Moore raised almost $4.6 million for inaugural; state’s attorneys object to bill on police-involved deaths; Hogan weighs in on crime bills;

Moore raised almost $4.6 million for inaugural; state’s attorneys object to bill on police-involved deaths; Hogan weighs in on crime bills;

A spokeswoman for Lt. Gov. Miller called the claims "unfounded gossip" that is "completely false and beneath the Lieutenant Governor’s role in service to the people of Maryland. ... Attempts to mischaracterise her character and her record are misguided at best, and sexist and discriminatory at worst,” Here at the inaugural ball at Baltimore's Convention Center are First Lady Dawn Moore, Gov. Wes Moore, Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller and her husband David Miller. Governor's Office photo

MOORE RAISED THREE TIMES AS MUCH FOR INAUGURATION AS HOGAN DID IN 2019: Gov. Wes Moore (D) raised almost $4.6 million for his inaugural celebration in January — close to three times as much money as his predecessor, former Gov. Larry Hogan (R), took in for his second-term inauguration. Scores of prominent Maryland businesses donated, with just as many from out-of-state, including: real estate and construction firms, utilities, health care entities, financial firms and professional sports franchises. The Moore-Miller Inaugural Committee spent more than $4.3 million on the festivities, with almost half of the expenditures going to the Boston-based political events company that staged President Biden’s inauguration. Josh Kurtz/ Maryland Matters

  • The details of the finances behind the inauguration were disclosed in a report of more than 1,800 pages that the inaugural committee filed with state officials on Tuesday. This is just the second time that a new governor is required to report inauguration finances — a change that was made during the tenure of former Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Donors to inaugural committees are not bound to any limits on contributions. Pamela Wood and Ryan Little/The Baltimore Banner

STATE’S ATTORNEYS PUSH BACK ON BILL ON POLICE-INVOLVED DEATHS: State’s attorneys from across Maryland descended Tuesday on Annapolis to fight against an “absurd” bill aimed at “usurping” their authorities as elected prosecutors. House Bill 857 would give the Maryland Attorney General’s Office the power to prosecute police officers who kill civilians, a power that currently rests with the state’s 24 elected state’s attorneys.  Leo O. Sanderlin/The Baltimore Sun

  • William C. Smith Jr., D-Montgomery, a lead sponsor of the bill, which received preliminary approval in the Senate on Tuesday, said the measure should boost public confidence in the investigations of police-involved deaths. Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post

HOGAN WEGHS IN ON CRIME BILLS, CALLS GENERAL ASSEMBLY ‘OUT OF TOUCH’: Former Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday weighed in on the violent crime reduction bills being debated in Annapolis. Hogan, a Republican, had pushed the Violent Firearms Offender Act for several years to increase penalties for repeat offenders, specifically gun offenders. The bill passed the Senate twice but failed to gain traction in the House of Delegates. This year, Republicans in the General Assembly have introduced the bill again. Hogan praised the bill and accused the General Assembly of being “so far out of touch with their constituents.” Mikenzie Frost/WBFF (Fox)

DIVERSITY CONCERNS HALT HIRING AT MD. NATURAL RESOURCES POLICE: The Maryland Natural Resources Police, which has faced criticism over a lack of diversity for decades, has halted hiring efforts while announcing plans to recruit from historically Black colleges and universities and through Spanish-language radio stations. The announcement comes less than two months into the administration of Gov. Wes Moore, the state’s first Black governor, and amid concerns expressed by Black officers that the agency’s past hiring and promotion practices — particularly under former Gov. Larry Hogan — limited the number of diverse candidates. John-John Williams IV and Julie Scharper/The Baltimore Banner

BILL TO KEEP BLACK HISTORY CURRICULA LACKS GOP CO-SPONSORS: Rep. Kweisi Mfume, D-Md. and U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., presented legislation on Feb. 1, the first day of Black History Month, that would would create a federal commission pinpointing significant moments in Black history — making it tougher for those events to be excluded from school curricula. The bill has more than 50 co-sponsors and the endorsement of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture. Mfume said he expects another 50 by the end of spring. But none of the current co-sponsors are Republicans, who control the House. Penelope Blackwell/The Baltimore Banner

BALTIMORE MAYOR’S OFFICE SPENT $30,000 ON CIAA TOURNAMENT TICKETS: Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott’s office purchased $30,000 worth of tickets to the CIAA tournament, according to an invoice The Baltimore Sun obtained. The Baltimore Sun first asked about tickets for city officials during the week of the tournament and received the invoice Feb. 28 via a Maryland Public Information Act request. Officials with the mayor’s office said they subsequently struck a deal with the CIAA to provide the tickets at a special “early bird” rate. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun

