State Roundup: It’s opening day and Hogan hopes tax cut proposal is a home run; Ports becomes transportation secretary; Cambridge mayor in ‘revenge porn’ case resigns

State Roundup: It’s opening day and Hogan hopes tax cut proposal is a home run; Ports becomes transportation secretary; Cambridge mayor in ‘revenge porn’ case resigns

James Ports, with his hand raised, is sworn in as secretary of transportation. Photo by Joe Andrucyk of the Governor's Press Office.

HOGAN PROPOSES USING SURPLUS TO AID RETIREES, LOW EARNERS, BUSINESSES: Gov. Larry Hogan is proposing spending a chunk of Maryland’s budget surplus on a series of tax cuts for retirees, the state’s lowest earners and manufacturers that he hopes the Democrat-controlled Maryland General Assembly will agree to pass during the upcoming legislative session. Bryn Stole and Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Sun.

  • “We need to take bolder steps,” Hogan said as he proposed sending much of a historic state surplus into the pockets of retirees, the working poor, corporations, retail developers and manufacturers. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
  • One day before the General Assembly gavels in for its annual session at high noon Wednesday, policymakers in both parties were scrambling to make news and score early political points. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

OH, AND THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION STARTS TODAY: As the Maryland General Assembly convenes Wednesday, state lawmakers, including Frederick County’s eight-member delegation, will have to navigate a 90-day session complicated by COVID for a second consecutive year. Jack Hogan/The Frederick News Post.

  • This is the third year the coronavirus has affected how the General Assembly operates. Aside from the pandemic, the major issues of the session include the legalization of marijuana, a historic budget surplus, crime and climate change. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.
  • Legislators plan to deal with reams of proposed legislation and finalize the state budget before the session’s scheduled adjournment in April. As of Tuesday morning, 200 bills had been pre-filed in the House and 220 had been pre-filed in the Senate. Michael Garcia and Tamela Baker/The Hagerstown Herald Mail.
  • Hogan’s legislative priorities including boosting funding for police agencies, and seeking tax relief for retirees — though his policies have failed to gain traction in the past. Bruce DePuyt and Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

PAID FAMILY LEAVE: Nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted paid family leave policies, and Maryland could be next if the legislature passes the Time to Care Act this year, sponsored by Sen. Antonio L. Hayes (D-Baltimore City) and Del. Kris Valderrama (D-Prince George’s). The measure would allow all Marylanders, both part-time and full-time employees who have worked 680 hours, to take 12 weeks of paid leave following childbirth or to take care of themselves or a family member experiencing serious health issues. Elizabeth Shwe/Maryland Matters.

OPINION: MIND THOSE CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES: Compared to other states, Maryland is out of compliance when it comes to reviewing its child support guidelines, as required by state law opines child support reform advocate Howard Gorrell in a column for Maryland Reporter. The Child Support Administration must review the guidelines every four years to ensure that their application determines appropriate child support amounts.

Jim Ports is the new secretary of transportation. Governor’s Office Photo

PORTS NAMED TRANSPORTATION SECTY: James F. Ports Jr., the former chief of Maryland’s tolling authority, became state transportation secretary Tuesday after his predecessor, Gregory Slater, left for a job in Florida, state officials said. Katherine Shaver/The Washington Post.

EEOC LAWSUIT AGAINST MDOT CLAIMS GENDER DISCRIMINATION: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has alleged in a new lawsuit that the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration discriminated against a male employee by paying him lower wages than his female colleagues because of his gender. Madeleine O’Neill/The Daily Record.

MO CO SCHOOLS ASK STATE FOR NATIONAL GUARD TO DRIVE BUSES: One day after dozens of school bus routes were taken out of service due to driver shortages caused by COVID-19 call-outs last week, Montgomery County officials went to the state asking for help. They asked for support from the Maryland National Guard to provide 200 bus drivers. Glynis Kazanjian and Kevin Lewis/WJLA-TV News.

SEN. REILLY EYES CHANGES IN CONSTITUENCY: After three terms serving in the Maryland Senate, Crofton Republican Ed Reilly will be going into this election cycle campaigning to represent a very different group of constituents in District 33 if the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission gets its proposed map of legislative districts passed. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.

DUTCH AT HOME WITH MILD COVID SYMPTOMS: U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger said Tuesday he has tested positive for COVID-19, part of a wave of cases in Congress since the omicron variant began surging across the country. The Baltimore County Democrat, who turns 76 on Jan. 31, said in a statement that his positive result came Monday night and that he was quarantining at home with mild symptoms. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.

COVID CONTINUES TO STRESS CARROLL HOSPITALS: As the latest surge of COVID-19 cases continues to impact Carroll County, the health department reported four deaths this week due to the virus. On Tuesday, Carroll Hospital had 180 total patients, 63 of whom have tested positive for COVID-19. In the Critical Care Unit, 15 patients, all of whom are COVID positive, were being cared for, with all but two on ventilators. Three of those 15 patients had been vaccinated against COVID-19. Madison Bateman/The Carroll County Times.

MAYOR CHARGED WITH ‘REVENGE PORN’ IS OUT: Nearly two months after he was charged with 50 counts of disseminating “revenge porn” online, Andrew Bradshaw is no longer the mayor of Cambridge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the city announced Tuesday. Bradshaw submitted his resignation Monday. Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun.

  • The resignation statement came almost immediately after Bradshaw appeared in Dorchester County Circuit Court for a status conference. Bradshaw’s defense team and the Office of the State Prosecutor had been working on a plea agreement, but no deal was reached after Circuit Court Judge Brett Wilson told the defense and prosecution that he would not bind the court to any sentencing agreement as part of a deal. Mike Detmer/The Dorchester Star.

HOWARD CANDIDATES DENIED MATCHING FUNDS ON TECHNICALITY: A technicality of language has resulted in Howard County candidates being denied matching campaign funds this election season. On Monday night, the Citizens Election Fund Commission met to discuss the matter, which was brought to its attention by Howard County Council member Deb Jung, who is seeking re-election. Katie V. Jones/Baltimore Sun Media.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To state Del. Jon Cardin, D, of District 11.

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

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