MOORE TAPS GAS INDUSTRY OFFICIAL TO REGULATION PANEL: A month after his inauguration, Democratic Gov. Wes Moore is angering some of his environmental supporters by nominating a natural gas industry official to the state Public Service Commission, a five-member body that regulates utility companies and plays a pivotal role in the state’s efforts to combat climate change. Maxine Joselow/The Washington Post.
529 PLAN MAY BE MOVED TO STATE TREASURER’s OFFICE: Legislative leaders are planning to introduce a bill next week that would shift oversight of Maryland’s beleaguered college savings plan to the state treasurer’s office and wind down pre-paid college tuition plans. Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.
- The idea emerged publicly earlier this week, when State Treasurer Dereck Davis told the legislature he would support moving the agency under his office to address its problems. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
JUDGE ORDERS RELEASE OF ARCHDIOCESE REPORT: A public accounting of the systemic sexual abuse of children within the local Catholic Church is imminent, with a judge ordering the Maryland attorney general’s office to release its report on the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Lee O. Sanderlin/The Baltimore Sun.
- The report will be redacted to shield the identities of some people who are accused of committing sexual abuse or helping to cover it up, Baltimore Circuit Judge Robert Taylor Jr. decided. Madeleine O’Neill/The Daily Record.
MOORES ADOPT ‘FIRST PUPPY:’ Gov. Wes Moore adopted a new family member Friday – a fluffy mixed-breed rescue puppy, the Maryland SPCA in Hampden said. Moore tweeted a series of photos Friday evening of him and his children with their new furry friend. The governor also shared the pup’s full name, a nod to Charm City: Tucker Balti Moore. Tim Swift/Baltimore Fishbowl.
GOP CAUCUS WANTS $10 MILLION FUNDING FOR PRIVATE SCHOOL PROGRAM: State Republicans are pushing again for funding of a scholarship program originally established by Gov. Larry Hogan (R) that has sparked perennial debate in Annapolis. The caucus’s “Right to Learn Act of 2023” would require Maryland’s governor to appropriate at least $10 million a year the program that provides funding for low-income students to attend private schools. Gov. Wes Moore’s proposed $63.1 million budget includes an $8 million appropriation for the program. Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.
COST OF REDEVELOPING RACE TRACKS SPURS SEARCH FOR ALTERNATIVES: Stymied by skyrocketing costs that have nearly doubled the $375 million estimates for redeveloping Pimlico and Laurel Park race courses, Maryland officials and other interested parties are scrambling to develop an alternative plan that likely would involve shuttering one of the two horse tracks, sources say. William Zorzi/Maryland Matters.
AUTHOR, DELEGATE HUSBAND WORK TO END CORPORAL PUNISHMENT: Catonsville author Tara Ebersole’s first foray into fiction writing drew her deep into researching corporal punishment in education and was stunned to discover the practice is still legal in private schools, nonpublic schools and schools operated by religious organizations. Her husband, Democratic Del. Eric Ebersole of Baltimore County, was also shocked and now both are working to close the loophole in Maryland code. Lillian Reed/The Baltimore Sun.
MOORE’s SERVICE PLAN DRAWS CRITICISM: Addressing Gov. Wes Moore’s year of service plan, in which Maryland state government would find jobs for recent high school graduates at $15 per hour, Christopher Summers of the right-leaning Maryland Public Policy Institute, said taxpayers “should be very leery of government being involved basically in the labor market.” Dave Boyer/The Washington Times.
BLAIR FINED BY BOARD OF ELECTIONS: David Blair, a Democratic candidate for Montgomery County executive, was recently fined $200 by the state Board of Elections for a campaign financing violation related to one of his prior campaigns. Steve Bohnel/MoCo360.
COVID CENTER CLOSES AS STAFF HOPES COMMUNITIES CAN TAKE OVER: Having largely served its purpose of handling massive numbers of people during peak periods of the coronavirus pandemic, the State Center COVID site shut down over the weekend. With home tests and vaccines more readily available, and COVID cases declining, health officials say it’s time for the battle against COVID to be waged within the regular, community-level health care system — doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals and neighborhood pharmacies. Jean Marbella and Angela Roberts/The Baltimore Sun.
ARE HBCUs STILL RELEVANT? In Maryland, where four historically Black colleges and universities enroll more than 20,000 students a year, many of the state’s movers and shakers have some connection to these legacy institutions. But the increasing diversification of HBCUs has occasionally spurred controversy and writers frequently tackle questions about whether HBCUs are still relevant. John-John Williams/The Baltimore Banner.
HOWARD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOLERS TO START SCHOOL LATER: Howard County high school students will be able to sleep in for at least 35 more minutes next school year after the board voted to push back school day start times. The decision to start school at 8 a.m., instead of 7:25 a.m., has been nearly two years in the making. Kristen Griffith/The Baltimore Banner.
GOHMERT TO SPEAK AT WA CO GOP UNITY DINNER: The Washington County Republican Club will host its first — hopefully annual — Republican Unity Dinner on April 29 at Fountain Head Country Club, according to a news release from the club, with guest speaker to be former U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas. Joseph Deinlei/The Hagerstown Herald-Mail
EDWARD GORSUCH & WHERE THE CIVIL WAR REALLY BEGAN: John Brown and his ragtag fighters would put Harper’s Ferry on the map as the Civil War precursor. But the Christiana Resistance came first, and it began in the Baltimore County barn where an enslaver plotted to get “his property back.” But you wouldn’t know it by the historical markers. Julie Schablitsky, MDOT’s chief of cultural resources, said the agency is reviewing the more than 700 markers it recently inherited from the historic trust for offensive and outdated language. Rona Kobell/The Baltimore Banner.