State Roundup: Hogan, Assembly leaders propose 30-day gas tax suspension

State Roundup: Hogan, Assembly leaders propose 30-day gas tax suspension

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GAS TAX HOLIDAY PROPOSED WITH BROAD SUPPORT: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and legislative leaders announced Thursday they plan to lift the state’s gas tax for 30 days to blunt fuel prices that have surged past $4 per gallon, as other states eye similar measures. Erin Cox and Michael Laris/The Washington Post

  • The suspension of the gas tax, which is nearly 37 cents a gallon, requires legislation. Brian Witte of the Associated Press/Cumberland Times-News
  • The suspension of the gas tax was made possible by the Maryland’s Board of Revenue Estimates voting to increase revenue estimates for the current fiscal year and next by a combined $1.6 billion. Joel McCord/WYPR
  • The idea gained traction quickly Thursday afternoon after Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat running for governor, called for a three-month gas tax holiday to ease pressure on pinched wallets. Republican Hogan followed with his own call for a temporary suspension of the gas tax. Bryn Stole/Baltimore Sun

STATE PROJECTS RECORD SURPLUS: New state revenue estimates released Thursday elevated Maryland’s historic budget surplus to about $7.5 billion, an eye-popping figure that was quickly seized on by leaders in both parties to bolster their tax cut or spending proposals. Bryan Sears/Daily Record

  • The surplus announcement sets the stage for renewed debate on how to spend the state’s historic surplus. Democrats have pushed extra funding for schools, child care and tax breaks on necessities such as diapers and medical equipment. Republicans have called for across-the-board tax breaks for retirees. There are bipartisan calls to send stimulus checks to residents. Erin Cox/Washington Post

SUPERSEDING INDICTMENT FILED WITH NEW DETAILS IN MOSBY CASE: Federal prosecutors reinforced their claims against Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby Thursday in a superseding indictment that added details to the criminal case against the city’s top prosecutor, but no new charges. Madeleine O’Neill/Daily Record

  • The superseding indictment includes a December 2020 letter to her mortgage lender where Mosby claimed she and her family had spent the past 70 days living in Florida to get a more favorable financial terms on the loan, but Mosby and her husband made public appearances in Baltimore during that time. Leo Sanderlin and Emily Opilo/Baltimore Sun

SENATE SPENDS HOURS DEBATING CLIMATE CHANGE BILL: The Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 is nearing passage in the Senate, but a debate on the bill Thursday lasted roughly five hours. Callan Tansill-Suddath/WYPR

  • It would set a statewide goalfor 2030, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% of emission levels recorded in 2006. For 2045, it would set the emissions goal to net-zero, and would rely on large building retrofits as one of the ways to do so. Elizabeth Shwe/Maryland Matters

 CITY HALL TO REOPEN: Baltimore will reopen all of its buildings, including City Hall, on April 4 after a two-year closure driven by the Covid-19 pandemic. Carley Milligan/Baltimore Business Journal

  • Officials said the online meeting format developed in response to the pandemic will continue in some form. Fern Shen/Baltimore Brew
  • Mayor Brandon Scott announced the changes Thursday, citing the city’s improving COVID-19 health metrics. Marcus Dieterle/Baltimore Fishbowl

GHOST GUNS LEGISLATION DIFFERS IN HOUSE AND SENATE: The House and Senate took different approaches to draft laws that would prohibit untraceable ghost guns on Wednesday. Hannah Gaskill/Maryland Matters

SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF EMPLOYEES HEAD TO ANNAPOLIS ASKING FOR DENIED SALARY INCREASES: Maryland School for the Deaf employees gathered in Annapolis on Thursday to implore Gov. Larry Hogan to implement salary increases they say they have been unfairly denied for more than a decade. Jillian Atelsek/Frederick News-Post

LAWMAKERS WANT TO HELP EASE HEALTHCARE STAFFING SHORTAGES: Amid nationwide staffing shortages in the health care industry, some Maryland legislators hope that allocating money specifically to help health care providers and nursing homes to increase their workers’ pay will improve hiring and retention. Johanna Alonso/Daily Record

BALTIMORE COUNTY COUNCIL REDISTRICTING OBJECTIONS ARGUED IN COURT: Plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit against the Baltimore County Council’s redistricting plan argued in a Thursday court filing that a new map for county council districts, submitted by the council, still fails to comply with the Voting Rights Act. Bennett Leckrone/Maryland Matters

BWI STUDY PROPOSED: The General Assembly is considering a bill that would study the health and environmental impacts of the BWI Marshall Airport after some complained about new flight paths in Anne Arundel and Howard Counties. Dana Munro/Capital Gazette

CRAB OPERATORS SCRAMBLING WHEN FOREIGN WORKERS DENIED: Eastern Shore crab plants are wondering how to keep operations going after only one of 10 that applied to the U.S. Department of Labor for permission to bring in temporary workers — mostly Mexican women — to pick crab meat won the lottery. Jeff Barker/Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE COUNTY HEARING EXAMINES VIOLENCE IN SCHOOLS: The Baltimore County’s Board of Education held a hearing Thursday night for parents to voice their concerns about violence including fights, pepper spray and a shooting, and what they think needs to be done to stop it. Annie Rose Ramos/WJZ

SOUTHERN MD DELEGATION MEETING FEATURES HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATORS: A virtual meeting March 4 with members of the Southern Maryland delegation in Annapolis gave the region’s hospital administrators an opportunity to praise the public for its support during the pandemic and point out major challenges each facility is facing. Marty Madden/Southern Maryland News

About The Author

Meg Tully

Contributing Editor Meg Tully has been covering Maryland politics for more than five years. She has worked for The Frederick News-Post, where she reported during the General Assembly session in Annapolis. She has also worked for The (Hanover) Evening Sun and interned at Baltimore Magazine. Meg has won awards from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association for her state and county writing, and a Keystone Press Award for feature writing from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. She is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. If you have additional questions or comments contact Meg at:

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