BILL WOULD REQUIRE HOSPITALS TO TEST FOR FENTANYL IN TOXICOLOGY SCREENS: Many hospitals don’t test for fentanyl as part of the standard toxicology screens on overdose patients. They test for five different classes of drugs, including opiates, but the test doesn’t detect fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that’s driving overdoses and deaths in Maryland and beyond. The family of one fentanyl fatality is taking their grief to Annapolis, pressing lawmakers to require that fentanyl be included when hospitals test a patient for drugs. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
SENATE CONFIRMS SCHIRALDI AS JUVENILE SERVICES SECRETARY: The Maryland Senate confirmed Vincent Schiraldi, Gov. Wes Moore’s juvenile services pick, on Tuesday, after Republican leaders twice stalled votes on the criminal justice reformer’s nomination. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.
- The Senate voted 33-13, along party lines, with Republican senators using the vote to convey their criticism of the state’s juvenile justice reforms, Schiraldi’s work in the field, and his robust support for restorative justice practices and rehabilitation programs for youths. Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post.
MOORE JOINS 19 GOVERNORS IN REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM ALLIANCE: Gov. Wes Moore (D) joined governors from 19 states across the U.S. in a new Reproductive Freedom Alliance to safeguard and improve abortion and reproductive health care access “in the face of an unprecedented assault by states hostile to abortion rights,” according to a joint statement. The formation of the alliance, led by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, was announced Tuesday. Kelcie Moseley-Morris and Danielle E. Gaines/Maryland Matters.
DAVIS ELECTED TREASURER: With plenty of pomp but no suspense, Dereck Davis was elected to a full, four-year term as Maryland’s state treasurer on Tuesday. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
- On Tuesday he outlined several priorities for the office that include being “socially responsible and fiscally prudent” with taxpayer dollars, expanding financial literacy in the schools and achieving the 29% goal in the state’s minority business enterprise program, where the figure “routinely” sits around 12%. William Ford and Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
BILL TO END QUALIFIED IMMUNITY BEFORE JUDICIARY PANEL: Police officers sued for having allegedly violated someone’s constitutional rights would lose their “qualified immunity” from being sued in cases when the plaintiffs’ right was not clearly established, under legislation debated before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.
REJECTED GOP ELECTIONS BOARD NOMINEE PLEADED GUILTY TO EMBEZZLING: William Newton, a frequent candidate for office whose nomination by the Republican State Central Committee to fill a vacancy on the elections board was rejected by Gov. Wes Moore, was not just an election denier. A search of online court records showed Newton pleaded guilty to misdemeanor embezzlement in Baltimore County Circuit Court in 2019. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
COMMENTARY: REPRIORITIZING WORK: A proposal has been introduced in the House of Delegates to experiment with reducing that 40-hours-a-week norm to 32 hours. Give some of the credit to the COVID pandemic, which has forced us to reset priorities as we rethink the ways we live and work. Whether or not Del. Vaughn’s Stewart’s bill makes it through this legislative session, the seed has been planted. I, for one, hope that it catches enough rays from the Wes Moore sunshine to germinate. E.R. Shipp/The Baltimore Banner.
MOORE ORDERS DO-OVER FOR BWI CONCESSIONS BIDDING: Gov. Wes Moore (D) said Tuesday he is is scrapping a controversial contract process to run concessions operations at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport and has directed the Maryland Aviation Administration to solicit new bids for the lucrative deal. The forthcoming procurement solicitation cancels the solicitation and contract award recommendation that the MAA made under the administration of former Gov. Larry Hogan (R) — which had resulted in a lawsuit against the state. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
- The aviation department will also ask the state’s Board of Public Works to renew a contract with BWI’s current concessionaire, Fraport, on a month-to-month basis after the current contract expires at the end of March. Dan Belson/The Baltimore Sun.
SENATOR WITHDRAWS BILL ON BYOB POLICIES: Bring-your-own-alcohol policies at Frederick businesses will likely remain unregulated for at least another year, after a Maryland state senator withdrew a bill she proposed to help police enforce liquor laws on unlicensed businesses. Jack Hogan/The Frederick News Post.
STATE GETS $19M TO ADDRESS FOREVER CHEMICALS: Maryland is getting about $19 million in federal funding to help municipalities trying to test or reduce levels of “forever chemicals” in their water supply. The funds are part of $2 billion earmarked from the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will be distributed to U.S. states and territories through the EPA’s grant for small or disadvantaged communities grappling with the presence of the chemicals in their water systems. Emmett Gartner/The Frederick News Post.
B’MORE TO GET $2M TO FIX HIGHWAY TO NOWHERE: Baltimore will receive $2 million in federal funds as a next step in planning for the redevelopment of the Highway to Nowhere, a controversial 1.4-mile stretch of roadway that forced the displacement of over 1,000 residents in a predominantly Black community when it was built decades ago. Cadence Quartana/The Baltimore Banner.
WICOMICO COUNCIL NIXES COX APPOINTMENT: The Wicomico County Council voted almost unanimously Tuesday to not move forward with the appointment of former Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox as special counsel. Four of the five councilmembers who voted against Cox are Republicans. William Ford and Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
HARFORD COUNCILMAN ABSENT FROM MEETING AFTER COURT RULING: Harford County Council member Jacob Bennett was absent from the council meeting Tuesday due to the Harford Circuit Court ruling last week that found Bennett was unable to serve on the council while employed as a Harford County Public Schools teacher. Bennett said his absence was not by choice – he was not allowed to attend the Tuesday meeting due to the Circuit Court’s ruling. Jason Fontelieu/The Aegis.