State Roundup: Day cares for low-income families see cut in state red tape; Van Hollen throws support to Alsobrooks in Senate race; Md. Supreme Court rules sexual orientation not always protected

State Roundup: Day cares for low-income families see cut in state red tape; Van Hollen throws support to Alsobrooks in Senate race; Md. Supreme Court rules sexual orientation not always protected

Sen. Chris Van Hollen stepped up early to endorse Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks for the U.S. Senate seat held by Ben Cardin. Photo From Chris Van Hollen's political Facebook page.

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STATE CUTS RED TAPE TO DAY CARES FOR LOW INCOME FAMILIES: Thanks to a series of improvements at the Maryland State Department of Education and legislation that went into effect this summer, the bureaucratic burden for day care providers who cater to low income families who use scholarship monies is starting to ease. The changes, including paying providers in advance, fast-tracking child care scholarship applications and increasing family income eligibility caps, are part of a national effort to improve the quality of child care, education officials say. Sunny Nagpaul/The Baltimore Banner.

ALSOBROOKS PICKS UP VAN HOLLEN’s SUPPORT FOR SENATE: Maryland’s current junior senator, Chris Van Hollen, was in Silver Spring on Tuesday morning to endorse Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks in the Democratic primary to join him in the U.S. Senate. The unusual move comes months before the candidate filing deadline in the race to succeed Sen. Ben Cardin (D), who announced in May that he would not seek reelection in 2024. Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.

  • The endorsement from Van Hollen, a Democrat who easily won a second six-year term last year, is the highest-profile endorsement yet in a race that includes two other experienced Democrats from Van Hollen’s home turf in Montgomery County — U.S. Rep. David Trone and Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
  • Alsobrooks’ candidacy represents an opportunity to send just the third Black woman in history to the Senate, a distinction many boosters make as they line up behind the two-term county executive and former Prince George’s state’s attorney. She’s also secured support from Democratic Reps. Steny H. Hoyer, the former majority leader; and Kweisi Mfume, one of the state’s two Black representatives on Capitol Hill. Erin Cox and Lateshia Beachum/The Washington Post.

ALSOBROOKS DRAWS IN BLACK POWER BROKERS, ‘SUPER-GIVERS:’ Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks is attempting a feat: to become only the third Black woman to serve in the U.S. Senate. To do it, the Democrat must quickly raise money to help build statewide name recognition. And Black female candidates historically have had to rely on small-dollar donations as their White male counterparts tap long-standing networks of support. But Alsobrooks’s candidacy has energized Black power brokers, policy wonks and Democratic super givers — many of whom have no direct stake in Maryland politics. Lateshia Beachum/The Washington Post.

STATE SUPREMES SAY SEXUAL ORIENTATION NOT PROTECTED: The state’s highest court has ruled against a gay Maryland man whose employer, Catholic Relief Services, refused to provide health benefits for his husband. In doing so, the court cast light on a loophole in state laws meant to protect employees against discrimination. Hugo Kugiya/The Baltimore Banner.

  • The Maryland Supreme Court ruled that state law grants certain job protections to workers on the basis of their sex and their gender identity, but the law does not extend the same protections to people based on their sexual orientation. Jonathan Pitts/The Baltimore Sun.
  • In a statement, Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown called the state court’s ruling a “disheartening setback.” “I’m calling on the Maryland General Assembly to rectify this setback during the next legislative session, and I will stand by them every step of the way,” Brown said. Rachel Baye/WYPR-FM.

JUDGE TOSSES INSURANCE CO. LAWSUIT AGAINST STATE AGENCY: The federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit that Erie Insurance brought against a state agency over a finding that the Pennsylvania company had used discriminatory practices against Black brokers in the Baltimore area. John John Williams/The Baltimore Banner.

JENKINS SEEKS RELEASE OF GRAND JURY MATERIAL: Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins asked a federal judge on Monday to release the minutes and witness testimony of the grand jury that indicted him, positing that prosecutors might have intentionally misrepresented his role in an alleged firearms conspiracy. Grand jury proceedings are generally secret. But in two filings Monday, Jenkins’ attorneys said they had the right to review the materials because there was a “reasonable probability that the grand jurors may have been misadvised” about the law and the facts of the case. Clara Niel and Jillian Atelsek/The Frederick News Post.

MO CO SUPER PROMISES COMMUNICATION IN BEIDLEMAN PROBE: The superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools promised “open communication” and “active listening” in a letter to the Farquhar school community as an investigation begins into sexual harassment claims against Principal Joel Beidleman. Em Espey and Elia Griffin/MoCo 360.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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