State Roundup: Push is on for gas tax holiday; court moves primary election to July as map challenges continue

State Roundup: Push is on for gas tax holiday; court moves primary election to July as map challenges continue

The 19.4% gas tax hike makes Maryland's among the highest gas taxes in the nation behind Pennsylvania, California and Washington state. Photo by Cheef from Pexels

LEGISLATORS, HOGAN PUMPED ABOUT GAS TAX HOLIDAY: Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday that he is working with legislators to address concerns that service station owners could pocket the benefits of an emergency 30-day gas tax holiday the Maryland General Assembly is working to pass this week. Stephen Neukam and Logan Hill for Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter.

  • Lawmakers questioned if there was any way to force gas stations to pass tax savings along to motorists — there isn’t — and debated whether to extend it for as long as three months. Scott Dance/The Baltimore Sun.
  • The bill as passed by both committees provides for a 30-day holiday on the 36-cent excise tax on gas. An amendment to both versions provides for a rebate to stations on gas they already have on hand to allow those stations to participate immediately. That same amendment will impose a retroactive tax on gas on hand when the tax holiday expires. Hogan said Tuesday morning, prior to the votes, that he would be open to extending the holiday beyond 30 days. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.

COURT MOVES PRIMARY ELECTION INTO JULY: The Maryland Court of Appeals postponed the state’s primary election from June 28 to July 19, placing it in the middle of summer vacation season and shortening the general election campaign. Jeff Barker, Bryn Stole and Emily Opilo/ The Baltimore Sun.

  • The order, signed by Chief Judge Joseph M. Getty of the Maryland Court of Appeals, comes as the court weighs four challenges to the redrawn maps. Opponents argue that the maps violate the state constitution and are gerrymandered. Ovetta Wiggins and Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
  • The order, released Tuesday afternoon, also changes several candidate filing deadlines, including extending the deadline for filing certificates of candidacy to Friday, April 15.  Staff/The Daily Record.

REPUBLICANS IN COURT TO CHALLENGE MAPS: Maryland Republicans seeking to throw out the state’s congressional map before the state’s rescheduled primary elections in July will argue in a trial this week that Democrats in the General Assembly drew an illegally gerrymandered map to maximize partisan gain. Meagan Flynn/The Washington Post.

  • Maryland’s new congressional districts are more compact than their immediate predecessors but are still significantly less compact than historic districts in the state, an analyst testified in a trial challenging the redistricting plan Tuesday. Bennett Leckrone/Maryland Matters.

Gov. Hogan says he won’t enter a bidding war to keep the Washington Commanders in Maryland.
Fedex Field in 2011 by Mrs. Gemstone CC BY-SA 2.0.

HOGAN SAYS NO TO BIDDING WAR TO KEEP COMMANDERS: Gov. Larry Hogan suggested on Tuesday that the Washington Commanders are playing Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia off one another in pursuit of a new stadium deal — and he declared that his state will not take part in a bidding war. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.

HOGAN OPENS SOME STATE JOBS TO THOSE LACKING 4-YEAR COLLEGE DEGREE: Some state government jobs will no longer require applicants to have a four-year college degree under a new initiative announced by Gov. Larry Hogan Thursday to expand job opportunities. Lilly Price/The Baltimore Sun.

UPGRADED SECURITY OR EARLY CLOSING? Bars and strip clubs on The Block in Baltimore would be able to dodge a threatened 10 p.m. early closing time by meeting a slate of security requirements under a revised version of a bill cracking down on the city’s adult entertainment district that passed the Maryland Senate on Tuesday. Bryn Stole/The Baltimore Sun.

By Workandapix on Pixabay

OPINION: MARYLAND MEDICAID NEEDS TO HELP TRANS PEOPLE: Nationwide, states are criminalizing transgender healthcare and attacking LGTBQ+ rights.  Maryland is poised to buck this hateful trend, by standing strong in support of its transgender community.  Right now, our legislature is considering providing truly equitable healthcare for our Medicaid program. Currently, Maryland Medicaid will not cover dozens of gender-affirming care treatments, even though private insurance covers them.  This policy discriminates against those with low income. Randall Leonard and Tavi Hawn/Maryland Reporter.

CONGRESSIONAL HONORS SOUGHT FOR HENRIETTA LACKS: Rep. Kweisi Mfume filed legislation Tuesday to posthumously award a Congressional Gold Medal to the late Henrietta Lacks, a Baltimore County woman whose cells were used for medical research without her consent. McKenna Oxenden/The Baltimore Sun.

RASKIN WITHDRAWS NOMINATION FROM FED BOARD: Sarah Bloom Raskin withdrew from consideration as the Federal Reserve’s banking cop on Tuesday, the White House confirmed, after Republicans and one key Democrat opposed her nomination in part because of her views prioritizing climate change. The Takoma Park resident served as deputy secretary of President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department from 2014 to 2017. She is also a distinguished fellow of Duke Law School’s Global Financial Markets Center. Rachel Siegel, Tyler Pager, Mike DeBonis and Seung Min Kim/The Washington Post.

MORE ANSWERS FROM MO CO EXEC CANDIDATES: During a March 6 public safety and education forum for Montgomery County executive candidates — hosted by Bethesda Beat and Bethesda Magazine — readers submitted many questions. Near the end of the forum, there was only time for a few audience questions, but many readers submitted questions on other topics. This week, Bethesda Beat asked the candidates to respond to some of those other audience questions, with a maximum of 100 words per answer. Staff/Bethesda Beat.

MO CO, PG FOCUS FUNDS ON LOW-INCOME AID, CLIMATE, POLICE: Buoyed by hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Covid pandemic relief, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D) and Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) proposed annual budgets Tuesday that would add support for low-income residents, boost investment in climate initiatives and expand police resources amid an uptick in violent crime. Rebecca Tan and Rachel Chason/The Washington Post.

  • Alsobrooks released a proposed budget Tuesday with no property tax increase and the goal to fund essential services to preserve the environment, boost economic development and public safety. William Ford/The Washington Informer.

ARUNDEL TO GET $13M FOR PROJECTS: Anne Arundel County will receive more than $13 million for various improvement projects in the federal omnibus spending bill passed by Congress last week. While most of the funding will go to larger county projects, such as stormwater management and purchasing electric vehicles, $500,000 is earmarked to upgrade the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland Camp Woodlands site on Riva Road in Annapolis. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.

BEVINS WON’T SEEK ANOTHER TERM ON BA CO COUNCIL: Baltimore County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins said Monday that she will not seek another term after representing the county’s 6th District for more than a decade. Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun.


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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