GOP LAWMAKERS: ADOPTED MAP IGNORES VOTERS’ WISHES: The General Assembly largely ignored the wishes of a significant portion of the state’s electorate in a recent vote to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of congressional redistricting legislation favored by Democrats, several of Maryland’s GOP lawmakers said Monday. Bryan Renbaum/Maryland Reporter.
HOYER FILES FOR RE-ELECTION, SEEKS 21st FULL TERM: U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer expressed confidence that Democrats can avoid devastating losses next November. He pointed to the COVID-19 relief aid Democrats approved last year and to the measures they approved since winning the White House last November. On Monday, Hoyer filed for re-election. The 82-year-old dean of the Maryland congressional delegation hopes the residents of Southern Maryland and Prince George’s County return him for what would be his 21st full term. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.
PELOSI BACKS PEREZ FOR GOV: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is backing former Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez in his bid to become Maryland’s next governor, a high-profile endorsement that could provide a significant boost in the crowded Democratic primary. Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post.
- Pelosi outlined the pair’s history of working together in national politics in a statement released by Perez’s campaign. Pelosi said in the statement. “Tom is a compassionate leader, a great listener, and someone who isn’t afraid to do the hard work governing requires, and I’m proud to endorse him.” Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Sun.
KELLEY, PENDERGRASS WON’T SEEK RE-ELECTION: Two more veteran lawmakers are opting to retire rather than run for reelection in 2022: Sen. Delores Kelley of Baltimore County and Del. Shane Pendergrass of Howard County. Both are long-serving Democrats who chair key committees, and their departures will contribute to a significant amount of political turnover in 2022. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Sun.
- Kelley said she recently underwent shoulder surgery to repair an injury sustained while assisting her 87-year-old husband, who has had health challenges. “It just made me start to think that I’m mortal,” the 85-year-old lawmaker said. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
PAYING FOR 2021 RENTERS’ LAW REMAINS A QUESTION: Maryland lawmakers passed legislation last session providing access to counsel for some low-income tenants facing eviction, creating a pivotal new protection for renters at risk of losing their homes. How to pay for the program is still an open question. Madeleine O’Neil/The Daily Record.
OPINION: STATE MUST REFORM PSYCHIATRIC TREATMENT LAW: In a column for the Sun, Evelyn Burton of the Schizophrenia & Psychosis Action Alliance urges a governor’s commission to reform the state’s involuntary psychiatric treatment law before more tragedies occur. “ …involuntary psychiatric hospital treatment can help prevent homelessness and incarceration and is a potential lifesaver for those in the midst of a psychiatric crisis and people around them …. It is a safety net for those whose mental illness makes them unable to recognize their need for hospital treatment and can lead to successful community living,” she opines.
CYBERATTACK LEAVES CRUCIAL GAPS IN COVID DATA: Maryland’s health department has not released coronavirus case rates for a ninth straight day because of a cyberattack that the governor has described as not as crippling as initially feared. Meanwhile, department employees on Monday remained unable to access their computers or many portions of the agency’s network … and the disruptions were being felt by local health workers trying to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Steven Thompson and Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post.
- Public health experts said the reporting gaps leave health care systems and government leaders vulnerable to the coronavirus. It also leaves the public in the dark about the state of the pandemic where they live and could hamper them from making fully informed decisions about their behaviors. Hallie Miller/The Baltimore Sun.
MARYLAND HAD 1st CASE OF OMICRON: The District, Maryland and Virginia have each detected cases of omicron, with the earliest known case of omicron in United States found in a 40-year-old woman from Maryland who was tested on Nov. 21, three days before the existence of the new variant was publicly announced. Jenna Portnoy and Dan Keating/The Washington Post.
MO CO SAYS IT CAN MANAGE COVID SURGE: Montgomery County officials said Monday that COVID-19-related hospitalizations remain higher than prior months, but that the county remains in a good position to handle any potential surge. Steve Bohnel/Bethesda Beat.
COVID TESTS HARDER TO FIND: As Maryland experiences the first signs of another winter surge, COVID-19 tests are now more difficult to come by. Many test sites are open only a few days at condensed hours, with few night and weekend slots available, and the test kits offered by drugstores are pricey, if they can be found on shelves at all. Hallie Miller and Meredith Cohn/The Baltimore Sun.
STUDENTS WHO LEFT ARE SLOWLY RETURNING TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Thousands of students left Maryland’s public schools during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, but they are slowly coming back as school buildings reopen and a sense of normalcy returns. Liz Bowie/The Baltimore Sun.
MSDE VIOLATED CHRISTIAN SCHOOL’s SPEECH RIGHT, COURT RULES: The Maryland State Department of Education violated the free speech rights of a Christian school by withholding scholarship money for declining to state in its written admissions policy that it does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, a federal judge in Baltimore ruled Friday. MSDE’s condition for distributing the funds to Bethel Christian Academy in Savage amounted to compelled speech by the government in violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment, U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher wrote. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.
WITH NEW MAP, FIVE CONGRESSMEN TO REPRESENT ARUNDEL: The new congressional map adds part of Anne Arundel County to District 1, currently represented by Rep. Andy Harris, who is a Republican. This means Anne Arundel will now be represented in five districts rather than just the four from the previous map: District 2, represented by Dutch Ruppersberger; District 3, represented by John Sarbanes; District 4, represented by Anthony Brown; and District 5, represented by Steny Hoyer, all Democrats. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.
AFTER JUSTICE DEPT. SETTLEMENT, FREDERICK SCHOOLS’ CHIEF LEAVES: After 11 years as the district’s superintendent, Terry Alban is leaving Frederick County Public Schools effective immediately, officials announced Monday. The announcement comes nearly two weeks after the Department of Justice announced a settlement with FCPS over its illegal use of seclusion and restraint against students with disabilities. Jillian Atelsek/The Frederick News-Post.
NEW FREDERICK PD HQ UNLIKELY TO MAKE STATE BUDGET: It may be too late to add money for the Frederick Police Department’s new headquarters to the state’s capital budget, although getting money for the project’s design might be possible, members of the county’s legislative delegation told the city’s mayor and aldermen Monday. Ryan Marshall/The Frederick News Post.
TINY TOWN OF TRAPPE FACES HUGE DEVELOPMENT: Opponents of a more than 2,500 home proposed development in the tiny Eastern Shore town of Trappe say that if the project goes as planned, the huge development could more than quintuple the town’s population — currently about 1,200 — and transform Talbot County from a quiet, rural enclave into yet another sprawling Washington suburb. They also fear that its proposed system for handling wastewater could leave the town with an even bigger environmental problem. Fred Kunkle/The Washington Post.