State Roundup: Moore touts service to form ‘a more perfect state;’ U.S. Chamber joins fight against Maryland digital ad tax; GOP expected to introduce crime package

State Roundup: Moore touts service to form ‘a more perfect state;’ U.S. Chamber joins fight against Maryland digital ad tax; GOP expected to introduce crime package

Gov. Wes Moore Governor's Office photo

MOORE EMPHASIZES SERVICE IN FIRST STATE OF THE STATE: Two weeks after taking office, Gov. Wes Moore delivered his first State of the State address to the Maryland General Assembly Wednesday afternoon. But Moore’s speech had a similar main theme to that of his campaign and inauguration — public service. Moore used that major theme to push his plans to rebuild the state government workforce. Matt Bush and Kristen Mosbrucker/WYPR-FM

  • Service, the new Democratic governor said, is the best way to move Maryland forward. “At a time when civic bonds are frayed, where many feel more disconnected from their neighbors than ever before, service is the antidote to the epidemic of loneliness and otherness,” Moore said in his more than 45-minute speech before lawmakers. “Service is how we re-engage our people in the project of forming a more perfect state.” Pamela Wood, Brenda Wintrode and Callan Tansill-Suddath/The Baltimore Banner.
  • “I only realized recently, service, the word service, comes from the Latin, servitium, which meant ‘slavery,’” Moore began, after acknowledging the assembled dignitaries. “It is fitting, as the first African American to deliver this speech, in a building that was built by the hands of enslaved people, that we are now putting ‘service’ towards the good of all. The irony is that it is service that will help save us.” Josh Kurtz and William Zorzi/Maryland Matters.
  • Moore, who served as a captain with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne and battled childhood poverty as the CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, has centered service as a primary pillar of his identity, campaign and administration. He laid out the need for community and bipartisanship to turn his ‘bold’ ideas into Maryland’s reality. Specifically addressing issues such as education, child poverty, and public safety, the governor outlined unity as the catalyst for change. Michael Charles and Jennifer Gable of Capital News Service/

  • The governor’s speech avoided standard references to the strength of the state. There were also no new policy initiatives in his first address to the General Assembly. Instead, Moore touched broadly on initiatives covered in 10 bills that make up his first legislative agenda. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.
  • Moore doubled down on what he called his “audacious goal” to “end child poverty in Maryland.” “No group deserves our help more than the children of Maryland. In a state with the highest median income in the country, one in eight of our children lives in poverty,” Moore said. Erin Cox and Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post.
  • On his first full day in office, Moore established a Department of Service and Civic Innovation to coordinate his initiatives on the topic, including the formation of a program that would allow the state’s high school graduates to participate in a year of paid public service. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.

You can watch the Maryland Public Television broadcast of the State of the State speech here.

MOORE HIGHLIGHTS SIX MARYLANDERS FOR THEIR SERVICE: Interlaced among his policy initiatives, Gov. Wes Moore wove the stories of six Marylanders through his first State of the State address to demonstrate his concept of service. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.

  • One was Jefferson Vasquez-Reyes, an 18-year-old Montgomery College student. “It felt incredible,” as members of the General Assembly and invited guests burst into applause, he said. Then, he felt a sense of responsibility. Vasquez-Reyes is son of immigrant parents whose family came from El Salvador, he plans on becoming a doctor. Kate Ryan/WTOP-FM.

NEW BAY LEADERS SWARM ENVIRO COMMITTEE: The start of a new administration in Annapolis brings a fresh set of leaders tasked with steering Bay protection efforts in Maryland — working, in many cases, with some old hands. And in a rarity, they were all on hand in the House Environment and Transportation Committee hearing room in Annapolis Wednesday, introducing themselves to lawmakers, in some cases, and offering their takes on the health of the Bay. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

U.S. CHAMBER FIGHTS MARYLAND DIGITAL AD TAX: A national business organization is pressing a federal appeal of Maryland’s tax on digital advertising while online advertisers have mounted a so-far successful challenge in state court. The Chamber of Commerce, in papers filed in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week, said the law violates the advertisers’ constitutional right to free speech by permitting them to factor their tax cost into the bill they send customers but barring the companies from separating the tax out as a surcharge on the invoice. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.

DEL. BUCKEL SAYS GOP TO INTRODUCE CRIME PACKAGE: House Minority Leader Jason Buckel, R-Allegany County, said Republicans would introduce a package of bills targeting criminal justice plans, specifically repeat violent offenders, in the coming days. He said he has been encouraged to hear Gov. Moore and other Democrats say going after repeat violent offenders were a priority, but discouraged to see that hadn’t happened yet. Mikenzie Frost/WBFF-TV.

OPINION: HELP ELDERLY, DISABLED VOTE: A measure introduced by Del. Terri Hill and backed by AARP, would require the State Board of Elections, in consultation with local boards, to train election judges on how to assist the elderly and disabled in voting. It would also mandate the posting of signs in polling stations that list the types of assistance available. Jim Campbell/Maryland Matters.

END OF FEDERAL COVID DECREE COULD PROVE COSTLY TO MARYLANDERS: The federal government will end its national emergency declaration for the COVID-19 virus on May 11 and that change may have costly effects for people living in Maryland. Expiring the emergency decree will change regulations for enrolling in Medicaid and shift the burden of who pays for tests and COVID treatments. Scott Maucione/WYPR-FM.

RASKIN: GOP DID NOT ASK ME TO REMOVE BANDANA: Maryland U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, who announced he’d been diagnosed with lymphoma last year, attended the year’s first House Oversight Committee hearing on Tuesday wearing a bandana. But as the new Republican House majority takes control, confusion over a joke Raskin made about House rules governing headgear has fueled a false rumor on social media. Graph Massara/The Associated Press.

MO CO BILL COULD PUSH HOME GIG ECONOMY: Montgomery County legislation introduced by County Council member Will Jawando (D-At-large) on Tuesday aims to help jump-start the so-called gig economy—whether that be homeowners renting out space for swimming pools, a home gym or other similar opportunities. Steve Bohnel/Bethesda Beat.

BALL CREATES OPIOID COUNCIL TO DISBURSE SETTLEMENT FUND: Howard County Executive Calvin Ball signed an executive order Tuesday to create the Opioid Collaborative Community Council to address opioid misuse in the county and to determine priorities for how the county should use funds from a $12.3 million settlement with opioid manufacturers. Allana Hayes/The Howard County Times.

CITY POLY TO TEST RUN AP AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES COURSE: An Advanced Placement African American Studies course that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has dismissed as indoctrination and threatened to ban is being piloted at about 60 schools nationwide, including Baltimore City’s Polytechnic Institute. Sabrina LaBoeuf/The Baltimore Sun.

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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