MARYLAND FIRST STATE TO GET FEDERAL OK TO REIMBURSE VICTIMS OF FOOD BENEFITS FRAUD: Maryland became the first state last week to get federal approval for a plan to reimburse victims of food benefits fraud — and Gov. Wes Moore (D) included funding for the effort in a supplemental budget delivered to the General Assembly on Friday. The Maryland Department of Human Services announced the plan to repay more than 3,800 victims more than $2.5 million in stolen benefits earlier in the week. Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.
- After efforts by social worker Lauren Siegel, multiple stories by The Brew and an appeal filed with the Maryland Department of Human Services, some (but not all) payments had been restored. Fern Shen/Baltimore Brew.
TEXAS JUDGE COULD IMPACT MARYLAND’s ABORTION ACCESS: Several anti-abortion groups and doctors are suing in a Texas court the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to revoke its 22-year-old approval of the drug mifepristone, which is used in combination with the drug misoprostol in 98% of medication abortions in the U.S. The decision is due any day and that could have sweeping repercussions on abortion access across the country — including in states, like Maryland, where the procedure is protected. Angela Roberts and Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
WHO ARE THOSE WITHIN MOORE’s ATYPICAL CABINET? Political newcomer Wes Moore’s pledge to transform Annapolis with an unconventional approach to the state’s systemic problems began with building an atypical Cabinet that didn’t rely on relationships to Maryland’s political establishment. Who are the members of that Cabinet? Ovetta Wiggins and Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
HOGAN TAKES HIMSELF OUT OF PRESIDENTIAL FIELD: Former Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday that he will not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2024, in a move that avoids a showdown with Donald Trump, the former president whom Hogan has unsuccessfully sought to steer his party away from. Azi Paybarah/The Washington Post.
- In a column, Hogan expounded upon his statement, writing, “Since Donald Trump won the nomination in 2016, I have fought to make clear that our party cannot be successful if we put personality before principle …” Larry Hogan/The New York Times.
- Hogan, 66, first flirted with a presidential run for 2020 and then took a much more serious look ahead of the 2024 elections. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
- Hogan calls his decision not to run was the toughest of his career. Here’s an extended, 8-minute interview on Face the Nation. He also addresses Fox News and the Dominion voting machine suit and Ron DeSantis running for president, the Disney controversy and his attempts to fire up the Trump base. Robert Costa/Face the Nation/CBS-TV.
- Hogan said in a statement, “I have long said that I care more about ensuring a future for the Republican Party than securing my own future in the Republican Party. And that is why I will not be seeking the Republican nomination for president.” Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.
- Hogan, one of Trump’s most prominent Republican critics during the former president’s term, said for months that one of his goals in running in 2024 would be to stop Trump from winning the nomination for a third time. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
ABUSE SURVIVORS TESTIFY: More than 25 survivors of childhood sexual abuse and their advocates gathered Thursday afternoon in a legislative hearing room in Annapolis to once again share their stories for lawmakers and the public. Some of them shook as they spoke, some held back tears and others flat-out refused to talk about the past for their dignity’s sake. The memories of their abuse do not fade. Lee O. Sanderlin/The Baltimore Sun.
‘COMMUNITY SCHOOL’ MODEL TO EXPAND UNDER BLUEPRINT: The community school model is based on schools partnering with local organizations to provide support services to students and the surrounding community, ranging from tutoring, food pantries, transportation, school supplies giveaways, and social services. The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future will invest $3.8 billion in public schools each year for the next 10 years and plans to expand the model statewide. Zshekinah Collier/WYPR-FM.
YEAR OF SERVICE WOULD START WITH 200 PEOPLE: Under the current version of Gov. Wes Moore’s SERVE plan, up to 200 people would go to organizations for a year of service starting this fall. The capacity would increase to 500 in mid-to-late 2024, 1,200 people in 2025, and 2,000 people in 2026. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
ANOTHER AIRPORT CONTRACT FACES CONTROVERSY: At the Board of Public Works meeting last week, Gov. Wes Moore (D), Treasurer Dereck Davis (D) and Comptroller Brooke Lierman (D) pledged their commitment to a fairer, more transparent process for procuring contracts for BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. But at the same meeting, they also voted, without debate or explanation, to draw out the term of another longtime airport contractor in another bidding process that has also become mired in controversy. That dispute is headed to the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals, with a hearing scheduled for this Wednesday. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
CRIME BILLS BEFORE THE LEGISLATURE: Republicans from the House and Senate in Maryland held a news conference Thursday calling on their Democratic colleagues to pass legislation to combat violent crime. Lead by Minority Whip Jesse Pippy of Frederick County, the proposals take aim at a few ideas: cracking down on repeat violent offenders, juvenile crime, and increasing the penalties for stealing a handgun, but Del. Susan McComas said she believes the problem with the bill is that the juvenile system is different than the adult system. Emilie Kyler/WBFF-TV.
- Democratic Del. Charlotte Cruchfield is looking to change a law that allows those under 25 to be charged with felony murder if someone is accidently killed during the commission of a felony crime. Her Youth Accountability and Safety Act, House Bill 1180, would do just that. Vincent Hill/WBFF-TV.
OPINION: TIE MINIMUM WAGE HIKE TO CPI: Indexing the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index is an essential component of The Fair Wage Act. The Act, which fulfills Gov. Moore’s promise to accelerate the implementation of the state’s $15-an-hour minimum wage, will provide low-wage workers with a much-needed boost in income and will help to narrow the income gap. Tyler Jones Sr./Maryland Matters.
TUCKER BALTI MOORE GETS A WALK AROUND CAPITAL: Gov. Wes Moore and his 9-year-old son James Moore spent Saturday afternoon walking the new first dog, Tucker Balti Moore, around Annapolis. Dillon Mullan/The Capital Gazette.
ARUNDEL HEALTH OFFICER TAKES STATE HEALTH POST: After almost four years as Anne Arundel County health officer, Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman is leaving to become the deputy secretary for public health services at the Maryland Department of Health. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.