State Roundup: Roy McGrath dies after confrontation with law enforcement; $900 million for future education needs included in $63 billion budget

State Roundup: Roy McGrath dies after confrontation with law enforcement; $900 million for future education needs included in $63 billion budget

$900 million has been earmarked in the state's $63 billion budget for the Education Blueprint for Maryland's Future. Screenshot of Maryland State Department of Education website.

ROY McGRATH DEAD AFTER CONFRONTATION WITH FBI: Roy C. McGrath, a fugitive who had been a top aide to Larry Hogan when he was Maryland’s governor, died Monday as the result of a confrontation with the FBI in the area of Knoxville, Tenn., his lawyer said. He had been the subject of a 21-day manhunt launched after he failed to show up to federal court in Baltimore. Steve Thompson, Ovetta Wiggins, Perry Stein and Martin Weil/The Washington Post.

  • McGrath, 53, died at a local hospital, his wife’s attorney, William Brennan, said, declining to comment further. Alex Mann and Lee O. Sanderlin/The Baltimore Sun.
  • McGrath, whose brief role as the governor’s chief of staff ended in scandal leading to criminal charges, died Monday evening after being shot near a shopping center in West Knoxville as federal agents closed in on his location. Dan Belson/The Baltimore Sun.
  • McGrath’s lawyer, Joseph Murtha, said McGrath had “succumbed to his injuries,” though it was not clear whether those injuries were self-inflicted or occurred in an exchange with law enforcement. Madeleine O’Neill/The Daily Record.
  • According to an email earlier from FBI Supervisory Special Agent Shayne Buchwald in Maryland, McGrath was wounded during “an agent-involved shooting” around 6:30 p.m. in a commercial area on the southwestern outskirts of Knoxville. Buchwald said McGrath was taken to a hospital. Sarah Brumfield and Lea Skene of the Associated Press/The Cumberland Times News.
  • In a statement issued by a spokesman Monday night, Hogan said: “Yumi and I are deeply saddened by this tragic situation. We are praying for Mr. McGrath’s family and loved ones.” Tim Prudente and Justin Fenton.
  • While he was missing, a person writing under the name Ryan Cooper published two books on Amazon in which the author claimed to write McGrath’s side of the story. While the books touched on charges leveled against McGrath, they offered little evidence. Bryan Sears and Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.

$900M FOR FUTURE EDUCATION NEEDS INCLUDED IN $63B BUDGET: Facing economic uncertainty and the end of a historic infusion of pandemic-related cash, Maryland state lawmakers gave final approval late Monday to a $63 billion budget that puts $900 million aside for future education needs. Erin Cox/Washington Post.

COMMENTARY: MOORE EMBRACES BUSINESS, DRIVES UP COST: Would that recent pro-business statements from Gov. Wes Moore and Comptroller Brooke Lierman reflected the reality of current state government and policies Moore is backing. A survey in early March from Switch on Business, which specializes in helping startups, found that Maryland is 10th “least cost-effective state to launch a startup.” Among the key factors was a high corporate tax of 8.25% and a high living wage, reflecting the higher cost of living here. Len Lazarick/MarylandReporter.

LAWMAKERS PUSH FOR NEW AUTHORITY TO IMPROVE RACETRACKS: In an effort to spur stalled plans for improving the Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park tracks, the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee is weighing extensive amendments to a routine bill to establish a new state authority with sweeping powers over Maryland horse racing. 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,, for a Board of Trustee Candidate Packet.***

COMMENTARY: WILL CANNABIS REFORM LEAVE BLACK PEOPLE BEHIND? When Maryland voters overwhelmingly chose to legalize recreational marijuana last November, we hoped this might help put an end to the five decades-long so-declared “War on Drugs.” Any breathing person now knows the war was on poor, primarily Black people. Having watched the debate on cannabis reform on the Senate floor, it appears that Maryland lawmakers once again have misplaced priorities. Warren A. Brown and J. Wyndal Gordon/Maryland Matters.

STATE TO WORK WITH UMD CENTER TO IMPLEMENT CLIMATE GOALS: Gov. Wes Moore (D) announced Monday that the University of Maryland’s Center for Global Sustainability would work with the Maryland Department of the Environment and other state agencies to help implement provisions of the ambitious Climate Solutions Now law that the General Assembly passed last year. State leaders described the collaboration as the first of its kind. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

BA CO DEMS SEEK JUSTICE PROBE INTO JAIL CONDITIONS FOR CHILDREN: The Baltimore County Democratic Party has called on the Maryland attorney general and the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate reports of squalid conditions for minors held at the Baltimore County Detention Center, following accusations that the Towson jail is violating state and federal laws by holding children under 18 in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day in rodent-infested, flood-prone cells, among other claims. Lia Russell and Cassidy Jensen/The Baltimore Sun.

COMMENTARY: THE BILLS YOU DON’T HEAR ABOUT: There were almost 1,400 bills introduced in Annapolis this year, and the truth is you just won’t hear anything about most of them. Between all the glory bills, though, lawmakers spend a huge amount of every 90-day session on less splashy matters, like rewriting a 32-year-old law on trees. Rick Hutzell/The Baltimore Banner.

AFTER LIBRARY DUST-UP, HOWARD COUNCIL ADDS PROCEDURES TO AUDITING: The Howard County Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve legislation that puts in place additional procedures the county auditor is required to follow during certain special investigations, after a description of race in a February report published by the office sparked public protest and calls for the county auditor to be fired. Cadence Quaranta/The Baltimore Banner.

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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