State Roundup: Hogan signature ends fight over congressional maps; legislative maps still in question; Duke dean named next UMBC president

State Roundup: Hogan signature ends fight over congressional maps; legislative maps still in question; Duke dean named next UMBC president

Gov. Hogan signed the latest iteration of the congressional boundaries from the General Assembly. Enhanced map from the proposal.

HOGAN SIGNS LATEST CONGRESSIONAL MAP ITERATION: Gov. Larry Hogan, ending a monthslong legal and legislative tussle with Democrats, signed a map of Maryland’s congressional districts on Monday that the General Assembly redrew after a judge rejected the first version as extremely partisan. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Hogan (R) agreed to enact the new map after the Maryland attorney general’s office said it would abandon its appeal of a Maryland judge’s ruling that found the previous map was an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. And Republican plaintiffs agreed to abandon challenges to the new map, which Democrats in the General Assembly passed last week. Hogan called the agreement a “tremendous victory for democracy.” Meagan Flynn and Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post.
  • Hogan’s decision comes after months of political maneuvering and debate over how to draw the state’s congressional and legislative districts. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.
  • The Democratically controlled General Assembly in Annapolis was forced to draw a new map after Senior Judge Lynne A. Battaglia, in Anne Arundel Circuit Court, found that the original map that the legislature created in December violated Maryland’s constitution. In that map, Montgomery County was split into four districts. Steve Bohnel/Bethesda Beat. 
  • The Republican governor, who has long pushed for redistricting reform, described the new map as a “huge improvement” over the one approved over his veto in December by the General Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats. Brian Witte/The Associated Press.
  • View the interactive map by clicking here.

NOW WHAT? The partisan wrangling over the congressional map had created confusion among voters, elected officials and candidates. But, on Monday, the legislative and legal issues were resolved simultaneously in an agreement between Republican Gov, Larry Hogan and lawyers for Attorney General Brian Frosh. Where do things stand now? Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.

JUDGE SAYS COURT SHOULD DENY LEGISLATIVE MAP CHALLENGES: A special magistrate is recommending that the state’s highest court deny four challenges to a new state legislative map drawn by the Maryland General Assembly. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.

  • All four petitions contended that the maps passed by the General Assembly earlier this year violate the Maryland Constitution’s requirement that legislative districts be compact and respect natural and political boundaries. Bennett Leckrone/Maryland Matters.
  • In recommendations he sent to the Court of Appeals, Judge Wilner said Republican complaints that the map was drawn with political considerations were “not supported by any compelling evidence.” Joel McCord/WYPR-FM.

AS HOGAN MULLS RUN FOR PRESIDENT, ‘LITMUS TEST’ BILLS HIT HIS DESK: Gov. Larry Hogan (R) dodged the divisive issue of abortion throughout his seven-year tenure, describing himself as a pro-life Catholic leading a state where access to abortion is a “matter of settled law.” But now, as he weighs a bid for president, he’ll be forced to take a public stand this week as abortion and a list of other litmus-test policies hit the governor’s desk. Among them: new gun control regulations, an accelerated climate change plan, a framework for legalizing recreational marijuana and a costly paid family leave program. Erin Cox and Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post.

  • The Democratic majority in the General Assembly voted last week to send dozens of bills to the governor’s desk early this legislative session, a move that will force the governor to act on the measures by the end of this week and allow the legislature to override any potential vetoes before the 90-day session ends next Monday at midnight. Hannah Gaskill and Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.

LEGAL POT PLAN CRITICIZED FOR ‘FALLING SHORT’ OF NEEDED CHANGE: Critics say the General Assembly’s plan for legalizing recreational marijuana, which sends to the voters the question of legalization and a set of rules that would take effect if the referendum measure passes, is incremental and falls short of a transformational change not only within reach but already achieved in other states. Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post.

HOUSE OKs $400M FOR PG BLUE LINE CORRIDOR: Efforts to create a vibrant hub in central Prince George’s County advanced on Monday when a House panel approved $400 million for an area that county leaders refer to as the Blue Line Corridor. The funds were added by the Appropriations Committee to House Bill 897, which authorizes $200 million for renovations at minor league baseball stadiums around the state. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.

MARYLAND READY TO BAN CT DECLAWING: Maryland appears set to become the second state to ban declawing of cats, something animal welfare advocates consider a “barbaric” practice. Critics say declawing is already rare, though, and that the measure would infringe on the judgment of veterinarians. Scott Dance/The Baltimore Sun.

Incoming UMBC President Valerie Sheares Ashby
Photo courtesy of UMBC

DUKE DEAN, CHEMIST NAMED NEXT UMBC PRESIDENT: A chemist who is dean of arts and sciences at Duke University was named Monday to become the next president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County. When she takes office on Aug. 1, Valerie Sheares Ashby will be the first woman to lead UMBC and its first new president since 1992. She will succeed Freeman A. Hrabowski III, a nationally known education leader, who is retiring after three decades at the helm of the public university. Nick Anderson/The Washington Post.

  • Ashby’s background is in chemistry, and she worked in the chemistry department at her alma mater, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, first as a faculty member and later as the department’s chair, prior to her position at Duke. Johanna Alonso/The Daily Record.
  • Ashby has been dean at Duke since 2015, where she helped Trinity earn $45 million more than its $435 million goal for the “Duke Forward” campaign, according to a press release from the University System of Maryland. Bryna Zumer/WMAR-TV.

BA CO OKs CONTRACT FOR IG, ETHICS REVIEW: Baltimore County Council members on Monday approved paying a contractor $99,000 to help review ethics laws and study the inspector general’s office. The vote was 6-1. Councilman Todd Crandell, a Republican from Dundalk, opposed the agreement with the University of Baltimore’s Schaefer Center for Public Policy, calling the contract sought by County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr.’s administration “wholly unnecessary.” Alison Knezevich/The Baltimore Sun.

LATINOS IN PG STRUGGLE FOR COUNTY RESOURCES: As they watched their communities devastated by hunger and sickness, a group of Latino leaders in Prince George’s County said their struggle for resources during the pandemic was exacerbated by the near-total lack of Latino officials in the government. Despite emphasizing the importance of representation, County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) has no Latinos, who now represent 1 in 5 residents in Prince George’s, in her 39-person cabinet. Rachel Chason/The Washington Post.

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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