SCOTT BLOCKS OHIO DERAILMENT WASTEWATER FROM CITY WATER SYSTEM: Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott found a solution that would keep water from the Norfolk Southern disaster out of the Back River Wastewater Treatment Facility in Dundalk. The mayor says he has directed the Department of Public Works to modify discharge permits from Clean Harbors, the contractor processing toxic wastewater from the Ohio train derailment, so that the treated water cannot enter the city’s water system. Emily Hofstaedter/WYPR-FM.
- What are the five things you need to know about the wastewater from the Norfolk Southern cleanup in East Palestine, Ohio, and what is supposed to happen to it in Maryland. Dan Belson/The Baltimore Sun.
LAWMAKERS QUESTION TROOPER SUPER NOMINEE ON MOVING ‘INTO NEW ERA:’ Acting Maryland State Police Superintendent Roland Butler told lawmakers Monday he is committed to moving the agency “into a new era,” as some senators have questioned whether someone who has spent nearly three decades in the department is the right choice to lead reforms in an agency under a federal discrimination probe. The Associated Press/WTOP-FM.
- Butler’s confirmation remains in limbo after he spent nearly an hour testifying before the Senate Executive Nominations Committee. If confirmed, he would become the first Black man to lead the Maryland State Police. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
- Butler, who has spent 28 years with the Maryland State Police, most recently served as chief of the field operations bureau, overseeing patrol and investigative personnel. During that time, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a probe into the agency to examine if it racially discriminated in its hiring and promotion practices, and a group of troopers of color alleged similar wrongdoing in a federal lawsuit. Both are ongoing. How, then, some state lawmakers asked, is he best-suited to lead the agency forward? Darcey Costello/The Baltimore Sun.
SENATE PANEL PASSES HEAVILY AMENDED CANNABIS REGULATION BILL: The Senate Finance Committee approved a heavily amended bill to regulate Maryland’s soon-to-be legalized cannabis industry Monday evening, setting up a showdown with the House of Delegates over some of the language. William Ford/Maryland Matters.
- Senate Bill 516, now closer to a full Senate vote in the coming days, is expected to go through some final changes as lawmakers settle on a plan in the next two weeks to regulate what could be a multibillion-dollar industry. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
CANNABIS-RELATED DONORS GAVE THOUSANDS TO BILL SPONSORS: According to campaign finance records, cannabis-connected donors donated thousands of dollars to four key sponsors of cannabis legislation in the days leading up to the 2023 session, including donations from Jake Van Wingerden, president of medical cannabis growing company SunMed. Van Wingerden is also the chair of the Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Trade Association. Mikenzie Frost/WBFF-TV.
MOORE SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET INCLUDES STATE WORKER SALARY HIKE: Gov. Wes Moore released his supplemental budget Monday, including spending to benefit state employees, residents of a state-run veterans’ home and incarcerated women. Under Moore’s plan for fiscal year 2024, which begins July 1, state employees are now poised to receive approximately $35 million in salary increases aimed at retaining workers who the state has employed for five or more years. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
***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.***
SNAP THEFT REIMBURSEMENTS NOW AVAILABLE: Marylanders can now apply for reimbursement if their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, benefits were stolen, Gov. Wes Moore announced Monday. Maryland’s plan is the first in the country to be approved by the Department of Agriculture’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services to use federal SNAP funds for fraud reimbursement as part of an omnibus bill passed in December 2022. Emily Hofstaedter/WYPR-FM.
TWO GOP ELECTIONS NOMINEES RUN INTO ROAD BLOCKS: Two more Republican nominees to elections boards ran into confirmation problems in the Maryland Senate on Monday. The Senate Executive Nominations Committee voted to hold the nominations of Christine McCloud for the state board and Michelle Ewing, for the Talbot County board, after hearing about their views on several political hot button topics such as the legitimacy of elections. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
FEWER MARYLANDERS DIED DURING COVID THAN MOST OF U.S.: The United States has lost more than 1.1 million people to COVID-19, but Maryland’s health decisions during the pandemic helped keep deaths in the state at a national low. Maryland had the fifth fewest deaths in the country per 100,000 residents, with 285 people per 100,000 succumbing to the disease, according to a new study published in the medical journal The Lancet. Scott Maucione/WYPR-FM.