SUPERINTENDENTS EXITING MARYLAND SCHOOLS: Educational officials say more than a third of the state’s school systems may see a change in leadership this year. That echoes a national trend and potentially places Maryland’s turnover rate for superintendents at more than double the pre-pandemic national average. Lillian Reed/The Baltimore Sun.
SENATE PANEL DELAYS CONSIDERING PORTS FOR MDOT SECTY: Two cabinet nominations put forward by Gov. Larry Hogan were approved by a Senate panel on Monday — and lawmakers moved along several nominations to serve on the board of the Maryland Environmental Service. The Senate Executive Nominations Committee also signed-off on Hogan’s request to have several long-serving former officials take on new roles. But in a surprise move, the committee put off consideration of James F. Ports Jr., Hogan’s pick to serve as transportation secretary. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.
HOGAN PRAISES HEALTH CARE WORKERS, HONORS THEM WITH SPECIAL WEEK: After nearly two years of a COVID-19 pandemic that strained health care resources, doctors, nurses, technicians and other hospital staff appreciate any recognition and support they receive. On Monday, they got a real morale booster. Gov. Larry Hogan visited the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center to honor their courage and commitment by presenting a proclamation and thanking front line health care workers as well as members of the National Guard, who are managing the COVID testing center on campus. Donovan Conaway/The Capital Gazette.
GANSLER PICKS FORMER HYATTSVILLE MAYOR AS RUNNING MATE: Maryland Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Doug Gansler is teaming up with Candace B. Hollingsworth, a former mayor of Hyattsville, as his running mate in the 2022 campaign. Hollingsworth was the youngest-ever mayor and the first Black mayor of the town in Prince George’s County, winning election in 2015 before resigning in 2020 to focus on Our Black Party, an advocacy organization she cofounded. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Sun.
- In an interview Monday, Hollingsworth said she’s excited to join Gansler’s campaign, noting that their combined skill is needed to address the problems thousands of Marylanders are facing. Hollingsworth said it’s “easy to become complacent” because Maryland presents itself as a deep blue state. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
- With her focus now on the gubernatorial campaign, she’ll step down from the Our Black Party, which has a membership of 20,000 and 11 state directors and is designed to “support people and policies that improve the quality of life for Black people across the country. Really simple, but it’s a really big task.” William Ford/The Washington Informer.
ATTY GENERAL INTERVENTION PROPOSED ON VOTING LAW VIOLATIONS: Disturbed by Baltimore County’s redistricting process — which has resulted in a lawsuit against the County Council by civil rights groups — state Sen. Charles Sydnor III is proposing legislation that seeks to empower Maryland’s attorney general to intervene when local governments violate federal voting laws. The bill’s goal is to shore up voting protections for minorities. Taylor DeVille/The Baltimore Sun.
BILL WOULD REFER WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS TO GRIEVANCE BOARD: The names of the prosecutors and defense lawyers involved in convictions later deemed to have been wrongful would be forwarded automatically to the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission for potential ethics investigations under legislation the House Judiciary Committee heard last week. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.
LABOR PROBE: STATE SHORTCHANGED PRISON GUARD WAGES: A U.S. Department of Labor investigation found that Maryland shortchanged prison guards and other staff at the Jessup Correctional Institution by nearly a half-million dollars in wages over a two-year period. Bryn Stole/The Baltimore Sun.
CLEAN ENERGY RECEPTION: Guest speakers and legislators will discuss the climate and energy priorities for policy and regulation under consideration by the Maryland General Assembly during the Maryland Clean Energy Center’s Legislative Reception on Feb. 17, 2022. Featured panels will focus on Energy & the Built Environment: Strategies Aimed at Addressing Climate Change and Innovation & Regulation: Shooting Toward Energy Targets in Maryland. Advance registration is required for this hybrid format event, and ticket sales to attend onsite close this week.
REDISTRICTING IMPACTS WA CO DISTRICTS: With new legislative district maps approved by Maryland lawmakers in January, Washington County will see some changes in certain districts — leaving some county representatives and residents discontented. Michael Garcia/The Hagerstown Herald-Mail.
OPINION: CAUTION REQUIRED OVER BILLION DOLLAR STADIUM PLAN: The Baltimore Sun editorial board takes a look at the $1.2 billion ask from the Maryland Stadium Authority to upgrade both the Orioles and Ravens stadiums. “As near-spotless a record at the Maryland Stadium Authority may have to date in its management of sports facilities and other public venues, there is something about taking elected officials out of the real decision making and leaving the matter entirely in the hands of a public corporation not directly answerable to voters that gives one pause.”
PUBLIC FINANCING: ARUNDEL COUNCIL SAYS NO FOR NOW: Republicans on the Anne Arundel County Council on Monday blocked a charter amendment that, if approved by voters, would have set up a public campaign financing system in the county. Bennett Leckrone/Maryland Matters.
PUBLIC FINANCING: HOWARD COUNCIL FIXES A GLITCH: The Howard County Council voted unanimously Monday night in favor of an emergency election funding bill requested by Democratic Council member Deb Jung. Introduced by all five council members at its Jan. 26 meeting, CB11-2022 removes the original deadline of Aug. 3, 2021, for contested elections and will immediately release matching funds to those candidates participating in the Citizens Election Fund. Katie V. Jones/Baltimore Sun Media.
HARFORD FACES TEACHER SHORTAGE: More than 100 Harford County Public School employees have left the classroom since the beginning of the school year, according to the teachers’ union, about triple the number that would normally leave during this period. Jason Fontelieu/The Aegis.
MARYLANDERS FOR AFFORDABLE RX: Marylanders for Affordable Rx is educating policymakers and the public on the real reasons behind high prescription drug costs and exposing special interests that are out to pad their bottom line at the expense of Maryland’s hardworking people. Across the country and in our state, we see special interests, like Big Pharma and the independent pharmacy lobby, push agendas that would make it harder for patient advocates like pharmacy benefit managers to negotiate for lower prescription drug costs. Learn more and help us stop special interests from increasing our Rx costs.
BMW EXPANDS DISTRIBUTION CENTER AT SPARROWS POINT: German automaker BMW officially launched an expanded vehicle distribution center Monday at Tradepoint Atlantic in Sparrows Point, relocating from the state-owned Dundalk Marine Terminal to meet increased demand. Lorraine Mirabella/The Baltimore Sun.
TEXAS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO THREATENING DR. WEN: A Texas man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to making threats to former Baltimore health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen because of her COVID-19 vaccine advocacy. He now faces five years in prison. Alex Mann/The Baltimore Sun.