State Roundup: Despite rising tides, flood buyouts rare in Maryland; make ghost guns illegal, advocates urge

State Roundup: Despite rising tides, flood buyouts rare in Maryland; make ghost guns illegal, advocates urge

Few Marylanders who are eligible to take FEMA buyouts after their homes flooded have done so. "Smith Island, Maryland" by Lee Cannon is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

FLOOD BUYOUTS RARE FOR RELUCTANT MARYLANDERS: Federal data show that buyouts remain a rare response to floods in Maryland. In the past decade, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has reported fewer than 20 buyouts in the state. At the same time, the risk to people and buildings is rising because of climate change. The latest flood to hit the region set record high-water marks in late October and inundated hundreds of homes in some areas. But it was not the result of any major storm — merely a confluence of rain, winds and tides in Chesapeake Bay waters that are rising a couple of inches each decade. Scott Dance/The Baltimore Sun.

ADVOCATES SEEK OUTLAWING GHOST GUNS: Advocates from Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action want ghost guns outlawed in Maryland. On Tuesday morning the organizations will hold a rally on Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis, outside the State House, where laws are made. Glynis Kazanjian/WJLA-News 7.

FINANCIAL BOOST SOUGHT FOR BUSY STATE PARKS: To address the surge of visitors in Maryland’s state parks during the pandemic, state lawmakers are introducing a proposal that increases staffing, expands recreational amenities and improves equity of access. Elizabeth Shwe/Maryland Matters.

COVID METRICS CONTINUE DOWNWARD TREND: In Maryland, COVID-19 metrics have been continually dipping since early January. As of Monday, the COVID-19 positivity rate is below 15% – not low, but encouraging, given a peak rate of just under 30% just weeks ago. Dr. John Chessare, president and CEO of GBMC Healthcare, hopes that omicron may be behind us, but shares concerns with the World Health Organization that with people remaining unvaccinated, new variants may emerge. Sarah Kim/WYPR-FM.

CLEAN ENERGY RECEPTION: The Maryland Clean Energy Center’s 2022 Legislative Reception will feature guest legislators and speakers, with a featured panel to discuss Energy & the Built Environment: Strategies Aimed at Addressing Climate Change. This panel session will examine the challenges, opportunities, and recommendations related to building de-carbonization to achieve demand reduction goals from the perspective of consumers, industry, and utilities. Tickets are on sale now for this hybrid event on Feb. 17, with an in-person luncheon in Annapolis. All registrants will receive program recordings.

O’MALLEY, IN RACE FOR ATTY GEN, ISSUES POLICY PROPOSALS: Katie Curran O’Malley (D) published her criminal justice policy proposals in the race for Maryland attorney general Tuesday morning, with an eye toward further police and prosecutor accountability and equitable reform for marginalized communities. Hannah Gaskell/Maryland Matters.

COVID AMONG KEY QUESTIONS FOR MO CO EXEC HOPEFULS: Will COVID-19 remain the focus of Montgomery County voters come June’s primary election, or will their attention turn to long-range needs such as jobs, affordable housing and improved transportation? The answer to that and other key questions could determine whether County Executive Marc Elrich is nominated for a second term in a jurisdiction where success in the Democratic primary has become tantamount to election in November, given the Democrats’ nearly 4-1 edge in registered voters. Where do the other candidates – Tom Hucker, Hans Reimer and David Blair – stand? Louis Peck/Bethesda Magazine.

SPEAKING WITH MO CO EXEC CANDIDATE DAVID BLAIR: An interview with David Blair. Interviews with Hucker, Elrich and Reimer will appear later this week. Louis Peck/Bethesda Beat

HAIRE LEADS FUND RACE FOR ARUNDEL EXEC: Anne Arundel County Council member Jessica Haire is leading in campaign donations and contributions for the county executive race with $619,094 on hand, according to newly filed campaign finance reports. Haire, a Republican, has raised a total of $817,279 and has spent $321,096 in expenditures, with $134,984 going into TV commercials. She has also committed $500,000 of her personal funds to her campaign. Donovan Conaway/The Capital. Gazette.

HOWARD CAMPAIGN FUND NEEDS REFORM, ADVOCATES SAY: Fair elections advocates say Howard County officials’ decision not to release public campaign funding to candidates based on a technicality in county law could hamper participation in the program. Bennett Leckrone/Maryland Matters.

GLASSMAN TAPPED AS CHAIR OF B’MROE METRO COUNCIL BOARD: Harford County Executive Barry Glassman will serve as the 2022 chair of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council board of directors. The council is a nonprofit organization that works with local elected officials to improve the economy and quality of life for the region. Jason Fontelieu/The Aegis.

LOOKING FOR COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS: Maryland Reporter is looking to publish more commentary and analysis on issues about state government and politics from all points of view – left, center and right. If you have an opinion or analysis piece you’d like to see published, contact The commentary needs to be exclusive to Maryland Reporter and 500 to 800 words long.

MO CO VAXX PASSPORT PLAN RAISES CONCERNS: Montgomery County Council President Gabe Albornoz said Monday that he has concerns about a proposed vaccine passport proposal for some businesses and it needs more work. Steve Bohnel/Bethesda Beat.

ANNE DANKEMEYER HOPKINS, ACTIVE IN GOP POLITICS, DIES AT 92: Anne Dankmeyer Hopkins, former owner and editor of the legal journal American Maritime Cases and an active Baltimore Republican, died of cancer Jan. 5 at her Guilford home. She was 92. Jacques Kelly/The Baltimore Sun.

A Happy Birthday to: U.S. Rep. Andy Harris.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

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:

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