PARENTS, STATE TREASURER FOCUS ON 529 PLAN REFORM: Parents with 529 tuition savings plans are keeping up the faith as a key procedural deadline for lawmakers has passed and just weeks remain in the legislative session. The problem parents have with the bill is it doesn’t give an exact plan for how to make them whole, which is what they want. Jeff Morgan/WMAR-TV News.
- Some families upset over issues with their 529 college savings accounts returned Tuesday to Annapolis to push the state treasurer to take over the program, saying they are having trouble accessing their accounts and paying tuition. Parents said the value of their prepaid accounts decreased by as much as 50% because of a new method of calculating interest in the fund. Tim Tooten/WBAL-TV News.
- State Treasurer Dereck Davis told a House Committee he is committed to revamping the state’s troubled college savings plan. The fix, which includes ending the prepaid college fund, likely will require additional manpower and technology upgrades. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
- Delegates pledged Tuesday to work with their Senate counterparts to pass bills aimed at overhauling Maryland’s troubled state college savings agency before the legislative session ends in less than three weeks. Lia Russell/The Baltimore Sun.
MOORE SUPPORTERS PUSH FOR EMBATTLED STADIUM AUTHORITY NOMINEE: The drumbeat for Gov. Wes Moore’s stalled nominee to the Maryland Stadium Authority grew louder Tuesday, when a group of more than 80 current and former elected officials and community leaders signed a letter to state senators urging Yolanda Maria Martinez’s confirmation “without delay,” citing the need for Latino representation in local and state government generally, and on the Stadium Authority board specifically. The letter, however, makes no mention of Martinez’s troubled 35-year financial history, including a recent $7.2 million bankruptcy. William Zorzi/Maryland Matters.
COMMENTARY: RENEWABLE GOALS LAUDABLE, BUT TRICKY TO ACHIEVE: To his credit, Gov. Wes Moore has set remarkably ambitious goals including having Maryland generate 100% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2035. … The tricky part, however, isn’t why we must meet these goals. … The tricky part is how will we achieve these goals. Del. Stephanie Smith/The Baltimore Banner.
SENATE OKs BILL TO EMPLOWER ATTY GEN TO PROBE DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS: The Maryland Senate on Friday passed legislation empowering the attorney general to investigate and litigate instances of widespread unlawful discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations and leasing of commercial property. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.
CBD SELLERS SAY CANNABIS BILL COULD KILL THEIR BUSINESS: Sellers of hemp-derived products such as Delta-8 and CBD say a few lines in a recreational cannabis bill making its way through the Maryland legislature will put them out of business. The bill would establish a regulatory framework for the adult-use cannabis industry, which could launch as early as July. As part of that legislation, lawmakers have set a cap on any products that contain even small amounts of THC — a cap that is significantly smaller than what is currently allowed under federal law. Giacomo Bologna/The Baltimore Sun.
CANNABIS CAFE FILLS NEED FOR SOME PATIENTS: Ceylon House, hidden in a non-descript brick building in Montgomery County, isn’t a place people go for traditional medicine. And it is operating in a legal limbo in the state. Inside, multicolor glass bongs greet you on your left, a DJ is pumping out reggae music and the distinctive smell of marijuana fills your nostrils. The establishment is Maryland’s first cannabis café, a place where people can gather, and smoke weed legally without being relegated to their homes. Scott Maucione/WYPR-FM.
***BOARD OPENINGS FOR MONTGOMERY AND PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY RESIDENTS: The Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has openings for residents of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties on the ERS Board of Trustees; one vacancy for each county. The term of appointment is July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2026. Anyone interested who is a resident of the county to which they want to represent must submit a Letter of Interest and resume of qualifications, received no later than close of business on April 7, 2023. Visit our website, https://www.mncppc.org/1644/Employees-Retirement-System for a Board of Trustee Candidate Packet.***
BATES BILL WOULD RAISE AGE, PENALTY FOR CARRYING FIREARMS: For the first time this General Assembly session, the legislation backed by Baltimore City State’s Attorney Ivan Bates was heard in a Senate committee Tuesday afternoon. The bill seeks to raise the maximum penalty for someone 21 years old and older illegally carrying or wearing a firearm from three years to five. Current law sets the maximum penalty for someone between 18 years old and 20 years old facing the same charge at five years. Mikenzie Frost/WBFF-TV News.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONSIDERS AID TO IMPERILED HOMEOWNERS: The General Assembly is considering expanding the state’s program for providing legal counsel to low-income tenants facing eviction to include needy homeowners facing foreclosure. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.
McGRATH BOOK AUTHOR: AN INSIDER OR A NEWS-READER: In a sneak peek at two chapters of a self-published ebook about fugitive Roy McGrath, reporters were unable to confirm some parts of the chapters or that McGrath helped write the book. The author has been vague about his own identity.Two chapters suggest someone familiar with the people and events of the Hogan administration had a hand in the writing. But the events described have also been well-known and reported. Tim Prudente, Pamela Wood and Meredith Cohn/The Baltimore Banner.
MO CO DEMS PICK PROFESSOR FOR BETHESDA DELEGATE SEAT: The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee on Tuesday night nominated Sarah Siddiqui Wolek for a vacancy to serve in the House of Delegates representing Bethesda-based District 16. Wolek, a professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, prevailed over a crowded field that included a former state lawmaker, a mayor, and several policy experts and political insiders. Danielle Gaines and Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.