STATE POLICE DOCUMENTS OUTLINE BANNED QUOTA-LIKE ARREST/REWARD SYSTEM: Leaked internal documents show Maryland State Police supervisors discussing a points-based system that state lawmakers are comparing to a ticket and arrest quota, a practice that was banned in the state more than 15 years ago. The documents include a February 2022 “goals and expectations” memo from a barracks that lays out in detail how many traffic stops, citations, warnings, arrests and other metrics would meet the law enforcement agency’s monthly “expectations.” Ben Conarck/The Baltimore Banner.
VOLUNTARY ‘DO NOT SELL FIREARM’ LIST PROPOSED TO CURB SUICIDES: Maryland lawmakers are looking at a bill, sponsored by Sen. Shelly Hettleman, that would create a voluntary Do Not Sell Firearm list, which supporters call an important tool in suicide prevention. Only three other states have one. A person could enroll themselves on the list, which is entirely voluntary, to prevent them from being sold a firearm. Matt Bush/WYPR-FM.
REPUBLICANS AGAIN SEEK TO ELIMINATE GAS TAX HIKES TIED TO INFLATION: Maryland Republicans are again pushing to eliminate an automatic increase in the state’s gas tax tied to inflation. As it was last year, the repeal is one of the top priorities for Senate Republicans in the 2023 session. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.
PILOT FOUR-DAY WORKWEEK BILL FINDS SUPPORT: Del. Vaughn Stewart is sponsoring a bill to test a four-day workweek across Maryland through a five-year pilot program. If passed, the bill will make Maryland the first U.S. state to encourage companies to implement a shortened workweek by providing qualifying companies a tax credit in exchange for reducing work hours from 40 to 32 hours a week and leaving pay the same. Rachel Baye/WYPR-FM.
BILL WOULD EXPAND GERIATRIC, MEDICAL PAROLE: A bill before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee would expand and enhance medical and geriatric parole for those incarcerated in prison. Sen. Shelly Hettleman, who is sponsoring the bill, said it seeks to not only improve and streamline the state’s “broken” medical and geriatric parole system, but also show compassion for older inmates. William Ford/Maryland Matters.
JUSTICE ADVOCATE TO FILL WASHINGTON’s DELEGATE SEAT: Prince George’s County social justice activist Ashanti Martinez is poised to fill the District 22 House vacancy created when Alonzo T. Washington ascended to a Senate seat in Annapolis, bolstering the diverse group of voices representing county residents. Lateshia Beachum/The Washington Post.
DISBARRED, CASSILLY NOMINATED TO ETHICS PANEL BY BROTHER: Joseph Cassilly, who served as Harford County state’s attorney for 36 years but was later disbarred for his actions in a high-profile murder case, has been nominated to the county ethics board by his brother, Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly. Jason Fontelieu/The Aegis.
FORMER DRUG ADDICT SUES FORMER HAGERSTOWN MAYOR FOR DEFAMATION: After withdrawing a city ethics complaint against former Hagerstown Mayor Emily Keller over the matter, a former heroin addict who turned his life around to help others has filed a civil suit against Keller, alleging she waged a rumor campaign that he had a relapse and was using drugs again. Keller has been tapped to join Gov. Wes Moore’s administration as special secretary for opioid response. Dave McMillion/The Hagerstown Herald Mail.
PLAN TO ADD APPOINTED MEMBERS TO HOWARD ED BOARD DIES: A controversial bill that would have added two appointed members to the Howard County Board of Education is dead. At the Howard state delegation’s final work session Wednesday, Del. Courtney Watson and co-sponsor Sen. Clarence Lam declined to bring the bill forward for a vote, during the last opportunity to advance proposed local legislation to the House during this General Assembly session. Ethan Ehrenhaft/The Howard County Times.
MO CO POLICE STOP FEWER VEHICLES, BUT MORE WITH BLACK, HISPANIC DRIVERS: While the number of Montgomery County Police Department traffic stops declined between fiscal years 2018 and 2022, the number of stops where police listed the driver’s race or ethnicity as “other” doubled over the same period—going from 7% to 14%—according to a recent study. The white and Asian categories decreased, while the Black and Hispanic categories increased. Em Espy/MoCo360.
B’MORE WILL HAVE TO WAIT ANOTHER YEAR FOR CONTROL OF POLICE DEPT.: The residents of Baltimore have waited 163 years to take back control of their city police department. Now, they may wait at least one more. The city’s Local Control Advisory Board, the group Mayor Brandon Scott charged with implementing local control, recently announced plans for a lengthened timeline to make city authority over the Baltimore Police a reality. Darcy Costello and Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.
STOLEN STAFF FROM TUBMAN STATUE RETURNED: The Annapolis Police Department has returned the beaded staff stolen from a Harriet Tubman statue in December to the Banneker-Douglass Museum. In December, toward the end of what former Gov. Larry Hogan anointed the “Year of Harriet Tubman,” the staff was stolen from in front of the museum, which received the statue on loan from the Goya Contemporary Gallery in September. Luke Parker/The Capital Gazette.
MOORE HONORS FRITZ FAMILY FOR 110 YEARS OF FARMING: Six generations of the Fritz family have spent the last 110 years farming Carroll County land, and their commitment was honored last week by Gov. Wes Moore, who celebrated the family by making them this year’s entry into the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame. Sherry Greenfield/The Carroll County Times.