State Roundup: Former House Speaker Cas Taylor dies; Moore signs ‘service year’ bill; 529 savings plan moves to Treasurer’s office

State Roundup: Former House Speaker Cas Taylor dies; Moore signs ‘service year’ bill; 529 savings plan moves to Treasurer’s office

The Casper Taylor House Office Building in Annapolis. Image from Google Street View. Inset file photo of former House Speaker Cas Taylor, who died Monday at age 88.

Former House Speaker Cas Taylor.

FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER CAS TAYLOR DIES AT 88: Casper R. Taylor Jr., one of Maryland’s longest-serving House of Delegates speakers, died Monday. He was the first speaker from Western Maryland in 100 years. He was 88. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Taylor was a 1956 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and served in the U.S. Air Force ROTC. A businessman, he owned Cas Taylor’s, a popular Cumberland restaurant for a number of years. Taylor won election to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1975. The soft-spoken but effective Taylor rose to the level of speaker and served from 1994-2003. Greg Larry/The Cumberland Times News.
  • House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County), who joined the House in 1997 when Taylor was speaker, announced his death during a bill-signing ceremony Monday at the State House after speaking with members of his family. “He was a friend and a mentor,” she said. “It was an honor to serve with him for six years In the General Assembly. When anyone mentions ‘One Maryland,’ it’s because of Speaker Taylor.” Josh Kurtz and Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

MOORE SIGNS HALLMARK ‘SERVICE YEAR’ LEGISLATION: During one of his hallmark campaign promises into reality, Gov. Wes Moore signed into law the creation of a program that will allow recent high school graduates to participate in a year of paid public service before entering the workforce or continuing their education. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.

  • The program, as envisioned by Moore, would take on an initial 200 participants in its first year. By 2027, the program could include up to 2,000 high school graduates, all of whom would be paid a stipend during their service. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

529 SAVINGS PLAN MOVES TO TREASURER’s CONTROL: Gov. Wes Moore signed legislation Monday afternoon that will transfer control of Maryland 529 to the Office of State Treasurer Dereck Davis, a milestone in a yearlong campaign by parents to force the legislature to address problems with the small, independent state agency. Lia Russell/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Under the transfer, which will occur by June 1, the Maryland 529 plan’s 12-member board of directors will be abolished. New enrollment in the prepaid trust will also cease after the treasurer’s office takes control. Danielle Douglas-Gabriel/The Washington Post.

WITH NEW ENERGY, PINSKY TAKES OVER ‘MORIBUND’ MEA: Paul Pinsky, long the go-to state senator on climate issues, takes over the Maryland Energy Administration, which he described as “moribund” under Moore’s predecessor, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. The MEA advises the governor and the General Assembly on energy policy with focus on clean energy and energy efficiency. Aman Azhar/The Baltimore Banner.

SHERIFF’s VIDEO INDICATES McGRATH KEPT PLANS TO RUN FROM FAMILY: An hour and a half after former Maryland government official Roy McGrath failed to show for the start of his federal fraud trial in Baltimore, sheriff’s deputies knocked on the door of his Florida home. In a casual, two-minute encounter, his wife expresses concern that she hasn’t heard from her husband, but there’s no indication that she’s aware he skipped court. The video corroborates statements later from McGrath’s attorney that those closest to the former aide to Gov. Larry Hogan knew nothing of his intention to go on the run.Tim Prudente/The Baltimore Banner.

NOTE-WORTHY SENATE CHAPLAIN CELEBRATES 20 YEARS: Barry Black, who grew up in Baltimore, was the first Black man and the first pastor of a Seventh Day Adventist Church to become U.S. Senate chaplain. This year he celebrates 20 years in that position, making him the longest consecutive serving person in that role. Maya Lora/The Baltimore Sun.

CHAIR OF PG DEM CENTRAL COMMITTEE LEADS TO REPLACE DEL. BARNES: Kent Roberson, chair of the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee, is leading the contest to replace Del. Darryl Barnes (D), who is stepping down from his District 25 seat to join a lobbying and government relations firm in Annapolis after serving in the General Assembly since 2015. Lateshia Beachum/The Washington Post.

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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