State Roundup: Lawmakers seek cap on some prescription drugs; Montgomery Council considers raising tipped workers’ minimum wage

State Roundup: Lawmakers seek cap on some prescription drugs; Montgomery Council considers raising tipped workers’ minimum wage

The Montgomery County Council will consider raising the minimum wage for tipped workers. Photo by Vanna Phon on Unsplash

CAPS POSSIBLE ON SOME PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICES COVERED BY INSURANCE: Prominent lawmakers in Maryland are pushing for new legislation that will set upper payment limits on some prescription drugs for residents with private insurance. The change will likely be introduced in the Maryland General Assembly’s 2024 session, set to start early next year. U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, House of Delegates chair Joseline Pena-Melnyk and advocacy groups Healthcare for All! and AARP all threw their support behind the potential legislation during a virtual town hall on Monday. Scott Maucione/WYPR-FM.

MO CO COUNCIL TO CONSIDER RAISING MINIMUM TIPPED WORKER WAGE: Dozens of members of progressive advocacy and workers’ rights groups gathered outside the Montgomery County Council building in Rockville on Tuesday to show their support for a bill that would raise the base minimum wage for tipped workers. “I believe that we haven’t been able to move the needle because the majority of tipped workers are women and women of color,” said Jibran Eubanks, an organizer with the 1199SEIU union. “They have for too long been undervalued and underpaid.” Ginny Bixby/MoCo 360.

  • The proposal from council members Will Jawando and Kristin Mink would eliminate the tipped wage credit — which allows employers to pay tipped staff less than the standard minimum wage as long as tips make up the difference — and raise the minimum-wage floor for tipped workers by $2 annually, starting next July. Katie Shepherd/The Washington Post.

MARYLAND AMONG STATES THAT UNDERFUNDED BLACK LAND-GRANT COLLEGES: Historically Black land-grant universities in Maryland, Tennessee and 14 other states have missed out on $12.6 billion in funding over the last three decades, according to the Biden administration. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack sent letters to the governors of each state asking them to increase funding. The largest disparity was in Tennessee, where Tennessee State University has been underfunded by $2.1 billion. The Associated Press/The Baltimore Banner.

STATE ISSUES NEW RFP TO RUN BWI CONCESSIONS: Seven months after pulling the plug on a controversial process to find a company to run the concessions operations at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, the state is trying again. Late Monday, the Maryland Department of Transportation issued a Request for Proposals, seeking bidders who want to oversee concessions at the state-owned airport for the next two decades. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

U.S. LABOR DEPT. AWARDS $1.5M TO LOCALS TO FIGHT GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE: The U.S. Department of Labor Tuesday awarded over $1.5 million to five community organizations, including a Baltimore nonprofit, “to prevent and respond to gender-based violence and harassment against underserved and marginalized women workers.” Maya Lora/The Baltimore Sun.

SYED ASKS ATTY GEN TO PROBE PROSECUTION IN HIS CASE: Adnan Syed, who served more than 20 years in prison in the killing of his ex-girlfriend and classmate at Woodlawn High School in a case full of twists and turns and documented in the podcast “Serial,” spoke to reporters on Tuesday for more than two hours and called for the Maryland attorney general to investigate allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. Dylan Segelbaum/The Baltimore Banner.

ELIMINATING YOUTH REPS ON MO CO POLICE BOARD DRAWS OBJECTIONS: Young adults packed Montgomery County Council chambers in Rockville on Sept. 12 to voice their objection to proposed changes to the county’s Policing Advisory Commission, including eliminating a requirement to have one person age 25 or younger and one person between the ages of 25 and 35 serve on the body. Ginny Bixby/MoCo 360.

PG COUNCIL WRESTLES OVER VIRTUAL VOTING: Increasing pressure could lead five members of the Prince George’s County Council to reconsider their vote not to allow a colleague to vote virtually on legislation in the weeks she is on maternity leave. Attendance at council and committee meetings must be in-person, as do all recorded votes. John Domen/WTOP-FM.

OPINION: PG COUNCIL NEEDS TO PROVE IT’s ‘PEOPLE’S COUNCIL:’ After new members were elected to the Prince George’s County Council last fall, the council dubbed itself “The People’s Council.” While this is encouraging to hear, as residents of this county, the actual litmus test for whether this new council is genuinely dedicated to the concerns of the people and, in particular, the needs of residents from less affluent, over-policed communities, is the passage of a bill to give the county’s new Police Accountability Board independent investigatory and subpoena powers. In other words, we’ll believe it when we see it. Beverly John and Yanet Amanuel/Maryland Matters.

HOWARD PARENTS DEMAND FIX TO SCHOOL BUS CRISES: On Tuesday, Howard County parents poured into a public library for a community run town hall centered on what they’re calling a “school bus crisis.” Nearly a month into the school year, buses are still experiencing daily delays, sending students to school late and working parents scrambling. Rebecca Pryor/WBFF-TV News.

VALERIE BRADT HYMES, REPORTER WHO COVERED POLITICAL CORRUPTION, DIES: Valerie Bradt Hymes, a WJZ-TV news reporter who covered the assassination attempt of presidential candidate George Wallace and Maryland’s 1970s political corruption trials, died Aug. 16 at Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center. The Severna Park resident was 91. Jacques Kelly/The Baltimore Sun.

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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