BIDEN TAPS O’MALLEY TO HEAD SOCIAL SECURITY ADMIN: President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he would nominate former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor Martin O’Malley to helm the Social Security Administration, which has been without a permanent leader for two years. Hannah Gaskell/The Baltimore Sun.
- The agency O’Malley would lead faces “significant financing issues,” according to an annual report that also noted that the current system has enough money to pay 100% benefits through 2033. In 2034, recipients would receive 77% of scheduled benefits. The agency has been without a permanent head since Biden fired the commissioner and deputy commissioner. Both were appointed by Republican former President Donald Trump.Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
- If confirmed by the Senate, O’Malley would oversee around 60,000 administration employees, headquartered in Woodlawn. The agency administers federal retirement, disability and family benefits programs and enrolls people in Medicare health coverage. Taylor DeVille/The Baltimore Banner.
AUDIT: CORRECTIONS OFFICIALS FAILED TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH PAY POLICIES: State corrections officials failed to ensure compliance with overtime policies and in some cases could not provide documentation for hours worked. The findings are part of a 27-page review of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services released by the Office of Legislative Audits. All the findings in the report occurred during Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s second term. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
FIRMS SPENT $48.8M ON LOBBYING IN JUST A FEW MONTHS: Companies with a stake in decisions made by Maryland legislators spent $48.8 million on lobbying between the final months of 2022 and the end of this year’s General Assembly session. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
LOBBYISTS’ HANDS ON NEARLY ALL LEGISLATION: On behalf of the companies, organizations and associations that hired them, lobbyists registered with Maryland’s State Ethics Commission tried to influence nearly every one of the almost 2,300 pieces legislation introduced by General Assembly members this year – from high-profile, generational shifts like cannabis legalization to wonky policy changes around insurance or utility companies. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
DESPITE BEING OUT-FUNDED, JAWANDO UPBEAT ON SENATE BID: In his bid for the U.S. Senate, Montgomery County Council member Will Jawando openly acknowledges his fellow Democratic opponents have more money. But he argues that will not matter. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
WITH SHORTENED EMERGENCY NUMBER, CALLS TO CRISIS LINE UP 38%: Calls to Maryland’s crisis hotline have increased 38% since the number was shortened last year from 10 digits to the easier-to-remember 988. Angela Roberts/The Baltimore Sun.
HARFORD UNIT FOCUSES ON BODY CAM FOOTAGE: The Harford County State’s Attorney has formed a Body Worn Camera Unit. The seven-person unit, composed of six body-worn camera technicians and a unit supervisor, began work July 5. Each of the six technicians will view at least 2,000 minutes of body-worn camera footage a week provided to the state’s attorney’s office by the various law enforcement agencies. Jason Fontelieu/The Aegis.
JUDGE SAYS NO TO SHERIFF JENKINS’ REQUEST FOR RETURN OF GUNS: A federal judge on Wednesday denied Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins’ request to amend his conditions of release and get his department-issued firearms back. After his plea of not guilty to charges in a federal indictment in mid-April, he was released with conditions that included surrendering all of his personal and service weapons. Clara Niels/The Frederick News Post.
3 SEEK CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL FOR HENRIETTA LACKS: U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D) and Ben Cardin (D) and Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-7th) have filed legislation to award Henrietta Lacks the Congressional Gold Medal for her contributions to medicine, as her endlessly dividing cancer cells have led to breakthroughs in a multitude of medical discoveries in the treatment of many cancers, blood disorders, other diseases and HIV. Lacks lived in Baltimore and her story has become symbolic of racial inequities in the U.S. health care system and medical research. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.
ANTI-ABORTION PROTESTERS HIT MO CO: A regional anti-abortion group, Defend Life, brought demonstrators and graphic posters this week to Chevy Chase and Silver Spring ahead of a 2024 ballot referendum that would enshrine abortion rights in Maryland’s constitution. Akira Kyles/MoCo 360.
ANNAPOLIS SEEKS INPUT OVER ELECTIONS MANAGEMENT: Annapolis elections held a year early? Or a year late? Residents from all political affiliations casting ballots in primaries? Voters as young as 16 heading to the polls? These and other questions about the municipal election system are part of a new questionnaire launched this week by the city’s Task Force to Study the City Municipal Elections Laws, an all-volunteer body appointed in February by Mayor Gavin Buckley. Brooks DuBose/The Capital Gazette.