WORK REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOD AID CALLED ‘UNNECESSARILY CRUEL:’ The recently signed federal debt ceiling bill implements new employment requirements for those on food assistance programs due to low income, but Maryland focused hunger-relief organizations believe that the new requirements are “unnecessarily cruel” and politically motivated. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.
MOORE SIGNS EXEC ORDER TO PROTECT THOSE SEEKING GENDER-AFFIRMING CARE: Gov. Wes Moore issued an executive order this week declaring that state agencies shall “take whatever action is necessary and coordinate to protect” people or entities involved with providing gender-affirming care from legal punishments by other states. The order also prohibits sharing medical records of transgender individuals for potential investigations. Moore (D) signed the executive order during a LGBTQIA+ reception Monday evening and follows his recent proclamation recognizing June as Pride Month in Maryland. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.
JUVIE SERVICES RESTARTS OUTDOORS PROGRAM FOR INCARCERATED KIDS: The state Department of Juvenile Services has restarted a program for incarcerated youth that gives them a taste of the great outdoors and a sense of cooperation. Only youths who have reached certain milestones in the program are allowed to attend the off-grounds trips. The trips can expose teens to possible career paths and teach them how to work together. Nick Moroney, director of Maryland’s Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit, said, “The best thing to do when you have the kids — whatever they’ve been accused of — is to try and give them experiences that will help them to grow.” Brenda Wintrode and Marie Jane Machin/The Baltimore Banner.
HOPKINS DOCS ADDRESS MEDICINE SHORTAGES: Anyone who had a kid with RSV this winter, their own infection or ADHD diagnosis, or a relative with cancer likely discovered that getting drugs to treat the problem has become a problem itself. The shortages worsened during the pandemic. Johns Hopkins University experts recently held a panel discussion about the scope of the shortages, the reasons and the possible remedies. Meredith Cohn/Baltimore Banner.
COMMENTARY: TIME FOR BLUEPRINT REBOOT: Controversy over the renewal of the contract of state superintendent Mohammed Choudhury and the conflict between him and the Blueprint Accountability and Implementation Board have made headlines lately. But they are only the proverbial tip of the iceberg of the problems that the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future faces. It has become increasingly apparent that the Blueprint, designed about five years ago, has structural deficiencies that range from minor glitches to major funding and management concerns. It’s time for policymakers to design Blueprint 2.0. Kalman Hettleman/Maryland Matters.
STATE MOVES FORWARD WITH NICE BRIDGE BIKE PLAN: Maryland Transportation officials are moving forward with a plan for cyclists to cross the new Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas ‘Mac’ Middleton Bridge. Limited access to the bridge left cycling advocates frustrated. Eric Brenner, past chair of the Maryland Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee, expressed disappointment in the final plan. He said few good options remained after state transportation officials under then-Gov. Larry Hogan (R) failed to build a new Potomac River crossing that incorporated bike and pedestrian access. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
HORSE RACING TO CONTINUE THROUGH 2023: Thoroughbred racing will continue in Maryland at least through the end of the year, under an agreement between industry officials and owners of the Pimlico and Laurel Park tracks. The Maryland Racing Commission was informed of the agreement between the parties Tuesday at a regularly scheduled meeting at Laurel Park, though the deal was not presented to the panel for its approval. William Zorzi/Maryland Matters.
AGING IN MARYLAND: Maryland Secretary of the Department of Aging Carmel Roques discussed her department’s mission and challenges at a meeting last Thursday in Easton. Roques addressed a gathering of more than 50 people and discussed the challenges facing individuals, family and the community as Marylanders age. Mike Detmer/The Easton Star Democrat.
ARUNDEL COUNCILS LIMITS PLASTIC BAGS, ADOPTS CAMPAIGN FINANCING: The Anne Arundel County Council passed legislation Monday night limiting the use of plastic bags in the county and approving a public campaign finance option for local candidates. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.
PROTESTERS CONVERGE ON MO CO SCHOOL HQ: A large group of Muslim and Christian protesters gathered outside Montgomery County Public School headquarters in Rockville on Tuesday morning carrying banners stating “religious freedom” as they chanted, “Protect our children!” On the other side of the street, a smaller group of counter-protesters waved rainbow flags and danced to Lady Gaga songs playing over a boombox as they chanted back, “Protect all children!” Em Espy/MoCo 360.