State Roundup: Bill would seek voter input on enshrining reproductive rights; two arrested in plot to take down power grid; bar cancels ‘J6’ rioters fund-raiser

State Roundup: Bill would seek voter input on enshrining reproductive rights; two arrested in plot to take down power grid; bar cancels ‘J6’ rioters fund-raiser

Speaker Adrienne Jones wants to ask Marylanders if reproductive rights should be enshrined in the state Constitution. Pictured are demonstrators in favor of protecting abortion access during a demonstration in Washington in 2021. (Brittany N. Gaddy/Capital News Service)

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JONES BILL WOULD ASK IF REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS SHOULD BE IN STATE CONSTITUTION: House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones introduced a bill that would ask voters if they want to enshrine the right to an abortion in the Maryland constitution. A draft of the bill states “every person, as a central component of an individual’s rights to liberty and equality, has the fundamental right to reproductive freedom including but not limited to the ability to make and effectuate decisions to prevent, continue, or end one’s own pregnancy.” Callan Tansill-Suddath/The Baltimore Banner.

SOME STATE COLLEGES SEE TEPID ENROLLMENT: After years of tepid enrollment spurred by the pandemic, colleges and universities in Maryland are trying to stabilize and grow their student populations with varying degrees of success. Several Maryland schools, public and private, enrolled fewer students in the fall, while others, such as the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Morgan State University, recorded significant gains. Danielle Douglas-Gabriel/The Washington Post.

TOWSON BAR CANCELS GOP WOMEN’s ‘J6’ RIOTERS FUND-RAISER: After facing strong criticism on social media, a Towson bar says it will no longer host a fundraiser for people who were arrested for participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. In an email Monday evening, leaders of the Charles Village Pub & Patio in Towson said they had decided not to provide a venue for the Republican Women of Baltimore County and the Patriot Club of America to host the fundraiser. Amanda Yeager/The Baltimore Sun.

NEO-NAZI, ACCOMPLICE CHARGED WITH PLOTTING TO ATTACK MARYLAND POWER GRID: A neo-Nazi leader recently released from prison is accused of plotting an attack on the Maryland power grid with a woman he met while incarcerated. The charges against Brandon Russell, 27, and Sarah Clendaniel, 34, come amid a spate of sabotage targeting power stations across the country. Rachel Weiner, Jasmine Hilton and Dan Morse/The Washington Post.

  • Clendaniel, 34, most recently of Catonsville, was charged in a criminal complaint with Russell, 27, of Orlando, with planning to shoot up five substations, which would cause what he described as a “cascading failure” in the power grid, according to an FBI affidavit. William Zorzi/Maryland Matters.
  • Clendaniel told the informant she was experiencing terminal kidney failure. With just a few months to live, she wanted to “accomplish something worthwhile” before her death. Many of their conversations focused on how she could get a weapon to carry out the attacks. Staff/The Associated Press.
  • Clendaniel has an extensive criminal record in Cecil County – where she robbed three convenience stores in 2016 while brandishing a machete, according to Cecil Whig archives, court records and police. Carl Hamilton/The Cecil Whig.

MARYLAND HOSPITALS SEEK TO GROW WORKFORCE: The Maryland Hospital Association and the state’s 60 hospitals and health systems launched a digital marketing campaign Monday to encourage students and others seeking new opportunities to join the health care field. Angela Roberts/The Baltimore Sun.

CANNABIS LEGALIZATION: THE FINE PRINT: Maryland voted to legalize recreational marijuana use in the 2022 midterm elections, allowing adults 21 and older to possess, smoke and grow marijuana. But there’s some fine print to be aware of regarding how much is allowed and when Marylanders can legally smoke. Karina Elwood/The Washington Post.

HALF OF MOORE’s CABINET NOMINEES HEAD FOR CONFIRMATION: About half of Gov. Wes Moore’s cabinet secretaries are on their way to Maryland Senate confirmation and being able to drop “acting” from their titles. The Senate Executive Nominations Committee voted unanimously and without discussion to recommend nine secretaries Monday night. The next step will be a confirmation vote before the full Senate. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

  • The appointees — to lead the departments of Agriculture, Health, Labor, Natural Resources and five others — could see final confirmation by the full Senate later this week. A handful of the appointees fielded questions during a packed committee hearing. Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.

FREDERICK DELEGATION TO SEEK 55% PAY HIKE FOR SHERIFF: Frederick County’s delegation to the state legislature voted along party lines Friday to sponsor a bill to increase the sheriff’s salary about 55% — so it’s equal to the highest pay step for a Maryland State Police lieutenant colonel. The increase would take effect after the next election for sheriff in 2026. Jack Hogan/The Frederick News Post.

COLUMBIA STUDY FINDS CREEPING SEGREGATION, AFFORDABLE HOUSING SHORTAGE: Columbia, envisioned as a model for racial and socioeconomic integration when it was founded more than 50 years ago, is experiencing “creeping segregation” and a shortage of affordable housing, according to a new study. Alissa Zhu/The Baltimore Banner.

BALTIMORE COUNTY BANS PLASTIC BAGS: Baltimore County residents will no longer be able to buy plastic bags when they go grocery shopping after a new law goes into effect later this year. The Baltimore County Council passed the Bring Your Own Bag Act on Monday evening. Lia Russell/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Paper carryout bags or reusable carryout bags are still allowed, but a customer will be charged at least five cents per bag. Cadence Quaranta/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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