SENATE MOVE PROMPTS HARD LOOK AT RACE TRACKS: The state Senate voted to strip out a House of Delegates amendment from the state budget Wednesday that would have withheld $17 million from the Maryland Stadium Authority unless required agreements for the project to redevelop Pimlico Race Course are signed in the next seven months. The project also includes redevelopment of the track at Laurel Park. The action ensures that a budget conference committee will attempt to come together with a unified approach to spur the stalled plan to improve horse racing in the state. William Zorzi/Maryland Matters.
DOXXING GROUP SUES UMBC OVER PROTEST BAN: Members of an anti-Chinese communist organization, whose members have ties to ultra conservative Steve Bannon and have doxxed a University of Maryland, Baltimore County student and her father, are suing university staff members. The group claims that its First Amendment rights were violated after a federal court barred it from protesting in several areas around the country earlier this year, which prompted UMBC to prohibit the group from reserving campus spaces for demonstrations. Sabrina LeBeouf/The Baltimore Sun.
LATINO LEADERS RALLY TO SUPPORT EMBATTLED STADIUM AUTHORITY NOMINEE: Latino lawmakers and community leaders rallied Wednesday morning outside the State House to show their support for Gov. Wes Moore’s nominee, Yolanda Maria Martinez, to the Maryland Stadium Authority board and demand that the Senate confirm her appointment. The nomination was held up after it was reported she had a troubled 35-year financial history that included a recent $7.2 million bankruptcy and dozens of lawsuits and judgments for bad debts filed against her. William Zorzi/Maryland Matters.
***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.***
NICK MOSBY COMPLIES WITH ETHICS BOARD: Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby closed a nearly yearlong saga over a legal-defense fund formed in his name by complying with a Board of Ethics order, which directed Mosby to accept no payments from the fund and to ask organizers to stop raising money on his behalf. Mosby also was ordered to request from the fund a list of all donors and donations for the ethics board. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.
SIX ROAD CONSTRUCTION WORKERS KILLED ON B’MORE BELTWAY: Six construction workers were killed and a driver was hospitalized early Wednesday afternoon in a collision on the west side of Interstate 695 that closed the beltway both ways for hours and snarled traffic, according to Maryland State Police. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board responded, and are looking into the matter in coordination with state police. Lilly Price and Dan Belson/The Baltimore Sun.
GROUP SEEKS TO HELP PG LAUNCH GUARANTEED INCOME PILOT PROGRAM: It’s already being done in D.C., Maryland’s Montgomery County and Virginia’s Arlington County. And now a local philanthropic group is offering to help Prince George’s County launch a guaranteed income pilot program for its residents. But even those who support the measure aren’t sure the county can afford it. John Domen/WTOP-FM.
NEW CARROLLTON METRO HQ OPENS TO MUCH FANFARE: A few years ago, the New Carrollton Metro Station was surrounded by nothing but parking lots, adjacent to more parking lots. But on Tuesday afternoon, politicians and Metro employees gathered next to Metro’s newly opened Maryland headquarters, as well as a massive apartment complex that’s a few months away from opening. About 1,200 workers will come to work every day at the new headquarters. John Domen/WTOP-FM.
WILL McGRATH BOOK AFFECT FEDERAL CASE AGAINST HIM? Political insiders and others fascinated with Roy McGrath’s case quickly started reading the 52-page book, which author Ryan Cooper claims was written with cooperation from McGrath, the former Maryland government official who disappeared before he was to go to court. Law enforcement is reading as well, and legal experts expect the book will affect McGrath’s federal case on charges of wire fraud, theft and falsifying a document — if he is ever tried. Pamela Wood and Tim Prudente/The Baltimore Banner.
MO CO COUNCIL SEEKS MORE TRANSPARENCY FOR BOARDS, COMMISSIONS: A bill that aims to make dozens of Montgomery County government boards and commissions more transparent was approved unanimously by the County Council on Tuesday. The bill was introduced after the state’s Open Meetings Compliance Board found last year that many of the more than 50 boards, committees and commissions were violating Maryland’s Open Meeting Act, which requires the timely posting of agendas and minutes for each public body that meets, among other requirements. Steve Bohnel/MoCo360.
POLITICAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER DIANA GIBSON DIES AT 82: Diana L. Gibson, a retired Baltimore City schoolteacher and political campaign business manager and staff assistant, died of a heart attack March 15 at her Guilford home. She was 82. She was the wife of political organizer Larry Gibson. “She was one half of an historic duo dedicated to equality, justice, and progress,” Gov. Wes Moore said in a statement. Other politicians stepped up with their remembrances of Gibson. Jacques Kelly/The Baltimore Sun.