JUDGE DEFERS RULING ON LATEST CONGRESSIONAL MAP: A state judge deferred ruling Friday on whether to accept or reject a redrawn map of Maryland’s congressional districts that she had ordered after concluding the original map was unfair to Republicans. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.
- Judge Lynne Battaglia said Friday she could not approve the redrawn congressional map that Democrats passed this week, not because she found a problem with it, but because it hasn’t been enacted into law. Meagan Flynn/The Washington Post.
- With a primary election scheduled for July 19, the boundary lines of Maryland’s eight congressional districts are in flux. A map adopted in December to account for population changes determined by the 2020 census was struck down by a judge on March 25 as too partisan. Now, the Democratic state lawmakers who approved it are waiting to see if a newer map — their attempted fix — will meet judicial muster. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.
PROMISES, PROMISES AT MSEA ASSEMBLY: The brief speeches, some filled with promises, at the Maryland State Education Association assembly on Saturday were clearly less important than the 20-page questionnaire the candidates had filled out to win the endorsement of the state’s largest union, the 76,000-strong educators. Len Lazarick/Maryland Reporter.
WES MOORE ENDORSED BY MSEA: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore on Saturday won the coveted endorsement of the state’s largest teachers union, a large boost for the former nonprofit chief who is making his first run for public office. Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post.
- The teachers’ union represents about 76,000 educators and school employees in Maryland and is known for its ubiquitous Apple Ballot handouts at polling places. In the 2018 election cycle, 81% of MSEA-endorsed candidates won their races in the primary and 71% won in the general election, the organization said. Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.
MUCH REMAINS TO BE DONE: As Maryland lawmakers steam into the final days of the General Assembly’s annual legislative session this coming week, much work remains to be done — hashing out deals, lining up votes and killing bad ideas. Bryn Stole/The Baltimore Sun.
CANNABIS REFERENDUM HAS ONE MORE STEP: Only Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature Friday stood between Maryland voters and their ability to decide in a November referendum whether recreational cannabis should be legal in Maryland, after the Senate passed a bill giving them that opportunity Friday morning. The bill (HB1), passed over Republican objections. E.A. Breeden of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter.
- The Maryland House voted 94-39 for a constitutional amendment already approved by the Senate. The House also voted 89-41 for a separate measure that takes steps to implement recreational marijuana, if voters approve, but it leaves matters of licensing and taxes for lawmakers to decide next year. Brian Witte/The Associated Press.
SCHOOL SECLUSION BAN HEADS TO HOGAN’s DESK: A state bill banning seclusion in public schools and bolstering tracking requirements for the use of physical restraint is headed to Gov. Larry Hogan. Members of the House of Delegates voted 132-1 to advance the legislation Thursday, signaling broad agreement with tweaks made in the Senate. Their decision eliminates the need for a conference committee, which would have worked to resolve minor discrepancies between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Jill Atelsek/The Frederick News Post.
LOCAL ROAD & BRIDGE FUNDS TO BE RESTORED: Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic leaders in the General Assembly have agreed to partially restore local road and bridge funding that was cut during the Great Recession. Before the recession, counties, municipalities and the City of Baltimore received 30% of the “highway user revenues,” a fund that draws from taxes on gas, vehicle titles, registration fees, car rentals, and the state corporate income tax. The rest went to the State Highway Administration. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.
BILL EXTENDING MEDICAID TO GENDER-AFFIRMING SURGERY DISAPPEARS: A measure to extend Medicaid coverage in Maryland to individuals receiving gender-affirming surgery and treatment that has stalled in the House hasn’t quite vanished, but some of the developments in the bill’s legislative journey can no longer be found on the General Assembly’s website. And the chair of the House Health and Government Operations Committee, who supported the measure when her panel voted in favor of the bill last week, is not saying why she is bottling up the legislation now — though it appears likely that the bill did not have the votes to get through the House with a robust majority. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
PAID MEDICAL LEAVE BILL AWAITS HOGAN’s SIGNATURE: Maryland employees could get up to three months of paid leave to support their family or take care of medical issues if Republican Gov. Larry Hogan chooses to sign the bill that won final approval in the Senate Thursday. Logan Hill of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter.
FREDERICK FORMING POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD: Frederick County residents will have an opportunity Tuesday to convey to members of the County Council who they think should be eligible to serve on the county’s new Police Accountability Board, and who should not. Frederick County, like every other Maryland county, is required to establish a Police Accountability Board by no later than July 1, under a state law passed last year. Jack Hogan/The Frederick News Post.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS: The governance and use of police officers in public schools is a complex social and legal issue. While Montgomery County has pulled such “school resource officers” from schools, officials are considering putting them back in. What do you need to know about a jurisdiction’s use of such officers? Caitlynn Peetz/Bethesda Beat.
GATHERING PAYS TRIBUTE TO LATE U.S. SEN. SARBANES: Sixteen months after his death, more than 200 family members, associates and friends of the late Sen. Paul Sarbanes gathered for an affectionate tribute to him Saturday evening in the Lower Eastern Shore city where he was born and raised. Although his long political career — as the first Greek-American elected to the Senate, and as the first Maryland senator elected to five terms — was launched from a political base in Baltimore, his influence and that of his kin in the small but growing city of Salisbury was much in evidence during a dinner at Salisbury University. Louis Peck/Maryland Matters.