DEFICITS FROM 2023 SESSION EXPECTED TO REACH $1 BILLION in 2028: The most recent 90-day legislative session swung the Maryland’s fiscal picture from hundreds of millions in surplus to increasing projected deficits over the coming four years, according to the Department of Legislative Services. Deficits projected in the report for 2028 exceed $1 billion and approach levels not seen since The Great Recession. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
GSA CHANGE IN FBI HQ CRITERIA A BIG BOOST FOR MARYLAND: The General Services Administration announced changes in criteria for choosing a location for a new FBI headquarters on Friday, boosting two potential places in Maryland, which has been competing with Virginia for the bureau’s new home. Brian Witte/The Associated Press.
- The GSA is giving less weight to a location near facilities in Quantico, Va., and more weight to cost and social impact. Virginia had seemed to have the advantage in the sweepstakes for the multimillion-dollar headquarters, which carries some 7,500 jobs. But Maryland’s congressional delegation and Gov. Wes Moore (D) put up a spirited argument that the federal government was failing to prioritize values other than simple convenience. Gregory S. Schneider, Erin Cox and Paul Kane/The Washington Post.
- The FBI headquarters is housed within the aging J. Edgar Hoover building in downtown Washington, D.C., built in the 1960s. The new headquarters could house an estimated 7,500 employees. The GSA has narrowed down the options for a new site to locations in Greenbelt and Landover in Maryland and in Springfield, Va. Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.
PURPLE LINE RUNS OVER DEADLINE AND OVER COST: Maryland’s Purple Line will open at least seven months later than the previous estimate and cost $148 million more, state officials said Friday as they sought more resources to push the half-built and long-delayed project toward completion. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
- The Purple Line is expected to open in spring 2027, state officials announced Friday. Originally slated to cost $5.6 billion, the half-done project will now cost an additional $148 million, bringing the total price tag to $9.4 billion. Elia Griffith/MoCo 360.
ED DEPT OKs REGS OVER CANNABIS USE AT CHILD CARE FACILITIES: With summer classes and the school year starting just weeks after the legalization of recreational cannabis in Maryland, the State Department of Education is taking action on how it wants the new law to impact schools, students and caregivers. At the department’s June 27 meeting, the State Board of Education passed an emergency regulation pertaining to cannabis usage at child care facilities. Sabrina LeBouef/The Baltimore Sun.
HOW DID THE 529 SAVINGS PLAN GO OFF THE RAILS? When Maryland 529 issued year-end statements in December 2022, some accounts reflected tens of thousands of dollars less than families anticipated. Parents scrambled for alternatives to pay looming tuition bills, then launched a months-long campaign prompting legislators to create a law ordering the office of State Treasurer Dereck Davis to take over the agency by June 1. How did a plan so many Maryland parents and students rely on become so problematic? Lia Russell/The Baltimore Sun.
CARROLL BANS COMMUNITY SOLAR FROM FARMLAND: After months of discussion, debate and hearings, community solar panel projects on Carroll County farmland are no longer allowed. The Board of Carroll County Commissioners unanimously voted Thursday to ban community solar projects from being built on land zoned for agricultural. The action removes a section of the county code that has allowed community solar on agricultural property since 2021. Sherry Greenfield/The Carroll County Times.
TRONE LOANS CAMPAIGN, OUTSPENDS RIVALS: Maryland’s Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate is barely underway, but Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) has already dramatically outspent the field, new campaign finance reports show. Records show that Trone, co-owner of the multibillion-dollar alcoholic beverage retailer Total Wine & More, has spent $4.8 million on the 2024 race so far, which launched May 1, when Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) announced he would retire at the end of his term. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
- Trone’s expenditures in the early weeks of the 2024 open-seat Senate race dwarf the spending of his chief rivals for the Democratic nomination, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando, and have been fueled largely by his own fortune. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
- In the two months between Cardin’s May 1 announcement that he would not seek another term and the end of the second quarter of the year on June 30, Trone funneled $9.725 million in personal funds into his campaign. Louis Peck/MoCo 360.
HOGAN CONCERNED GOP WILL RENOMINATE TRUMP: “They’re very concerned,” former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said of fellow Republican leaders who share his view that renominating Donald Trump to stand for president would be a disaster for the party next November. Hogan, who opted out of a campaign of his own in fear that an unwieldy Republican field would only benefit Trump, described a moment of realization that, “Oh my gosh, we really could have Trump as the nominee.” Jill Colvin and Steve Peoples/The Associated Press.
COMMENTARY: NO LABELS CANDIDATE COULD BE HOGAN: The long and winding road to electing a president in 2024 has a most interesting, unpredictable curve. The curve is No Labels, whose organizers have branded themselves as concerned citizens working to bring America’s leaders together to develop common-sense two-party solutions to America’s biggest problems. It may nominate a No Labels candidate for president in 2024. Their candidate could be Larry Hogan, who recently confirmed he may agree to that. David Reel/Maryland Matters.
DECIPHERING NO LABELS: No Labels, which pitches itself as a centrist movement to appeal to disaffected voters, has secured a considerable amount of funding and is working behind the scenes to get on presidential ballots across the country. Former Gov. Larry Hogan is affiliated with this group and, according to Wikipedia, Harlan Crow, a major supporter and friend to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is a donor. But what is its platform? Hard to tell. David Remnick/The New Yorker Radio Hour. You can listen to the program below.
- No Labels has said that it would only offer a third-party candidate “under the proper environmental conditions.” The ticket would feature a Democrat and a Republican in presidential and vice presidential slots, the group has signaled. Mariana Alfaro/The Washington Post.
HAGERSTOWN BASEBALL COULD REJUVENATE LITTLE LEAGUE: The new pro team that will call Hagerstown home in 2024 hopes to help reverse the declining youth baseball trends. The team in the Atlantic League, a league with a partnership but no direct affiliation to Major League Baseball, plans to feature Hagerstown’s Little Leagues prominently in its early years of operation, said Chuck Domino, a former minor-league executive who is working with the club as a consultant on ballpark operations. Taylor Lyons and Leo Rubinson of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.
WILL BLACK HAGERSTOWN WARM TO NEW TEAM? Hagertown’s racial dynamics have evolved considerably since Willie Mays first came to town nearly 75 years ago. When a new independent league ballpark arrives in 2024, blocks from the city’s historically Black Jonathan Street neighborhood, team officials face the task of cultivating a new relationship between baseball and Hagerstown’s Black community. The city traditionally demolished Black landmarks and neglected its Black cemeteries. Sapna Bansil and Braden Hamelin of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.
OPINION: POLICE CAREFULLY WITH U.S. MENTHOL CIGARETTE BAN: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is moving to finalize a proposed rule to ban menthol cigarettes. For a variety of reasons, implementation of this decision will carry significant ramifications for policing. Responding to concerns from some law enforcement officials and civil rights activists, the FDA has stated it will enforce the prohibition only against menthol cigarette manufacturers and distributors, not individual smokers. Diane Goldstein/The Baltimore Banner.