LABOR DEPT. AUDITING STATE AGENCIES OVER WORKER PAY: The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating whether Maryland illegally underpaid state employees at multiple state institutions run by two separate state agencies. The ongoing federal investigation expands on an earlier federal finding that Jessup Correctional Institution officials routinely altered officers’ timecards and shorted them nearly a half-million dollars in wages over a two-year period. Bryn Stole/The Baltimore Sun.
AFTER 30 MONTHS, ‘BELTWAY ACCORD’ STILL A MYSTERY: Nearly 30 months after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and then-Virginia Gov. Ralph S. Northam announced a $1 billion agreement to rebuild the American Legion Bridge, the details of the agreement remain a mystery. Last month, State Highway Administration officials rejected a public records request submitted by Maryland Matters. In a letter, an SHA official referred to the agreement in the past tense. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.
STATE PROPERTY TAXES UNLIKELY TO RISE: Marylanders will likely not see an increase on their state property taxes in the coming year. The Commission on State Debt on Tuesday recommended no increase for the fiscal 2023 tax rate. The panel approved the rate without discussion in a roughly 5-minute meeting. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.
$80M TO AID HOSPITAL WORKER SHORTAGE: Maryland’s hospitals went into the 2022 legislative session searching for solutions to the local and national health care workforce shortage — and came out with $80 million and a number of “key wins,” lobbyists said. Johanna Alonso/The Daily Record.
HELP IN LINE FOR THOSE WITH BILLS FOR ‘FREE’ MEDICAL CARE: Financial relief is on the horizon for Maryland residents with medical bills. Legislation focused on finding and reimbursing Marylanders who paid for medical services that should have been free was approved by the General Assembly and awaits the signature of Gov. Larry Hogan. J.J. McQueen/The Afro.
$2M TO GO TOWARD WOMEN’s PRE-RELEASE CENTER: After a two-year struggle to secure funding, the legislature passed a capital budget measure to funnel $2 million toward the planning and construction of a women’s pre-release center. Hannah Gaskill/Maryland Matters.
ARUNDEL TO GET $30M FOR CROWNSVILLE RENOVATION: In the recently concluded state legislative session, Anne Arundel County received approximately $30 million to spend over two years on remediation and renovation costs for the Crownsville Hospital Center property, County Executive Steuart Pittman announced. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.
FROSH JOINS CALL FOR BANKS TO ELIMINATE OVERDRAFT FEES: Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh today joined a multi-state coalition of attorney generals to call on the CEOs of J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo to eliminate all overdraft fees on consumer bank accounts. In a letter to the financial institutions, Frosh urged each bank to eliminate overdraft fees by this summer to create a fairer and more inclusive consumer financial system. Staff/The Afro.
HOT MEDICAL CANNABIS BOON COOLING DOWN: After years of explosive growth, Maryland’s medical cannabis industry appears to be cooling off. According to data from state regulators, the number of medical cannabis patients in Maryland has been growing at its slowest rate since the program kicked off sales in 2017. Giacomo Bologna/The Baltimore Sun.
BENTLEY HONORED WITH STAINED GLASS WORK: During the course of her long and storied life, former Maryland Congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley wore an astonishing array of hats. Bentley died at the age of 92 in 2016. Ten years earlier, the Port of Baltimore was renamed in her honor. Bentley is being remembered by friends and colleagues with the unveiling of a stained glass artwork depicting some of the highlights of her life. Anthony C. Hayes/Baltimore Post-Examiner.
FAMILY OF OTHER WES MOORE CRITICIZES CANDIDATE: “It’s a bunch of trash. It’s fabrication,” said Daren Muhammad, an uncle of the other Wes Moore said Tuesday while describing his thoughts on a book penned by gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore. Muhammad’s nephew is serving a life sentence for the death of an off-duty Baltimore County Police Sgt. Bruce Prothero in 2000. Muhammad, and his brother Kenny Ebron, spoke about candidate Moore’s book, “The Other Wes Moore,” and the conversation unfolding about whether the candidate exaggerated claims about growing up in Baltimore. Mikenzie Frost/WBFF-TV.
10 APPLY, KAUFMAN PICKED TO RUN FOR DEL. CARR’s SEAT: The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee on Tuesday picked one of its own, Aaron Kaufman, to fill a vacancy on the July 19 primary ballot. The committee’s appointment process was undertaken in a rush after current Del. Al Carr (D) chose to withdraw from re-election at the last minute and run instead for County Council. Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.
- On Monday evening, 10 residents of Maryland’s 18th legislative district in Montgomery County explained during a community forum why they should be chosen to fill a Democratic ballot vacancy for the House of Delegates. The 18th district has three delegate seats. Dels. Al Carr and Emily Shetty, both of Kensington, and Jared Solomon of Chevy Chase currently represent the district in Annapolis. Carr is running for Montgomery County Council. Steve Bohnel/Bethesda Beat.
MO CO COUNCIL OKs BILL TO CREATE POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY BOARDS: The Montgomery County Council unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that creates two boards aimed at increasing accountability in the county’s police department—after delaying for weeks while members waited for state lawmakers to take action on similar legislation. Steve Bohnel/Bethesda Beat.
BA CO COUNCIL CHAIR DINGED FOR CAMPAIGN FUND SOLICITATION: Julian E. Jones Jr., chairman of the Baltimore County Council, likely violated the county’s electronic communications policy by soliciting campaign contributions on a county email address, a report released by County Inspector General Kelly Madigan says. Mark Reutter/Baltimore Brew.
- The report concluded that between April 2021 and January 2022, at least 40 of Jones’ emails to constituents contained a link to a campaign contribution page. Alison Knezevich/The Baltimore Sun.
BA CO SCHOOL BOARD TO SEE MASSIVE TURNOVER: A massive election year turnover on the often-fractious Baltimore County School Board is assured. It’s possible that come December, the hybrid board will have only two of its current 12 members returning. Five of the seven elected members are not seeking another term. John Lee/WYPR-FM.