MORE LEGISLATION THAT PASSED THIS SESSION: From regulating recreational cannabis to altering the selection process for the student member of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners to establishing the Black Bass Conservation Fund, here’s a breakdown of legislation passed during lawmakers’ 90-day session. Annie Jennemann/The Baltimore Sun.
BILL GIVES AG’s OFFICE AUTHORITY TO PURSUE CIVIL RIGHTS CASES: Attorney General Anthony Brown wants to protect Maryland renters from discriminatory landlords, but so far, the law has tied his hands. That’s because for 53 years, the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights has been the only state entity allowed to fight discrimination. That’s expected to change once Gov. Wes Moore signs SB 540, which gives the state’s top prosecutor the power to protect residents from civil rights violations. Luke Garrett/WTOP-FM.
CRENSHAW NAMED ACTING SUPER OF EMBATTLED PARK SERVICE: Angela Crenshaw, a 15-year veteran of the Maryland Park Service, has been appointed the acting superintendent of the agency, becoming the first Black person to hold the post. Crenshaw takes the helm of an agency that has been shaken by a former park manager going on trial for rape, and a Baltimore Banner investigation that revealed longstanding concerns about sexual harassment and bullying in the park system. In the aftermath, two senior officials and an assistant park manager were removed. Callan Tansill-Suddath/The Baltimore Banner.
PEOPLE’S COUNSEL ACCUSES PSC OF DELAYED RESPONSE: The consumer watchdog the Office of People’s Counsel is accusing a powerful Maryland regulatory agency – the Public Service Commission – of taking too long to respond to its requests for information and action — and is now seeking a rule that would lay out how quickly the agency must answer its formal filings. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
CHURCH CYCLED ABUSIVE PRIESTS INTO INEFFECTIVE TREATMENT: It was a pattern repeated around the country, and in Maryland, for decades. Priests were accused of abuse, sent for treatment that was ineffective or not medically based, and then returned to service, often in different states. The church “exhibited a misplaced reliance on ‘treatment,’” according to a 456-page grand jury report on child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore released this month by the state attorney general. Meredith Cohn and Clara Longo de Freitas/The Baltimore Banner.
LT. GOV. MILLER STAFFS UP: Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller (D) will announce today that she’s filled out her staff with several political and policy veterans, including Mike Thomas, who will be policy director and Maddy Pawlak, who will be communications director. A lifelong Marylander, Thomas has spent the last 11 years in various staff roles for U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). Pawlak was deputy press secretary for the Democratic Governors Association. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
MSDE REMOVES TEST SCORES FROM ITS WEBSITE, POSTS ALTERED ONES: It’s a tale of missing and doctored and hidden test score data. Or was the test score data simply published before it was properly analyzed? In January, the Maryland Department of Education uploaded a spreadsheet to its website containing detailed state test results from last school year. Project Baltimore downloaded the spreadsheet and began analyzing the data. Fox45 News was first to report the results on social media in late January. Soon after, MSDE removed the data from its website. The data remained off the state’s website for weeks. It wasn’t until mid-March that the spreadsheet was reposted. But this time, much of the data was gone. Chris Papst/WBFF-TV News.
BA CO COUNCIL CONFIRMS McCULLOUGH AS POLICE CHIEF: The Baltimore County Council voted unanimously Monday evening to confirm Robert McCullough, a retired Baltimore County Police colonel, as the county’s first Black police chief. County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., a Democrat, nominated McCullough on April 7. He will be sworn in today. Cassidy Jensen/The Baltimore Sun.
- Before the vote, McCullough told council members that when he met with each of them individually, he listened to every word they said to him about the public safety issues in their districts. “I pledge to you that the police department will address them,” McCullough said. John Lee/WYPR-FM.
MO CO CITIES RANK AS MOST DIVERSE IN NATION: If you want to find the most diverse city in the nation, a new ranking finds you need look no further than Gaithersburg. No. 2 and 3 on the list are also close by, Germantown and Silver Spring, and Rockville ranked No. 13. The WalletHub study looked at the socioeconomic, cultural, economic, household and religious diversity of cities across the nation and found Gaithersburg came out on top. Mike Murillo/WTOP-FM