COURT EXTENDS CANDIDATE FILING DEADLINE: The Maryland Court of Appeals on Friday pushed Maryland’s 2022 primary campaign candidate filing deadline back by a month after several petitions were filed against the state’s new legislative districts earlier this week. Bennett Leckrone/Maryland Matters.
- The new deadline is March 22 for anyone who wants to run in any of the many positions up for election this year, from local county councils to governor. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Sun.
RETURN TO IN-PERSON SESSIONS IN STATEHOUSE: After five weeks of virtual hearings and a limited number of floor sessions — especially in the House, which has met in full just three times since the session opened on Jan. 12 — the legislature is getting closer to a semblance of normalcy, two years after the COVID-19 pandemic ended the 2020 session abruptly. Beginning today, all Senate committee hearings will be held in person, and the full Senate will have floor sessions almost every day. House hearings will remain online, but the full House will begin holding regular floor sessions this week. Josh Kurtz and Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.
100+ GROUPS ASK SENATE TO CONTINUE VIDEO TESTIMONY: More than 100 Maryland organizations have called on the state Senate to continue live video testimony at committee hearings after the chamber’s leadership announced it would end the option Monday when the Senate transitions back to in-person meetings. Stephen Neukam and E. A. Breeden/Capital News Service in Maryland Reporter.
TRANSIT OFFICIALS OPTIMISTIC OVER PURPLE LINE: Top Maryland transportation officials expressed optimism that when work on the Purple Line resumes this spring, the project will be able to avoid a repeat of the issues that have caused significant construction delays and cost overruns. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.
LAWMAKERS HOPE TO CURB USE OF TEMPORARY MESSAGE APP: Several Maryland Democratic lawmakers have introduced a bill meant to curtail Gov. Larry Hogan (R)’s use of messages that self-destruct in 24 hours, or at least bring them further to light. They say it was sparked by recent revelations about the governor’s use of the app Wickr to communicate about a range of public issues with top aides and other state employees. Steve Thompson/The Washington Post.
UMBC RANKS AMONG TOP RESEARCH SCHOOLS: The University of Maryland Baltimore County has joined the highest ranks of research universities in the country, a milestone for the young school with a reputation for producing scientists and engineers of color. The 55-year-old university in suburban Baltimore reached Research 1, or R1, status, a distinction for universities with very high research activity. Lauren Lumpkin/The Washington Post.
A VALENTINE TO MARYLAND’s POWER COUPLES: It’s often said that power is an aphrodisiac. We’ll leave it to those with real power to tell us whether that’s true. Without further ado, Maryland Matters presents its list of Maryland political power couples, 2022 edition, in alphabetical order. Staff/Maryland Matters.
IS HOGAN EYEING THE PRESIDENCY? Gov. Larry Hogan has already made some of the classic moves toward a run for the presidency, noted Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics at Goucher College. Hogan published a political memoir in 2020 and is a regular guest on the Sunday network talk shows. Bryn Stole/The Baltimore Sun.
- During a one-on-one CNN interview with Jake Tapper, the governor said he was flattered by the encouragement to run, but has never had a desire to be a U.S. senator. After mention of his most recent video, released by the governor’s non-profit advocacy group, Hogan says that a presidential run for 2024 is not completely out of sight. Nia Fitzhugh/WBFF-TV.
OPINION: AN EXPECTED DEMOCRAT RESPONSE: In an article by Bennett Leckrone for Maryland Matters, we find out that the Republican efforts to amend a bill, SB163, that would allow Marylanders a second chance to sign a mail-in ballot oath, required for their vote to be counted on all mail-in ballots in the State of Maryland, failed. This should not come as a surprise to the electorate who have come to expect this kind of response from the Democratic majority in the state legislature. Marc King/Maryland Reporter.
PERSISTENT COVID CONTINUES TO CONFOUND DOCTORS: In the nearly two years since the Covid-19 pandemic began, there isn’t one treatment or even any specific diagnosis for the many people with long-haul Covid and the persistent or new symptoms after an infection. The affliction continues to confound the medical establishment. Long-haulers are men and women of all ages who had all levels of COVID severity. Meredith Cohn/The Baltimore Sun.
‘THIN BLUE LINE’ FLAG BEFORE HIGH COURT: Maryland’s top court will consider whether a criminal defendant’s right to an unbiased jury is inherently violated by the courtroom presence of a bailiff wearing a face mask emblazoned with the pro-police “thin blue line” flag during trial. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.
BA CO COUNCIL WANTS RELIC OYSTER REEF PROTECTED: The Baltimore County Council is throwing its weight behind state legislation that would shield the ancient Man O’War Shoals in the Patapsco River — the last large relic oyster reef in the upper bay — and extinguish the effort to dredge it. Meanwhile, oystermen have begun pushing separate legislation that could allow the state to gather tens of millions of bushels from more than two dozen other oyster reefs so that shell can be used to restock harvest areas around the bay. Taylor DeVille/The Baltimore Sun.
BA CO SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER RESIGNS TO RUN FOR STATEHOUSE: Baltimore County school board member Cheryl Pasteur resigned last week after announcing her candidacy for a seat in Maryland’s General Assembly. Pasteur, who was elected to the 12-person board in 2018, plans to run for a House of Delegates seat as a Democrat in District 11A. Lillian Reed/The Baltimore Sun.
OPINION: COX AVOIDS ANSWERING QUESTIONS: In a tasteless display from the candidate and his lemmings alike, Del. Dan Cox dodged questions from the audience about his support of the Republican nominee for governor at a meeting in Frederick last week. Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin.
3 MARYLAND DELEGATES JOIN CALL FOR 50-STATE ELECTION AUDIT: Three Maryland Republicans are among the small group of legislators nationwide calling for a “fifty state audit:” Dels. Dan Cox, Mark Fisher, and Jeff Ghrist are among a group of 204 legislators nationwide who have joined Arizona Sen.Wendy Rogers crusade against the 2020 election. Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin.
HIGH COURT TO HEAR PG REDISTRICTING CASE: Maryland’s highest court has agreed to consider an appeal filed by the Prince George’s County Council in a controversial local redistricting case. The order, issued late Friday, came in response to a ruling from a Prince George’s County Circuit Court judge late last month. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.
LIBRARY RENAMING SOUGHT TO HONOR TUSKEGEE AIRMAN: Montgomery County Council Member Will Jawando wants to rename Silver Spring Library after Brig. Gen. Charles McGee, a former Tuskegee Airman who died in mid-January. Staff/Bethesda Beat.
ANNAPOLIS COUPLE IN COURT ON ESPIONAGE CHARGES: A former U.S. Naval nuclear engineer accused of trying to sell secrets to a foreign government is due to appear in court Monday for a plea hearing. A West Virginia magistrate judge in a Friday order said that Jonathan Toebbe of Annapolis will enter a plea at 3 p.m. Monday. Toebbe and his wife, Diana Toebbe, face espionage charges for selling secrets about nuclear submarines to an undisclosed foreign power. Taylor DeVille/The Baltimore Sun.
WINDMILL PRODUCTION IN SPARROWS POINT: Production at a planned wind energy manufacturing plant in Sparrows Point would start in about two years under a timeline outlined Thursday by officials from US Wind. Pre-construction work will start this year at Tradepoint Atlantic in Baltimore County, executives of the wind farm developer said during a virtual event for businesses held by the Greater Baltimore Committee. Lorraine Mirabella/The Baltimore Sun.
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. (Paid Advertising)