State Roundup: Final pitches for FBI HQ; USDA, university collaboration hopes to help grow Black farmers in PG; Moore’s juvenile justice pick a noted reformer

State Roundup: Final pitches for FBI HQ; USDA, university collaboration hopes to help grow Black farmers in PG; Moore’s juvenile justice pick a noted reformer

Despite the fact that 2 of every 3 residents in Prince George's County is Black, the number of Black farmers is 1 in 6, owing to a lack of generational wealth, available land and difficulty in getting loans. Photo by Anna Shvets for Pexels.

MARYLAND, VIRGINIA MAKING FINAL PITCHES FOR FBI HQ: Virginia lawmakers have launched their final pitch to convince the federal government to build the FBI headquarters in their state, squaring off with Maryland power players who want it in Prince George’s County as the General Services Administration inches closer to a decision. Meagan Flynn/The Washington Post.

BLACK FARMERS STRUGGLE EVEN IN MAJORITY BLACK PG COUNTY: Struggling to find and buy land without generational wealth, extensive credit history and limited land are among the reasons only 1 in 6 farmers in Prince George’s County is Black when nearly 2 in 3 county residents are. A $3.25 million USDA-backed program, a collaboration between county government entities, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland Extension, is a small step forward for Black farmers contending with a legacy of discriminatory practices. Lateshia Beachum/The Washington Post.

MOORE’S JUVENILE JUSTICE PICK A NOTED REFORMER: Gov. Wes Moore has picked a nationally recognized criminal justice reformer to run the state’s juvenile services system, pleasing advocates and state watchdogs who hope the changemaker will advance recently enacted reforms. Vincent Schiraldi, known for remaking Washington, D.C.’s juvenile system into a national model and retooling New York City’s probation department, begins his confirmation process in the state Senate today. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.

MOORE FULFILLING PROMISE ON LATINO PRESENCE IN ADMINISTRATION: Last November, Democratic state Del. Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk said she’d never seen a candidate as dedicated to engaging Latino voters as her party’s gubernatorial nominee, Wes Moore. She said in November that Moore planned to appoint Latinos to both his transition team and his cabinet. It seems he’s delivered on that front. Maya Lora/The Baltimore Sun.

COMMENTARY: MARYLAND’s LEADERS MUST ACT TO STOP POLICE-INVOLVED DEATHS: Maryland’s Medical Examiner has avoided recognizing the causal relationship between police use of force and death, disregarding or misrepresenting facts, medical evidence and professional principles to mask how people die in police encounters. The truth has been concealed in medical jargon and manufactured uncertainty based on remote possibilities. Maryland’s new governor, Wes Moore, and attorney general, Anthony Brown, should act swiftly to correct the state’s profound failures. Three things could be done right now. Sonia Kumar/Maryland Matters.

COMMENTARY: REPUBLICANS INTRODUCE COMMON-SENSE LEGISLATION: The Maryland House Republican Caucus has introduced a legislative package of reasonable, common-sense solutions to help address challenges faced throughout the state. Our legislative package focuses on topics that matter most to Marylanders: reducing crime, improving education, and restoring our economy. Dels. Jason Buckel, and Jesse Pippy/MarylandReporter.

ORPHANS’ COURT JUDGES WHO ARE ATTORNEYS COULD PRACTICE SOME LAW: A Maryland Senate committee is considering legislation that would permit attorneys statewide to practice law while serving as orphans’ court judges so long as they do not handle the will, trusts, estate and guardianship matters that come before the probate court. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.

STRONG SUPPORT FOR STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ENSHRINING ABORTION: Dozens of members of the Maryland legislature are sponsoring a constitutional amendment that would enshrine the right to an abortion into the state constitution. Scott Maucione/WYPR-FM.

  • Even before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision came down, Maryland lawmakers moved last year to bolster access to reproductive care, by expanding the list of medical professionals who can provide abortion services. But then-Gov. Larry Hogan (R) vetoed the measure — which was later overridden by the legislature — and then refused to release $3.5 million in funds for training that the legislation provided. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

BILL WOULD REQUIRE COUNTIES TO SET UP CLIMATE CRISIS PLANS: As state agencies begin implementing the ambitious Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022, which confronts the effects of global warming in multiple ways, two lawmakers are back with a bill they floated last year to require counties to put together a climate crisis plan, outlining how they’d prepare for and respond to emergencies. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

POLITICAL NOTES: COX’s NEW GIG: Dan Cox is back in a legislature — as chief of staff to Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano. Both Cox, a former delegate who represented Frederick County, and Mastriano ran for governor of their states, were backed by Trump and lost their elections. Ashanti Martinez, who has been tapped to fill a vacant Maryland House of Delegates seat, would make history as the first Latino to represent District 22 and the first openly gay member of the legislature to represent Prince George’s. William J. Ford, William F. Zorzi and Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.

CLASS ACTION SUIT OK’d FOR ANNAPOLIS PUBLIC HOUSING RESIDENTS: A federal judge has certified a class action lawsuit that pits approximately 1,700 public housing residents against the city of Annapolis. The class action follows a 2020 settlement that awarded $1.8 million in damages to 52 HACA residents, who claimed the city’s failure to inspect nearly 800 public housing units led to extensive mold and other hazardous living conditions, and discriminated against Black residents. Rebecca Ritzel/The Capital Gazette.

COLUMBIA ASSOCIATION PICKS INTERIM PRESIDENT: The Columbia Association board of directors announced that Dennis Mattey will serve as interim president and CEO beginning Monday. The announcement comes two weeks after former President and CEO Lakey Boyd resigned following monthslong rumors about her job security that engulfed the nonprofit, which functions as a giant homeowners association for Maryland’s second-largest city. Ethan Ehrenhaft/The Howard County Times.

COMMENTARY: SPUR CIVIC INVOLVEMENT, LOWER THE VOTING AGE: Strong divisions exist upon the idea of lowering the voting age in the city of Rockville. Those opposed cite maturity, knowledge and involvement, that young people do not care about voting and even if they did, they are not equipped or old enough to make such important decisions. History and research have demonstrated that there are benefits in making this a reality. Saliha Garcia/MoCo360.

MOSBY’s FEDERAL TRIAL LIKELY TO BE POSTPONED: The federal trial for former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby will likely be postponed until the fall because of scheduling issues after her entire defense team quit last month. Madeleine O’Neill/The Daily Record.

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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