MOORE SIGNS ENVIRONMENTAL BILLS, INCLUDING OFF-SHORE WIND INCENTIVE: Gov. Wes Moore signed four key environmental bills Friday, attacking air quality and setting the stage for more approvals on the host of environmental legislation approved by the General Assembly this session. Dorothy Hood of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter.
- One law will, among other things, incentivize private investment to expand offshore wind capacity to 8.5 gigawatts by 2031 — enough to power 3 million homes, according to the governor’s office. Another will require manufacturers to sell an increasing annual percentage of zero-emission trucks and buses beginning in the model year 2027. And a third provides grants to companies that purchase electric trucks. Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post.
- After touring the massive Tradepoint Atlantic development in Baltimore County, Moore joined dozens of dignitaries to hail the potential economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind. Tradepoint Atlantic is the site of the long-shuttered Bethlehem Steel plant at Sparrow’s Point, and several political, business and labor leaders said wind energy development will be an integral part of the renaissance of the massive property — and the state’s economic future. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
- “Maryland steel led the American economy in the 20th century,” Moore said. “I want Maryland wind to lead the American economy in the 21st century.” If the target goal of 8.5 gigawatts of offshore wind power is reached, the governor said that would be enough juice for three million homes. John Lee/WYPR-FM.
BA CO CORRECTIONS CHIEF REFUTES CLAIM ON YOUTH TREATMENT: Baltimore County’s director of corrections defended conditions at the Baltimore County Detention Center on Friday, refuting allegations by the Maryland Office of the Public Defender of poor treatment of youth inmates at the adult facility. However, the corrections director, Walt Pesterfield, also acknowledged in a publicly released letter that the county “shares concerns regarding appropriate placement for juvenile offenders at a facility that was not designed to house juveniles.” Dillon Mullan/The Baltimore Sun.
MOORE APPROACHES EDUCATION WITH FUNDING: When the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future school reform plan passed in 2021 by the Maryland General Assembly, it came on an override of former Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of the bill. In contrast, Gov. Wes Moore allocated an extra $500 million on top of the required amount for funding the Blueprint and shifted some transportation funding into education, for a total of $900 million excess dollars. Kara Thompson of CNS/Maryland Reporter.
FREDERICK LAWMAKERS TO CONTINUE TO PUSH FOR MORE GUN LAWS: The members of Maryland’s delegation to District 3 in the General Assembly will continue to look at ways to regulate guns in the state, they told constituents at a meeting Sunday. “We’re willing to push the envelope” in regard to further gun control laws, Sen. Karen Lewis Young, D, said in regard to a question about what the legislature could do to help strengthen gun laws in the state. Ryan Marshall/The Frederick News Post.
HEALTH DEPT TO OFFER COVID BIVALENT VAX TO HIGH RISK PEOPLE: Health departments for both Virginia and Maryland have announced that they will now offer an additional dose of the COVID-19 bivalent vaccine for individuals at a higher risk of severe illness, following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC now allows adults ages 65 years and older and individuals that are immunocompromised to receive a second dose of the updated vaccine. Emily Venezky/WTOP-FM.
SUPREME COURT PRESERVES ACCESS TO ABORTION DRUG AS STATE STOCKPILES: The Supreme Court on Friday preserved women’s access to a drug used in the most common method of abortion, rejecting lower-court restrictions while a lawsuit continues. The justices granted emergency requests from the Biden administration and New York-based Danco Laboratories, maker of the drug mifepristone. They are appealing a lower court ruling that would roll back Food and Drug Administration approval of mifepristone, a drug that Maryland had begun to stockpile. Mark Sherman/The Associated Press.
WOMAN NOMINATED TO LEAD NAVAL ACADEMY: A 1989 U.S. Naval Academy graduate has been nominated to serve as the school’s first female leader. Rear Adm. Yvette Davids’ nomination to become the academy’s 64th superintendent was announced Friday by Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael M. Gilday. Rebecca Ritzel/The Capital Gazette.
ARUNDEL PROSECUTOR NEGOTIATED IMMUNITY FOR ABUSIVE PRIEST: In the mid-1980s, a few months after a priest’s evaluation at St. Luke Institute in Silver Spring, church attorneys called an Anne Arundel County prosecutor and negotiated an immunity deal. “No matter how serious” the allegations, the priest wouldn’t see a courtroom as a defendant so long as he cooperated with law enforcement about the assaults he had committed, according to the attorney general’s report. Luke Parker/The Capital Gazette.
MARYLAND, OTHER PLAINTIFFS REACH SETTLEMENT WITH EPA: Maryland and other plaintiffs have reached a proposed settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in their 2020 lawsuits arguing the agency did not adequately enforce the Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan in Pennsylvania. Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun.
ON EVE OF FINAL CHEMO TREATMENT, RASKIN SAYS HE IS CANCER-FREE: U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who has been fighting cancer since December, was set to have his final chemotherapy treatment last Friday. “The doctors tell me the chemotherapy has extinguished the cancer cells,” he said during an online Progressive Change Institute event Thursday night. Matt Small/WTOP-FM.
B’MORE SLOW TO PLAN FOR SPENDING MOST OF $641 MILLION IN ARPA FUNDS: Baltimore city’s plans to deploy $641 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to tackle an array of entrenched problems — from vacant homes to violent crime to helping low-income residents access internet — have chugged along gradually. As of the end of February, the city had spent a just north of $85 million. But many of the city’s most intensive projects remain in preliminary or draft stages. Adam Willis/The Baltimore Banner.
FIRST JHU POLICE CHIEF NAMED: Branville Bard Jr. will serve as the first chief of the Johns Hopkins Police Department, the university said on Thursday. Bard has worked as vice president for public safety for Hopkins since 2021. Staff/The Baltimore Banner.
EX-MO CO EMPLOYEE SUES FOR PUBLIC RECORDS: Former Montgomery County Planning Director Gwen Wright has filed a lawsuit alleging the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission is not complying with the Maryland Public Information Act and withholding records she requested. Wright was fired three months before she was set to retire, with no reason given. Wright has said she believed it may have been because of her support of former Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson after allegations were lodged against him. Ginny Bixby/MoCo360.