State Roundup: Gas tax reprieve poised to become law

State Roundup: Gas tax reprieve poised to become law photo

DRIVERS ARE CHANGING HABITS AS GAS TAX HOLIDAY BECOMES LAW: Maryland drivers are reporting gas costs are forcing them to make tough decisions about how they spend their money, from travel to fuel purchases to recreation. Joe Ryan for the Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter

  • A monthlong suspension of the state’s 36-cent fuel tax is poised to become law Friday, with the General Assembly expected to deliver it to Gov. Larry Hogan for his swift signature. Scott Dance/Baltimore Sun
  • Comptroller Peter Franchot said a proposed 30-day reprieve from Maryland’s gas tax could save residents nearly $100 million. Greg Larry/Cumberland Times-News
  • Around the nation, a rising number of governors and state lawmakers have been calling to suspend gas taxes, because prices have been at record highs that could go up even higher after the country cut off Russian oil imports. Brian Witte for the AP/Washington Times

SENATE POISED TO PASS PAID FAMILY LEAVE, HOUSE OF DELEGATES AT ODDS: The Maryland Senate is poised to pass legislation creating a mandatory paid family leave program. The passage of the mandatory program sets up a potential conflict with the House of Delegates, which amended its version of the bill to create a panel to study such a program. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record

  • Workers and employers would pay for the program, which has an estimated cost of $1.6 billion. Holden Wilen/Baltimore Business Journal

CONSERVATIVES SEEK TO LIMIT SEX EDUCATION: The House chamber erupted in an emotional debate on Thursday as Del. Kathy Szeliga (R-Baltimore and Harford) introduced an amendment to an anti-discrimination bill that would have limited public school instruction for younger children to “age appropriate” instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity. It failed 95-37. Hannah Gaskill/Maryland Matters

GOP RECRUITING SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES: Republicans are recruiting candidates for nonpartisan school board races in places such as Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties, where at least 17 seats are up for election. They are rallying around opposing mask mandates but also social issues in education like sexual orientation and identity and teaching about race. Lillian Reed and Liz Bowie/The Baltimore Sun 

TESTIMONY: REDISTRICTED MAP WOULD KEEP SAME PARTISAN BREAKDOWN: Maryland’s new congressional map will likely produce the same 7-1 partisan breakdown as the previous map, an expert for the state said during a trial for a pair of challenges against the new map Thursday. Bennett Leckrone/Maryland Matters

LEADERS LOOK AT ELIMINATING RETIREE INCOME TAX: Lawmakers are close to an agreement on eliminating the state income tax for retirees. There is $350 million in tax relief in the state budget bill, which is now on the Senate floor. David Collins/WBAL TV

LOCAL HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE FACED HARASSMENT: Harassment against local health officials was widespread during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Sarah Y. Kim/WYPR

BRIDGE KEEPS GOING OVER BUDGET, IS NOT BEING BUILT YET: A bridge project over Colgate Creek in southeast Baltimore and near the marine terminals, that hasn’t actually started construction yet, will soon have $7 million in cost overruns. Mark Reutter/Baltimore Brew

AUDIT FINDS FIRED, DEAD EMPLOYEES STILL PAID: A newly released report from the Office of Legislative Audits is critical of the Maryland Transit Administration’s handling of payroll, and found between April 2019 and 2020 it had it paid 164 employees after they had been fired, and also continued paying pensions to more than a dozen retirees who had died. Ryan Dickstein/WMAR

RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA BILLS NEED TO BE RECONCILED: With less than a month left in the 2022 legislative session, lawmakers in both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly are deliberating how to reconcile three different legislative efforts that look to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. Hannah Ziegler/The Diamondback

VICTIM PROPOSES CLOSER LOOK AT RED FLAG LAWS: A man who was wounded when his neighbor shot and killed three neighbors in Woodlawn is calling for the General Assembly to pass a bill which would convene a working group to reassess Maryland’s extreme risk-gun law called the “red flag law,” including representatives from the relevant agencies, law enforcement and health professionals. Christine Condon/Baltimore Sun

COMMENTARY: PG SHOULD NOT BE BUILDING A STADIUM FOR A VIRGINIA TEAM: The Commanders may be a “regional” team insofar as the team draws fans from D.C., Maryland, Virginia and beyond, they are a Virginia-based operation. Let Virginia build them a stadium. Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin

TAILLIGHT VOUCHERS PART OF POLICE REFORM EFFORTS: In an effort to have more positive interactions between police and the community, University of Maryland campus police will change their approach to stopping drivers for a busted taillight. Instead of a ticket, they will give drivers $250 vouchers to get broken bulbs replaced. Luke Lukert/WTOP

COMPTROLLER CANDIDATE ADAMS RELEASES ENDORSEMENT LIST: Bowie Mayor Timothy J. Adams, a Democratic candidate for state comptroller, released a list of dozens of endorsements from Democratic officials across Maryland on Thursday — though his campaign had to pull back a dozen of those endorsers by the end of the day. Bennett Leckrone/Maryland Matters

SOUTHERN MD MEETINGS RESUME IN PERSON FORMAT: Government officials in Southern Maryland are resuming in person meetings open to the public, such as the Charles County Commissioners. Darryl Kinsey Jr./Southern Maryland News

DEL. EMMETT BURNS REMEMBERED: Former Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr., the first African American elected to state office representing Baltimore County, and the founding pastor at Rising Sun First Baptist Church, which he started with his wife in their Lochearn home, died Thursday. Jessica Anderson/The Baltimore Sun

HAPPY BIRTHDAY today to Sen. Charles Sydnor, and belatedly to Del. Seth Howard on Thursday and Del. Jeff Ghrist last Monday.

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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