State Roundup: Bill to lift statute of limitations on suing abusers nears passage; Senate OKs bill to give AG authority to enforce civil rights laws

State Roundup: Bill to lift statute of limitations on suing abusers nears passage; Senate OKs bill to give AG authority to enforce civil rights laws

Attorney General Anthony (Shannon Clark/Capital News Service)

BILL TO LIFT TIME LIMITS ON SUING ABUSERS CLOSER TO PASSAGE: Legislation that would lift deadlines for survivors of child sexual abuse to sue their abusers is closer to receiving approval by both chambers in the Maryland legislature. At a House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Sen. William C. Smith Jr. (D-Montgomery), who sponsored the Senate bill, took questions on part of the bill that would repeal the statute of limitations and cap liability for governments and school boards at $890,000. William J. Ford/Maryland Matters.

  • Advocates for a bill to remove a statute of limitations on suing child sex abusers and the institutions they worked for said Tuesday that a pending state report detailing abuse by Catholic Church priests isn’t needed to pass the legislation. Survivors of abuse and their supporters have pushed for the report’s release since November. Hannah Gaskill and Lee O. Sanderlin/The Baltimore Sun.

SENATE OKs BILL TO GIVE AG AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS: One of Attorney General Anthony Brown top priorities — granting his office authority to enforce federal and state civil rights laws and bring class-action lawsuits — has been approved in the Senate. Another attorney general bill – Senate Bill 87 – won preliminary approval and drew support from both Senate Republicans and Democrats. It would establish a correctional ombudsman in the attorney general’s office to oversee the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. William J. Ford/Maryland Matters.

  • Brown has pressed for the litigation authority, saying it would send a strong message to companies that bias is not tolerated in Maryland. Give us the civil rights authority, and we’ll show you what we can do to protect Marylanders,” Brown told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee last month. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.

HOW MAYOR SCOTT BLOCKED WASTEWATER DUMP: Mayor Brandon Scott took advantage of Baltimore’s strong mayor system to prevent a shipment of toxic waste from an Ohio train derailment headed for a private contractor, accomplishing what public officials across the local, state and federal levels said was impossible after learning of the deal last week. Emily Sullivan/The Baltimore Banner.

  • Clean Harbors has decided not to bring toxic Ohio waste to Baltimore after Mayor Brandon Scott said Monday the company could not discharge the treated water in the city’s wastewater system. Emily Sullivan/The Baltimore Banner.
  • Norfolk Southern had hired Baltimore contractor Clean Harbors of Baltimore Environmental Services Inc. to remove toxic chemicals from between 600,000 to 800,000 gallons of water from around the crash site of last month’s trail derailment in Ohio. Aliza Worthington/Baltimore Fishbowl.
  • “Given the actions that Mayor Scott has taken in denying our request to discharge the East Palestine pre-treated wastewater into the Baltimore City system, we will not be processing any of the wastewater from the EPA-regulated cleanup of the site in Ohio at our Baltimore plant,” Clean Harbors spokesman James R. Buckley said. Fern Shen/Baltimore Brew.

NO STATE MONEY BUDGETED FOR EMERGENCY RENTAL AID: The Maryland General Assembly appears poised to send an FY24 budget to Gov. Wes Moore’s desk that has zero dollars allotted for emergency rental assistance. Both chambers have approved the version of the budget containing no rental assistance, even though federal money for pandemic-related rental assistance is being phased out. Aliza Worthington/Baltimore Fishbowl.

NEW VICE CHAIR OF 529 BOARD STEPS DOWN: The vice chair of the Maryland 529 board has resigned, leaving just two members of the public on the oversight panel as lawmakers aim to overhaul the college savings agency and put it under the auspices of the state treasurer. David Erculiani stepped down after less than a year on the volunteer board and after his first meeting as one of its presiding officers. Lia Russell/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, for a Board of Trustee Candidate Packet.***

McGRATH REWARD RAISED TO $20,000: Federal authorities raised the stakes Tuesday in their search for Roy McGrath by doubling a reward to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of the fugitive former Maryland government official. Tim Prudente/The Baltimore Banner.

  • McGrath, 53, was former Gov. Larry Hogan’s chief of staff but resigned after it was revealed he orchestrated an outsized severance package for himself from Maryland Environmental Services, a government-owned nonprofit he ran before taking a post on Hogan’s staff. Lee O. Sanderlin and Reed Williams/The Baltimore Sun.

CASSILLY HOPES TO STOP PROLIFERATION OF E-COMMERCE WAREHOUSES: Bob Cassilly describes himself as pro-business. But as the newly elected county executive of Harford County, he is trying to stop construction of giant warehouses that feed e-commerce and other businesses. Cassilly has proposed a six-month moratorium on warehouse construction in the county. Until now, Harford County has had few restrictions on industrial development. Kate King/The Wall Street Journal.

MOORE SAYS HE’s FOCUSED ON MARYLAND, NOT PRESIDENCY: Just a month into his first public office, the top media started asking Gov. Wes Moore if he’s running for president. While it can be hard to deflect the spotlight, Moore insists that he is focused solely on Maryland and Marylanders. “I am not leaving next year,” said a chuckling Moore. “The president is going to run and I’m going to support his reelection campaign.”  Michael Charles and Hannah Ziegler of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter

 MARYLAND COURT REINSTATES ADNAN SYED CONVICTION: Maryland’s second-highest court has reinstated the murder conviction of Adnan Syed, ruling that a “new, legally compliant and transparent hearing” that does not violate the rights of victim Hae Min Lee’s family should take place. Justin Fenton and Dylan Segelbaum/The Baltimore Banner.

  • A split three-judge panel found that requiring Lee’s brother, Young Lee, to attend the September hearing via Zoom instead of allowing him to fly in from California and attend in person violated Young Lee’s rights under Maryland laws protecting crime victims. Madeleine O’Neill/The Daily Record.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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