MOORE PROPOSALS TO HELP VETERANS: Newly inaugurated Gov. Wes Moore (D) unveiled his first two legislative proposals Thursday, urging lawmakers to give tax cuts and free health care to some veterans. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
- The governor highlighted the “Keep Our Heroes Home Act” in his legislative agenda during a roundtable with veterans on Thursday. It calls for expanding the military tax exemption to $25,000 of income in tax year 2023 and $40,000 in tax year 2024. Staff/The Associated Press.
CLOSER LOOK AT WITHDRAWN STATE APPOINTMENTS, INCLUDING UTILITIES COMMISSION: Four dozen appointments made by former Gov. Larry Hogan that have been withdrawn Gov. Wes Moore are across 23 boards and commissions include the Public Service Commission, University System of Maryland Board of Regents, Maryland Stadium Authority, state Board of Education and Commission on Judicial Disabilities. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.
- With that single, swift personnel move this week, Moore may have done more to advance Maryland’s battle against climate change than volumes of legislation or months of advocacy ever could. Included on the list were two of Hogan’s appointees to the Maryland Public Service Commission — meaning Moore is now in the position to pick three of the panel’s five commissioners over the next several weeks. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
- Meanwhile, the governor has extended the deadline for people to apply to serve on boards and commissions. Due to an overflow of submissions, the administration has extended the boards and commissions application deadline to 5 p.m. Jan. 31. Tashi McQueen/The Afro.
EDUCATION PLAN DETAILS LEAVE SOME CONCERNED: Educators are excited about a new blueprint to improve public education, but some of the details are causing concern. For instance, reimagining the position of school leaders – the Blueprint requires assistant principals to teach in the classroom for at least 20% and suggests that principals teach for 10% of the school day. Zshekinah Collier/WYPR-FM.
DEL. CONWAY SPONSORS BATES GUN LEGISLATION, WANTS TO STOP VIOLENCE: New Baltimore City State’s Attorney Ivan Bates started his tenure facing some skepticism from lawmakers in Annapolis about a bill he proposed to crack down on gun penalties, but he has found a sponsor. Del. Frank Conaway, D-Baltimore City, said the coverage of the issue made him take another look at the proposal from Bates, and ultimately decided to sponsor the legislation. Mikenzie Frost/WBFF-TV.
CONGRESS PROPOSES WITNESS PROTECTION BILL: There’s a new push in Congress to protect witnesses of violent crimes in order to convince them to testify. Prosecutors in Baltimore said it could help address what many call a “stop snitching” culture and allow them to put violent offenders behind bars. Kai Reed/WBAL-TV.
JUDGE ASKS IF BALTIMORE POLICE ARE DE-ESCALATING TOO MUCH? The judge overseeing the Baltimore Police Department’s federal consent decree on Thursday asked what he described as “awkward, and even ugly” question: What about incidents in which police should have used more force, but didn’t? Ben Conarck/The Baltimore Banner.
AFTER LENGTHY DISPUTE, COLUMBIA ASSOCIATION CEO RESIGNS: Following a closed-door meeting Wednesday night, the Columbia Association’s board of directors announced that it has accepted a letter of resignation from CEO and President Lakey Boyd. Alissa Zhu/The Baltimore Banner.
- The announcement capped Boyd’s tenure at the nonprofit association that serves as the quasi-government of Maryland’s second-largest city. It followed months of speculation that the board was seeking to force out Boyd as CEO. Ethan Ehrenhaft/Baltimore Sun Media.
BILL WOULD ALLOW CASINO OWNERS TO MAKE POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS: A Maryland bill would let casino owners contribute to political campaigns. During a bill hearing Tuesday, Del. Jon Cardin said that he is still committed to creating consistency in the industry, even if it means introducing a bill that would allow for more contributions instead of fewer. Garrett Dvorkin and Phil Davis/The Baltimore Business Journal.
BGE MOVES TO TAKE OVER BALTIMORE CONDUIT SYSTEM, DESPITE VOTERS’ CONCERNS: Baltimore Gas & Electric is working with the Baltimore city Scott administration to find a way to circumvent voters’ wishes and take control of the publicly owned conduit system. Mark Reutter/Baltimore Brew.
PG DELEGATE RACE HAS TWO MAJOR CONTENDERS: There will be competition for a House of Delegates seat to represent part of northern Prince George’s County. Rush Baker, son of former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, and Ashanti Martinez, who is chief of staff for newly elected County Councilmember Krystal Oriadha (D), have both confirmed they are in the race. William Ford/Maryland Matters.
CARROLL CONSIDERS LOCAL DELEGATION REQUESTS: Several county-specific requests for funding, liquor licenses, and urban renewal authority, were approved by members of the Carroll County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly during a Zoom meeting on Thursday. Sherry Greenfield/The Carroll County Times.
OPINION: UNLIKELY BUDGET DIRECTOR IS MAKING PROGRESS: Chris Trumbauer, the Anne Arundel County budget director, admits his career doesn’t make sense. A former water quality expert, riverkeeper, county councilman and communications director, he’s now in charge of a $1.2 billion budget. But the result has been a de-escalation of budget politics in a county long known as passionately tax averse. Rick Hutzell/The Baltimore Banner.
CARR CREEK CLOSURE EXAMINED: Annapolis boaters may be blocked periodically from entering waters surrounding Greenbury Point if the Navy’s plan to create restricted “Danger Zones” near the peninsula is approved. Now a trio of Maryland lawmakers is encouraging area residents to weigh in before the military moves forward with plans that include closing Carr Creek to boaters up to six times a week. Rebecca Ritzel/The Annapolis Gazette.
FREDERICK PRIORITIZES U.S. 15 EXPANSION: Expanding U.S. 15 through Frederick remains the project that Frederick County officials most want the state to fund in its long-term transportation projects plan, according to a draft priority letter. Jack Hogan/The Frederick News-Post.