ELECTIONS BOARD CHAIR VOWS TO KEEP RETIRING DIRECTOR OUT OF HIRING PROCESS: William G. Voelp, chair of the Maryland State Board of Elections, has promised Thursday to limit retiring Elections Administrator Linda Lamone’s involvement in the search for her successor. Lamone’s participation in the board meeting included her guiding schedules for receiving resumes, for interviewing prospective candidates and even suggesting that out-of-state candidates be avoided — moves that drew a swift rebuke from state Sen. Cheryl Kagan of Montgomery County. Bryan P. Sears/Maryland Matters.
- A job listing for the position, approved by the board, is being posted Friday and starts a two-week application period. Board members expect to conduct interviews before the end of the month and announce their selection during a June 5 special meeting. This will be the state’s first new elections administrator in 25 years. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.
ARCHDIOCESE OFFICIALS WHO COVERED US ABUSE NAMED: Five high-ranking, powerful members of the Archdiocese of Baltimore helped abusive priests in Maryland get away with their crimes, either concealing the extent of a priest’s misdeeds or striking deals with prosecutors to avoid a criminal charge. The officials’ redacted names appear 257 times in a recent report by the Maryland Attorney General’s Office on clergy abuse within the archdiocese. But a review of thousands of pages of court records, decades of archdiocese directories, and dozens of contemporary newspaper articles pieced together details that helped reveal the men’s identities Lee O. Sanderlin and Cassidy Jensen/The Baltimore Sun.
STATE SCRAMBLES TO KEEP MEDICAID COVERAGE FOR 1.8 MILLION: Maryland has begun an unprecedented effort to renew Medicaid coverage for nearly 1.8 million adults and children for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid many from losing coverage. States were required to provide uninterrupted coverage for those enrolled in Medicaid, the public health insurance program for low-income people, throughout the pandemic in exchange for increased federal funding. But the public health emergency is set to end on May 11. Sarah True/The Baltimore Banner.
DEL. VOGEL FILES TO RUN FOR U.S. REP. TRONE’s SEAT: Freshman Del. Joe Vogel (D-Dist. 17) of Montgomery County has filed to run for Maryland congressional District 6, just hours after its current representative, Democrat David Trone, announced he would be running for U.S. Senate in a bid to succeed Sen. Ben Cardin. Vogel, who is among the first members of Gen-Z elected to the State House, has filed the Vogel for Congress campaign with the Federal Election Commission and is preparing to make an announcement next week. Ginny Bixby/MoCo360.
COMMENTARY: WHAT DO WE NEED IN OUR NEXT SENATOR?: What does Maryland need in the U.S. senator who will succeed Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.)? Rick Hutzell/Baltimore Banner.
MONTGOMERY CO. EXEC TRIES TO BLOCK ROAD NARROWING: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich is attempting to block a plan to narrow a stretch of Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda from four lanes to two. He submitted a memorandum and a letter to the Montgomery County Planning Board and the County Council on Sunday, asking the Planning, Housing and Parks Committee to remove funding for the project – citing safety concerns and discussions with residents. The Planning Board approved the project on Thursday in a 4-0 vote with one abstention. The board’s vote approved limiting two lanes to drivers, while the two other lanes would be exclusively for use by pedestrians and cyclists. Ginny Bixby/MoCo360.
BALTIMORE MAYOR REPLACES TWO CHIEF STAFFERS IN SHAKE-UP: Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott tapped two former campaign staffers Thursday to serve as interim chief of staff and communications director, following a staffing shake-up earlier this week. Marvin James, a senior advisor in the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods, was named to the chief of staff position on a temporary basis. Bryan Doherty, press secretary for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and an alum of Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous’ campaign, as well as Scott’s 2020 mayoral bid, will become the communications director, the mayor announced. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.
INVASIVE PLANT SPECIES THREATEN ENVIRONMENT: Invasive plant species are damaging Maryland’s environment. From bamboo to bushes, environmentalists say, invasives have wrapped their tendrils all across Maryland. A bill is awaiting Gov. Wes Moore’s approval to allow local governments to prevent a plant called “running bamboo” from being sold, planted or grown without proper upkeep and containment. But there are plenty of other contenders for the most-invasive plant species in Maryland. Dorothy Hood of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter.