STATE MAY OWE MILLIONS IN BACK PAY TO CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS: The Maryland state government could be on the hook for paying millions of dollars to correctional officers who were shorted on their paychecks for years. Gov. Wes Moore is asking lawmakers to put $15 million extra into the state budget for a potential settlement between the state and the U.S. Department of Labor, which has been investigating the problem for more than a year. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
STATE ELECTIONS CHIEF LINDA LAMONE TO RETIRE: Linda Lamone, Maryland’s longtime election administrator who some officials dubbed the state’s election chief “for life,” will call it quits this year after more than two decades in the post. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.
- In a statement read to the elections board, Lamone said, “I love this job — it was not always easy — but through Republican and Democratic administrations, and through COVID, cyberthreats, redistricting, changing election dates, and changes in voting behavior, we delivered for the voters of Maryland. I am so very honored that I was entrusted to do something with my life that matters to American democracy.” William Zorzi/Maryland Matters.
SEX ABUSE LAWSUIT BILL COULD HIT HOUSE TODAY: The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday evening to pass a hard-fought bill to remove the statute of limitations to file lawsuits against child sex abusers. The proposed legislation could hit the floor of the Maryland House of Delegates for debate as early as Thursday morning. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
BUTLER A STEP CLOSER TO BECOMING STATE POLICE CHIEF: Lt. Col. Roland Butler, Gov. Wes Moore’s nominee to lead the Maryland State Police, won a crucial first step toward confirmation Wednesday with the understanding that — if he’s approved by the Senate — a portion of the agency’s funding would be withheld until he meets certain goals. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
- With less than two weeks remaining until the General Assembly adjourns, Butler’s nomination appeared unlikely to reach the state Senate floor for confirmation. Critics pointed to an ongoing federal probe of alleged racial discrimination in hiring and promotion within the department, as well as a class-action lawsuit filed late last year leveling similar charges. Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post.
- Butler promised senators he would work on improving opportunities for professional development and promotion — especially for Black officers, said Senate Executive Nominations Chair Pamela Beidle (D-Anne Arundel), referencing an email she said was sent by the nominee. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
MOORE PUSHES FOR OFFSHORE WIND GOALS: During remarks at an offshore wind convention Wednesday in Baltimore, Gov. Wes Moore shared his administration’s new “ambitious, but achievable” goal for turbines off the state’s coast: 8.5 gigawatts of power. A spokesman for the Democratic governor said he plans to sign the POWER Act, which would mandate the 8.5 gigawatt goal be realized by 2031, if the General Assembly passes it. Christine Condon/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.***
B’MORE EDUCATORS SAY CITY LEFT OUT OF KEY FUNDING: As Maryland lawmakers put their final touches this week on the state’s budget plan, Baltimore City school leaders say the jurisdiction is being left out of key education funding meant to combat poverty. Lillian Reed/The Baltimore Sun.
ANTI-SEMITIC INCIDENTS IN MARYLAND RISE: Maryland saw 109 reported incidents of antisemitism in 2022, a 98% increase from 2021, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents. There were 55 incidents in 2021, 47 in 2020 and 20 in 2019. John John Williams/The Baltimore Banner.
HEALTH EXPERTS SAY OTC NALOXONE TO BE A LIFE-SAVER: Naloxone, a life-saving drug that reverses the effects of opioid overdose, will be available over the counter, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday. Public health experts in Maryland say it’s a huge win, especially for a state that ranks No. 6 in the nation in opioid deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scott Maucione/WYPR-FM.
STATE BEGINS USING ABORTION TRAINING FUNDS: The Maryland Department of Health is starting to use $3.5 million in funds allocated for abortion care training that were held during a game of political football between the state legislature and the Hogan administration. Scott Maucione/WYPR-FM.
POPULATION DECLINES IN FOUR LARGE JURISDICTIONS: Four of Maryland’s five most populous jurisdictions — including Baltimore City and Baltimore County — lost population over the past year, according to annual estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday. Lilly Price and Steve Earley/The Baltimore Sun.