percent of staff were vaccinated. Full-time county employees had until Nov. 30 to submit proof of vaccination to receive $1,000, $500 for part-timers. County Executive Jan Gardner announced the initiative at the end of September. Jack Hogan/The Frederick News-Post.
MO CO SHOOTS FOR 85% VAXX RATE: Montgomery County health officials hope that, given the current rate of 5- to 11-year-olds being vaccinated, the county will have 85% of its county residents fully vaccinated — a metric that eliminates an indoor mask mandate. Steve Bohnel/Bethesda Beat.
PERENNIAL JUDGE CANDIDATE FACES CAMPAIGN COMPLAINT: An assertion issued last year from the campaign Twitter account of attorney Marylin Pierre, an outside candidate who ran to be a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge in 2020 took center stage in a sweeping complaint filed by Maryland’s Bar Counsel to the state’s highest court last month. It alleges that a string of campaign falsehoods by Pierre violated Maryland Attorneys’ Rules of Professional Conduct. Dan Morse/The Washington Post.
OPINION: DON’T PLAY THAT SONG FOR ME: In this short opinion piece for the Duckpin, Brian Griffiths opines that “Max Socol, who is running a radical left-wing primary challenge to state Sen. Jeff Waldstreicher, recorded a Hanukkah song in support of their candidate. In the canon of ‘left-wing protest’ songs … (it) reminds me that that folk music makes for terrible protest songs.” [Woody Guthrie might disagree with that last statement.]
BUCKLEY SWORN IN FOR 2nd TERM AS ANNAPOLIS MAYOR: Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley and the City Council were sworn in on Monday. Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, civil rights leader Carl Snowden and four former Annapolis mayors attended. Many spoke to heap praise on Buckley for his leadership and vision for Annapolis, congratulated the new City Council. Brooks DuBose/The Capital Gazette.
FRED HIATT, POST EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, DIES AT 66: Fred Hiatt, a onetime foreign correspondent who in 2000 became The Washington Post’s editorial page editor and greatly expanded the global reach of the newspaper’s opinion writers in the era of 9/11, the election of Barack Obama and the destabilizing presidency of Donald Trump, died Dec. 6 at a hospital in New York City. He was 66. Matt Schudel/The Washington Post.