STATE FALLS BEHIND IN AIDING CHILDREN WITH EMOTIONAL NEEDS: In Maryland, a prosperous state that’s home to some of the nation’s best behavioral health care and social-work institutions, dozens of children every year languish in hospital emergency departments, sleep in government offices or live in hotel rooms with no one but an aide camped out in the hallway to care for them. Caring for children with highly complex emotional and behavioral needs is a challenge across the country. But in Maryland, the problem has worsened over the last decade — and many blame outgoing Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Hallie Miller and Liz Bowie/The Baltimore Banner.
SEN. SMITH SUPPORTS BILL TO ALLOW SEX ABUSE SUITS: Legislation that would give childhood victims of sexual abuse a chance to sue their abusers, regardless of when it happened, has the support of a key Maryland state senator. Sen. Will Smith, the Democratic chair of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, says he would support what’s previously been known as the “Hidden Predator Act,” which would create a “look-back window,” where survivors would have two years from the act becoming law to file a lawsuit regardless of when the abuse happened. Lee O. Sanderlin and Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
DEM LAWMAKERS TO PUSH MORE ABORTION PROTECTIONS: Maryland lawmakers are expected to consider a number of abortion-related bills in January when the 2023 General Assembly session begins. The issue is top of mind for legislators in the wake of June’s Supreme Court decision reversing the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that had established a right to abortion. Democratic lawmakers and advocates said a package of bills will focus on addressing legal issues that may arise from the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling as well as signaling the state’s unwavering stance. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.
STATE’s SEMI-AUTOMATIC WEAPONS BAN MAY BE IN JEOPARDY: Maryland’s laws prohibiting many semi-automatic rifles, including some AR- and AK-style weapons, could be in jeopardy. Federal judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit are weighing arguments between a plaintiff representing a group of Maryland gun owners and Maryland’s Attorney General over whether the state’s current gun laws are unconstitutional in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling. Luke Lukert/WTOP-FM.
NICOLE BEUS HARRIS TAPPED TO HEAD STATE GOP: Reeling from a midterm election in which they lost every statewide race in a landslide and every competitive county contest, Maryland Republicans on Saturday chose a new leader tasked with trying to unite a fractured party and broaden its appeal. Nicole Beus Harris, a political consultant married to Maryland’s lone Republican congressman, Andy Harris, was named chairwoman of the state party, defeating Gordana Schifanelli, the 2022 candidate for lieutenant governor, and Baltimore businessman Tim Fazenbaker. Rachel Weiner/The Washington Post.
HARFORD SUES COUNCIL MEMBER OVER TEACHING POST: Harford County on Friday sued District F County Council member Jacob Bennett, seeking to disqualify him from serving on the council. Filing suit in Harford County Circuit Court, County Attorney Jefferson L. Blomquist said Bennett cannot hold office because he’s employed as a teacher by Harford County Public Schools. Jason Fontelieu and Jean Marbella/The Aegis.
FICKER TO RUN FOR SEN. CARDIN’s SEAT: Robin Ficker is running for the U.S. Senate in 2024. Ficker distributed handouts at the Maryland Republican Party Convention at The Hall at Maryland Live! with the phrase “Robin: Bye Ben Ben!” on them promoting his candidacy. Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin.
MD POLITICOS EXPRESS UNITY WITH JEWISH COMMUNITY: With reported acts of anti-Semitism on the rise in Maryland and across the nation, dozens of leading state politicians gathered at a synagogue in Potomac Friday morning, expressing their solidarity with the Jewish community and embracing the expansive policy agenda of a Jewish advocacy group. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
MIREKU-NORTH TO SEEK DELEGATE SEAT: Bernice Mireku-North, who finished second in a four-candidate race in the Democratic primary for the county’s state’s attorney earlier this year, is now running again — this time, to fill a vacancy in the House of Delegates’ 14th District. Steve Bohnel/Bethesda Beat.
OPINION: TRANSPARENCY IN MONTGOMERY? START WITH LAND ISSUES: Transparency is an oft-used phrase these days in government. At the opening session on Dec. 6 of the newly elected 11-member Montgomery County Council, new members Kristin Mink (D) and Laurie-Anne Sayles (D) and returning member Will Jawando (D), put down markers on the issue of transparency, saying that there are many instances of the council operating in the dark, and calling for greater light. Land use would be a good place to start. Miranda Spivak/Maryland Matters.
JAILED RETIRED STATE PARK EMPLOYEE TO COLLECT $94,500 ANNUALLY: Michael J. Browning, the former Gunpowder Falls State Park manager who remains jailed on charges that he raped two former employees, has retired from the Maryland Park Service and will soon begin collecting a $94,500 annual pension, state employees said. Julie Scharper/The Baltimore Banner.
U.S. ATTORNEYS SAY NO TO TAKING ANNAPOLIS HOUSING AUTHORITY: U.S. attorneys have rejected a request by the city of Annapolis to place its housing authority under federal control. The legal filing comes in response to a lawsuit the city filed against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Secretary Marsha Fudge in October, attempting to draw the federal government into a yearslong dispute over who should pay to improve public housing in Annapolis. Rebecca Ritzel/The Capital Gazette.