SUPREME COURT AGREES TO HEAR TEACHER’S CASE: The Maryland Supreme Court will hear oral arguments April 4 in the lawsuit between Harford County and Jacob Bennett over his eligibility to serve on the County Council. Bennett filed a petition Feb. 28 for his case to be heard by the Maryland Supreme Court. The court granted the petition Monday. Bennett is currently blocked from serving on the council as the District F representative until the state’s highest court makes a ruling. A Circuit Court judge ruled on Feb. 15 that Bennett, a Democrat, may not be a council member while he is employed as a Harford County Public Schools teacher. Jason Fontelieu/The Aegis

PAC WILL PUSH TO ADD RECALL ELECTIONS TO BALLOT: The group that backed a successful petition drive to get term limits approved by Baltimore voters last fall said Tuesday that it is likely to make a second push to get recall elections on the ballot next year. Officials with People for Elected Accountability and Civic Engagement, a political action committee funded almost entirely by Sinclair Broadcast Group Chairman David Smith, said they are holding town hall meetings in the city to gather input on potential ballot questions. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun

SEVEN BILLS TO WATCH THAT FOCUS ON LGBTQ+ POPULATION: The Maryland General Assembly is considering seven bills that would affect the LGBTQ+ population before the legislative session is expected to adjourn April 10. “Most of the legislation seems to be increasing protections for LGBTQ+ youth in schools,” said Michele Schlehofer, who is on the board of Maryland’s chapter of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network [GLSEN]. Maya Lora/The Baltimore Sun

DELEGATE SAYS BILL MANDATING HOSPITAL TESTS FOR FENTANYL COULD SAVE LIVES: Hospitals generally test for five different classes of drugs, but not always fentanyl. A bill in the Maryland General Assembly could change that and help save lives. Sponsored by state Del. Joe Vogel, D-Montgomery, HB 811 would require hospitals to conduct a test for fentanyl in patients suspected of drug overdose. Christine Zhu/Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter

SOME CARROLL CO. SCHOOLS MAY START LATER DUE TO BUS DRIVER SHORTAGE:  A later start time for seven elementary schools will be discussed Wednesday during the Carroll County Board of Education monthly meeting. The change would allow the school system to cut 15 bus contracts and realize $1.2 million in savings, according to the discussion item on the board’s agenda, and possibly help alleviate the ongoing bus driver shortage. Two of the affected elementary would start and end a full two hours later than currently. Thomas Goodwin Smith/Carroll County Times

BALTIMORE CO. COUNCIL APPROVES COMPENSATION POLICY: The Baltimore County Council approved a compensation policy for county employees, nearly five years after voters approved a charter amendment granting the council oversight to set appointees’ salaries. However, a provision in the new law allows the county executive and county administrative officer to have the final say in determining senior officials’ severance packages. The council voted unanimously Monday to approve the compensation proposal. Lia Russell/The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE CO. EXPANDS OFF-SEASON FISHING FOR DEBRIS: Derelict or abandoned crab pots litter the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding waterways. They can pose a serious threat to the bay’s ecosystem and compete with commercial and recreational fishing. On Tuesday, Baltimore County leaders announced expansion of a program that lets watermen fish for debris during the offseason. In Essex, local off-season watermen are bringing hundreds of old crab traps to shore.  Caroline Foreback/WJZ (CBS)

FREDERICK CO. COMMITTEE STUDIES CHANGES IN HEALTH CURRICIULUM: Members of a Frederick County Public Schools committee said Tuesday that the school system needs to be transparent and give proper context as it works on a health curriculum. The school board’s all-volunteer Family Life Advisory Committee met Tuesday to analyze a document that compares the past health curriculum with the new state framework the board approved last year.  Emmett Gartner/The Frederick News-Post

ONE OF THE FIRST BLACK MARINES IS HONORED AT STATE HOUSE: World War II veteran Claude David, one of the first African American Marines, was honored on Tuesday at the Maryland State House in Annapolis. David joined the Marines in 1942 as a Montford Pointer, a segregated corps made up of the first group of Black soldiers to ever join the Marines. Claude said that before he joined he didn’t know about the segregation of the Marines, but that only fueled his lifelong fight for equality. “Today is better than yesterday, but tomorrow will be better than today,” he said. “We’ve come a long way.”  WMAR (ABC) Staff

About The Author

Regina Holmes

Contributing editor Regina Holmes has worked as a journalist for over 30 years. She was an assistant business editor at the Miami Herald and an assistant city editor at Newsday in New York City, where she helped supervise coverage of 9/11, anthrax attacks and the August 2003 Northeast Blackout. As an assistant managing editor of the Baltimore Examiner, she helped launch the free tabloid in 2006. Before joining Maryland Reporter, she was the managing editor for Washington, D.C.-based Talk Media News, where she supervised digital, radio and video production of news reports for over 400 radio stations. The Baltimore native is a graduate of Vassar College and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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