State Roundup: Bill seeks to fill gaps in health insurance marketplace; lawmakers consider reforming medical parole; more students qualify for reduced price meals, raising cost of education reform law

State Roundup: Bill seeks to fill gaps in health insurance marketplace; lawmakers consider reforming medical parole; more students qualify for reduced price meals, raising cost of education reform law

More students in Maryland schools are qualifying for reduced price meals, causing a $390 million increase in the cost of the state’s education reform law in the next fiscal year. Photo by CDC on Unsplash

ADVOCATES SEEK TO FILL GAPS IN HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE: With the 2023 Maryland legislative session about three weeks old, health care advocates and lawmakers announced a five-piece legislative agenda Tuesday that they hope will close remaining gaps in the state’s health insurance marketplace. Angela Roberts/The Baltimore Sun.

LAWMAKERS CONSIDER MEDICAL PAROLE REFORM: Lawmakers have begun considering a bill that would reform compassionate release in Maryland, which encompasses both medical and geriatric parole. The proposed legislation would make several changes including defining and clarifying language in the law; requiring that the parole commission grant a meeting under certain circumstances with a prisoner; and directing that the state, upon request, pay for an in-person, independent medical evaluation that must receive equal consideration. Dylan Segelbaum/The Baltimore Banner.

NUMBERS RISE FOR STUDENTS QUALIFYING FOR REDUCED-PRICE MEALS: The number of Maryland students eligible for free or reduced-price meals has risen surprisingly high, causing a $390 million increase in the cost of the state’s sweeping education reform law in the next fiscal year, according to a recent state fiscal briefing. Brian Witte/The Associated Press.

ADVOCATES RALLY FOR TIGHTER GUN CARRY LAWS: Without an umbrella, Gov. Wes Moore moved his way through a sea of rain-soaked red shirts Tuesday at Lawyers Mall in Annapolis to show his support for forthcoming legislation to further regulate where Marylanders can carry and how they store firearms. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.

  • The rallygoers kicked off a full day of pushing legislators to pass more restrictive gun laws, including one to tighten wear and carry permissions after former Gov. Larry Hogan lifted Maryland’s restrictions last year following a U.S. Supreme Court decision. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.

MOORE TO DELIVER FIRST STATE OF THE STATE TODAY: Gov. Wes Moore will hit another key milestone in his nascent administration when he delivers his first State of the State address to the General Assembly — and the people of the state — at noon on Wednesday. What are the key facts about the State of the State and what to expect? Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

HOGAN SAYS HE’s ‘TAKING A CLOSE LOOK’ AT PRESIDENTIAL RUN: In one of his strongest statements regarding his presidential ambitions, former Gov. Larry Hogan told a Fox News host Tuesday that he is “taking a close look” at a run for the White House. Dan Belson/The Baltimore Sun.

BILL WOULD MAKE MARYLAND A NO-FAULT DIVORCE STATE: Legislation to make Maryland a no-fault divorce state came before House and Senate committees Tuesday, with the bill’s supporters saying the time has come for Maryland to join the 39 other states that permit a spouse to uncouple based on “irreconcilable differences.” Steve Lash/The Daily Record.

TASK FORCE PROPOSED TO CLEAN UP BALTIMORE WASTE, WATER WOES: Amid serious maintenance problems at Baltimore’s two wastewater treatment plants and persistent water billing and infrastructure issues, Maryland officials are proposing a task force that would look into a new governance structure for the area’s water and wastewater system. Christine Condon and Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Baltimore City and Baltimore County officials along with legislative leaders are putting their weight behind a bill creating a task force that will make modernization recommendations. Those recommendations could result in the creation of a regional authority similar to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.
  • Under existing state law, Baltimore City bears the sole responsibility for the water supply and wastewater operations, maintenance, and capital investments, while Baltimore County is the only surrounding jurisdiction that pays a proportionate share of these costs, even though some residents in Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties also receive water and sewer services from the utility. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

MARYLAND EDUCATORS TEACH BLACK STUDIES WHILE OTHER STATES LIMIT IT: While some states are limiting what can be taught in public schools when it comes to Black studies, as a matter of course, throughout Maryland, public school educators are teaching Black history and literature to students eager to learn. John-John Williams and Kristen Griffith/The Baltimore Banner.

STUDY: STATE MUST INVEST IN LOW-INCOME HOMES TO MEET CLIMATE GOALS: As Maryland moves tentatively toward meeting aggressive goals over the next several years to combat climate change, the state will have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to retrofit homes and apartment buildings occupied by low- and middle-income residents, according to a report issued by a coalition of national and state-based environmental groups. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

PLAN WOULD EXPAND STATE RAIL NETWORK: A bill that would create a Maryland Rail Administration to expand the state’s rail network and oversee financing, construction and maintenance of the system is likely facing strong headwinds in the Maryland General Assembly this session. William Zorzi/Maryland Matters.

ACTING TROOPER SUPER & THE 8-SECOND TRAFFIC STOP: How long does a traffic stop take when you’re the acting superintendent of the Maryland State Police? In the case of a recent stop of Lt. Col. Dalaine M. Brady, about eight seconds. The Banner requested body and dash camera footage of Brady being pulled over by a trooper on Jan. 20. Justin Fenton/The Baltimore Banner.

STRONG SUPPORT TO BAN PLASTIC BAGS IN BALTIMORE COUNTY: A bill that would ban the use and sale of plastic bags in Baltimore County drew overwhelming support from residents in testimony before the County Council on Tuesday night. Lia Russell/The Baltimore Sun.

TENANTS OF KUSHNER-MANAGED APARTMENTS GET 2nd CHANCE TO SUE: Maryland’s second-highest court has revived claims by a group of Baltimore-area tenants who sued an apartment management company owned by Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of former President Donald Trump. The tenants will now get a second chance to pursue a class-action lawsuit and damages against Westminster Management LLC over fees the company charged tenants when they made late rent payments. Madeleine O’Neill/The Daily Record.

  • The unreported opinion by a three-judge panel of the intermediate appeals court allows affected tenants of the more than 9,000 Maryland rental units previously operated by Westminster Management LLC to pursue class-action damages against the company over fees it levied when tenants paid their rent late. Sophie Kasakove/The Baltimore Banner.

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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