State roundup: Bay span approved near existing Bay Bridge

State roundup: Bay span approved near existing Bay Bridge

As long expected, any replacement for the aging Chesapeake Bay bridges will be built near the current spans. Maryland Transportation Authority photo

ADDITIONAL BAY BRIDGE APPROVED: Federal highway officials have given the go-ahead for Maryland to move forward with plans to build a new Chesapeake Bay crossing near the existing Bay Bridge spans. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters

DOZENS OF BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW: Gov. Larry Hogan signed dozens of bills passed during the Maryland General Assembly’s recently wrapped legislative session at a ceremony Thursday, including measures to ban the declawing of cats, designate 988 as an emergency suicide prevention telephone hotline and ban the use of the dangerous, long-lasting PFAS chemicals. Bryn Stole/Baltimore Sun

  • The Republican governor, who prioritized initiatives to support the police and fight crime this legislative session, signed legislation to increase transparency in the criminal justice system and to create a state gun analytics center to coordinate resources to screen and vet gun cases to improve the prosecution of gun crimes. Brian Witte/Associated Press in the Washington Times
  • The legal age to marry in Maryland will rise to 17 under a bill that was signed into law on Thursday after a long battle to get the measure passed in the General Assembly. Ovetta Wiggins/Washington Post

ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS CELEBRATE NEW LAWS: 2022 was also a session of great victories for the animal rights movement. From a bill to prohibit the declawing of cats — to measures seeking to prevent and mitigate animal cruelty and protect endangered wildlife internationally, “it was a legacy year” for animal welfare, said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, Maryland state director for the Humane Society of the United States. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters

  • The new law banning the declawing of cats was celebrated by Alley Cat Allies on Thursday, explaining that the surgery was invasive, painful, and set cats up for a lifetime of suffering and discomfort. Associated Press/WMAR

MD PORT ADMINISTRATION’S ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION SUCCESS: Fourteen years ago, Masonville Cove, a small stretch of woods and water along the Patapsco ,River, just north of  Interstate 895 and west of a sprawling industrial complex, held 61,000 tons of trash. Today it’s a sanctuary. Joe Ryan/Capital News Service for Maryland Reporter

JEALOUS ENDORSES WES MOORE FOR GOVERNOR: Former NAACP chief Ben Jealous, who won the 2018 Democratic primary race for governor on wave of liberal support, enthusiastically endorsed author Wes Moore on Thursday in this year’s crowded and highly competitive contest. Erin Cox/Washington Post

DEL. CARR’S LAST MINUTE ELECTION DECISION CRITICIZED: Montgomery County political insiders are fuming about Del. Al Carr’s 11th hour decision to not seek reelection, leaving no time for challengers to file and resulting in the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee left with a big nominating decision. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters

COURT APPOINTED MONITOR REPORTS PROGRESS AT BPD: The Baltimore Police Department is “not the same department” as it was in 2017, when widespread unconstitutional practices sparked a federal consent decree, the department’s court-appointed monitor said Thursday. The city has made “significant progress,” he reported. Madeleine O’Neill/The Daily Record

BALTIMORE POLICE FACE HIRING SCANDAL: Yet the police department’s hiring practices are under investigation, after the department fired a new chief of fiscal services when it determined he was a person of interest in a homicide case. Mike Helgren/WJZ

  • The man who was fired, Dana Hayes, has not been charged and said he did not kill his stepfather. He maintains that an old gun charge should not have been revealed during the background check process because it was expunged from the record. Lee O. Sanderlin and Alex Mann/Baltimore Sun

MARYLAND INVESTS MORE IN STATE PARKS WITH VISITORS UP: Maryland is set to invest tens of millions of dollars in its state parks at a time when the number of people visiting them has more than doubled in less than a decade and the number of rangers has stagnated. Scott Dance/Baltimore Sun

TRONE LISTENS TO HEALTHCARE CONCERNS: The state of rural healthcare was first and foremost on the agenda as U.S. Rep. David Trone conducted a two-day trip through Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties last week. Joseph Hauger/Garrett County Republican

CARROLL DELIBERATES ON POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD MEMBERSHIP: Though Carroll County’s sheriff and commissioners said they don’t believe the county needs a police accountability board, they began debating who may be chosen to serve on the board. Madison Bateman/Carroll County Times

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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