State Roundup: Poll finds opposition to higher taxes for school funding; Moore gives Ellicott City woman a 2nd chance at appointment; new elections chief discusses his vision

State Roundup: Poll finds opposition to higher taxes for school funding; Moore gives Ellicott City woman a 2nd chance at appointment; new elections chief discusses his vision

POLL FINDS OPPOSITION TO HIGHER TAXES FOR SCHOOL FUNDING: A 63% majority of Maryland voters oppose the tax increases needed to fund education spending hikes, according to a new Maryland Public Policy Institute poll conducted by Gonzales Research & Media Services. The overwhelming opposition to income and property tax hikes comes as Maryland taxpayers are learning of the large cost of the “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future” devised by the Kirwan Commission in 2019. The article contains the precise wording of the poll question. (The institute is a free-market advocacy think-tank.) Maryland Public Policy Institute

MOORE NAMES CONTROVERSIAL FORMER PICK TO BUSINESS POST: Gov. Wes Moore (D)  announced Thursday that he has appointed Ellicott City businesswoman Yolanda Maria Martinez special secretary of the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority, and Women Business Affairs. Her appointment does not require state Senate confirmation. Moore had nominated Martinez for the Maryland Stadium Authority board earlier this year but she never received a vote in the Senate Executive Nominations Committee after Maryland Matters reported her checkered financial history. It includes a $7.2 million personal bankruptcy and scores of lawsuits filed against her for unpaid debts. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters

NEW MD. ELECTIONS HEAD DISCUSSES HIS VISION FOR THE JOB: For the first time in more than two decades, Maryland is poised to welcome a new elections administrator with the selection of Jared DeMarinis to replace longtime administrator Linda Lamone. The Baltimore Sun sat down with DeMarinis to talk about his vision for the job and the challenges the role brings as elections across the country face intense scrutiny. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun

HOYER HINTS AT ANOTHER RUN: Rep. Steny Hoyer told a Democratic Party gala “Don’t write any obituaries,” hinting he will run again. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters

TEN CHARGED IN RECORD-SETTING DRUG IN ANNE ARUNDEL CO.: Ten people are facing numerous drug trafficking, conspiracy and drug charges following a year-long multi-agency investigation in Severn and Glen Burnie that led to what officials are calling the largest bust of its kind in Anne Arundel County Police history. Investigators seized 18 kilograms of cocaine worth an estimated $2 million, other drugs such as heroin and fentanyl, and recovered 21 firearms in a conspiracy that spanned from Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City to Houston and Brownsville, Texas. Brian Jeffries/Capital Gazette

BILL WOULD GIVE B’MORE CO. MORE POWER TO ACQUIRE WOODLAWN LAND: Seeking more sway in western Baltimore County redevelopment, County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. is backing a council proposal to prop up a redevelopment authority in greater Woodlawn and make it easier to acquire and redevelop private property. Already officials are eyeing a massive, multimillion-dollar development project at Security Square Mall as an opportunity to start flexing broader land acquisition powers granted by the General Assembly in 2022 through a quasi-public West Baltimore County Redevelopment Authority. Taylor DeVille/Baltimore Banner

MONTGOMERY CO. BECOMING ‘MORE AGGRESSIVE’ TO SAVE AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Dozens of working-class families in Montgomery County faced potential displacement when they found out in December that their rent was going to spike by over 5%. County Executive Marc Elrich said this week that the county bought the Aspen Hill apartment complex and sold it to a community partner, helping residents in over 385 affordable units avoid a housing crisis. Elrich said the county is “more aggressively” using the county’s right of first refusal to buy properties that go on the market to preserve affordable housing. The county is losing affordable housing units at an “alarming rate,” Elrich said. Em Espey/MoCo360

CHEVY CHASE PICKS NEW POLICE CHIEF: The Chevy Chase Village Board announced its new police chief is Bowie’s current top cop. John Nesky, 58, has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience and has served as chief of the Bowie Police Department in Prince George’s County since 2011. He will begin working in Chevy Chase on Oct. 1. Courtney Cohn/MoCo360

B’MORE EASES CRITERIA ALLOWING CONTRACTORS TO HIKE FEES: The Baltimore City Board of Estimates has expanded and extended through June 2024 a policy instituted last December that allows contractors to renegotiate contracts approved by the city Board of Estimates before July 2022 – then seek price increases based on “adverse economic conditions,” including for “high inflation and supply-chain disruptions.” The maximum increase now allowed is 50% – far above the 19.6% construction inflation at the height of U.S. inflation in 2021. Mark Reutter/Baltimore Brew

COMMENTARY: I WAS ASKING THE WRONG QUESTION ABOUT HOW TO PREVENT MASS SHOOTINGS: Five years ago, the newsroom in Annapolis where I was editor was attacked. Five people were shot to death. In the aftermath, I started asking what we could do to prevent the next mass shooting. Sunday, I heard someone else wrestle with this heart-rending puzzle. How do we fix this? But I’ve come to realize I have been asking the wrong question. Rick Hutzell/The Baltimore Banner

About The Author

Regina Holmes

Contributing editor Regina Holmes has worked as a journalist for over 30 years. She was an assistant business editor at the Miami Herald and an assistant city editor at Newsday in New York City, where she helped supervise coverage of 9/11, anthrax attacks and the August 2003 Northeast Blackout. As an assistant managing editor of the Baltimore Examiner, she helped launch the free tabloid in 2006. Before joining Maryland Reporter, she was the managing editor for Washington, D.C.-based Talk Media News, where she supervised digital, radio and video production of news reports for over 400 radio stations. The Baltimore native is a graduate of Vassar College and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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