GAS TAX TO RISE TO 47 CENTS PER GALLON: Maryland motorists will have to dig a little deeper at the gas pump starting July 1. The state tax rate of a gallon of gas will increase to 47 cents per gallon, an increase of more than 10% compared to the current rate. Over the last two years, the rate has increased by 30% due to inflation and surging fuel prices. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
PIMLICO TO CLOSE OTB FACILITY: Citing “financial challenges … faced in recent times,” the owners of Pimlico Race Course notified employees Saturday that they are shutting down the track’s off-track betting facility by June 30 — the same date a key agreement for racing operations in Maryland is due to expire. William Zorzi/Maryland Matters.
MARYLAND WETLANDS PROTECTED DESPITE SUPREMES RULING: Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Thursday constraining the types of wetlands protected under the federal Clean Water Act, the outcry from environmental groups, as well as President Joe Biden and his administration, was swift. But in Maryland and several other Chesapeake Bay states, the impact of the decision will be blunted by the existence of state laws protecting wetlands that are newly excluded from federal oversight. Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun.
SOME EMPLOYERS TEST, BENEFIT FROM FOUR-DAY WORKWEEK: Some employers in Baltimore have found that the four-day workweek is not only working to boost the morale of their employees, but it is working for them as well. An effort to encourage Maryland employers to consider a four-day week fell short during the past legislative session amid skepticism from some lawmakers. They worried that tax breaks in the proposed legislation, meant as an incentive for employers to experiment, would in effect subsidize workers’ short weeks or open the door to required four-day weeks. Lorraine Mirabella/The Baltimore Sun.
OPINION: DESPITE DOBBS, PATIENTS GET FULL CARE IN MARYLAND: Despite the Dobbs decision taking away the constitutional right to abortion care, as Maryland physicians and advocates for our patients’ health, we are focused on maintaining access to an essential and proven standard of care. Though the changing legal landscape can be disorienting, we want it to be clear to our patients: Maryland remains a state where abortion is safe and legal. Dr. Rachel Jensen, Dr. Jessica K. Lee and Dr. Diana Carvajal/The Baltimore Banner.
POLITICAL BRIEFS: MOVING UP THE LADDER; TRONE TO BE INDUCTED: Maryland’s newest legislator, Del. Kent Roberson (D-Prince George’s), was sworn in Monday, capping a two-decade journey that started as a legislative page and included a job in the State House mailroom. The Montgomery County Business Hall of Fame announced this week that U.S. Rep. David Trone (D-6th), co-founder of the Total Wine & More national liquor store chain, will be one of the inductees. Bryan P. Sears, Josh Kurtz and William J. Ford/Maryland Matters.
OPINION: THE GENEROUS BENEFITS TO CHRIS McCOLLUM: The extraordinary generosity shown to Chris McCollum after he left his Baltimore County position under a cloud in 2021 that is most troubling. The Olszewski administration struck a secret deal with McCollum that allowed him to remain on the payroll for more than 10 months, receiving both his salary and county health benefits as well as accruing employment service intended to make him eligible for a pension windfall. David Plymyer/The Baltimore Brew.
CANDIDATES SOUGHT FOR BA CO ELECTIONS FUND COMMISSION: Baltimore County is looking for people to serve on a commission that will make recommendations about a new system for publicly financing candidates for county council and county executive. Aliza Worthington/Baltimore Fishbowl.
HOWARD SCHOOLS PASS $1.1 BILLION BUDGET: The Howard County Board of Education adopted its fiscal 2024 operating budget totaling $1.1 billion just days after approving a budget-balancing scenario that avoided class size increases but cut some personnel, from athletic trainers to paraeducators. Ethan Ehrenhaft/Baltimore Sun Media.
FREDERICK COUNCIL OK’s $894 MILLION BUDGET: The Frederick County Council on Tuesday approved Democratic County Executive Jessica Fitzwater’s $894 million budget plan for fiscal year 2024 and an amended income tax rate threshold for the highest tax bracket. The council also approved a $14 million supplemental budget for Frederick County Public Schools that Fitzwater proposed this month. Emmett Gartner/The Frederick News Post.