SHUTDOWN WOULD SEVERELY IMPACT CRITICAL SERVICES AND BENEFITS: A looming federal government shutdown would have severe implications for a range of critical services, programs and benefits that impact millions of Americans. Many government functions will halt at midnight on Saturday unless there is a breakthrough in an impasse among House Republicans. Thursday brought no signs of a settlement. Monica Godnick, Fatema Hosseini, Josie Jack & Ryan Mercado of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter.
- Overall, Maryland may feel the pinch more acutely than many states. More than 160,000 federal jobs — not including federal contractors — are based in Maryland. The total is equal to more than 4% of all jobs in the state. Bryan P. Sears/Maryland Matters.
- The IRS could partially close and hundreds of thousands of federal workers would temporarily miss paychecks, but Social Security benefits would still be paid if the government shuts down as expected at midnight Saturday. Mail would still be delivered, but travelers should expect longer airport lines and visitors may be turned away at national parks. Dave Boyer/The Washington Times.
- Food banks and pantries statewide, already straining to fill the gap from the end of COVID benefits, are bracing to meet additional demand if a government shutdown furloughs federal and military workers and federal nutrition programs run dry. Steph Quinn of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter.
- Montgomery County elected officials and business leaders are sounding the alarm about the potential detrimental effects if the federal government shuts down on Sunday. Ginny Bixby/MoCo360.
MD.’S TOP FINANCE OFFICIALS BLAST CONGRESS FOR INACTION ON BUDGET: Maryland’s top financial officials and the governor said Thursday that the looming federal shutdown would be “devastating” for the state’s economy. At Thursday’s Board of Revenue Estimates meeting, Maryland Comptroller Brooke Lierman warned that a long government shutdown could have widespread, negative impacts on the state. Gov. Wes Moore called the government shutdown “unnecessary” and “irresponsible.” Kiersten Hacker and Angelique Gringras of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter.
ORIOLES REACH 30-YEAR DEAL WITH MD., WIN OVER RED SOX CLINCHES TITLE: Maryland officials and the Baltimore Orioles have reached an agreement on a new long-term deal to keep the team in Baltimore. The 30-year lease was announced Thursday night on the screen in centerfield as the Orioles played the Boston Red Sox; the O’s won the game, 2-0, and with the victory clinched the American League East title. Bryan P. Sears/Maryland Matters.
- The mastermind of Camden Yards said she can ‘finally exhale’ now that a new lease has been signed. Janet Marie Smith oversaw the development of Oriole Park and always hoped it would last far beyond its original lease term. Andy Kostka/The Baltimore Banner.
HUNDREDS OF NEW LAWS TAKE EFFECT SUNDAY IN MD.: When the calendar turns over to a new month on Sunday, hundreds of new laws take effect in Maryland, from restrictions on carrying guns to changes to how married couples can get divorced. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting laws. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
STATE FISCAL OFFICERS SAY REVENUE ON TRACK BUT TOUGH DECISIONS LOOM: Maryland’s top fiscal officers said Thursday that the state remains mostly on track to meet revenue expectations for the fiscal year that began in July, though they warned an uncertain future and year of tough decisions lies ahead. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
MO CO SCHOOLS TRANSPORTATION CHIEF IS SENTENCED FOR MISCONDUCT:: The former Montgomery County Public Schools transportation director was sentenced this week to 200 hours of community service and three years’ probation for misconduct in office related to hundreds of thousands of misspent dollars, according to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office. Courtney Cohn/MoCo360.
MO CO STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE HIRING OF JUDGE RESULTS IN LAWSUIT: Tyrece Jones, 22, of Oxon Hill was convicted of carjacking and second-degree assault charges last October in a trial heard by Judge David Boynton. Now Boynton has a job with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office —and Jones’ public defender has filed a motion for a new trial, citing Boynton’s conflict of interest. Courtney Cohn/MoCo360.
MONTGOMERY COUNCIL CHASTIZES SCHOOL OFFICIALS ON HARASSMENT PROBE: Members of the Montgomery County Council reprimanded school system leaders during an oversight hearing Thursday for failing to answer questions about how they handled allegations that a principal sexually harassed and bullied staff. Nicole Asbury and Alexandra Robbins/The Washington Post
P.G. BOARD OF ED VOTES TO INCLUDE LABOR PACT IN SCHOOLS PROJECT: After alleged wage theft and misclassification of construction workers during Phase I of the Prince George’s County Blueprint Schools Program, the county’s Board of Education voted Thursday to require a Project Labor Agreement as the county moves into Phase II of the project. The county program aims to build six new public schools. Sasha Allen/The (UMCP) Diamondback.
VAN HOLLEN URGES MENENDEZ TO RESIGN: Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen joined a majority of his fellow Democrats in calling on New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez to resign over corruption charges. Menendez has stepped down from the foreign relations panel and Democrat Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland is serving as temporary chairman. Minnie Stephenson of Capital News Service/Baltimore Post-Examiner.
SECOND DEFENDANT ENTERS ALFORD PLEA IN MURDER OF INMATE: A second man has entered an Alford plea to second-degree murder in the gang-related death of a Hagerstown-area man found dead in January 2020 in his cell at the Maryland Correctional Training Center south of Hagerstown, according to court records. Julie E. Greene/The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail.
CECIL CO. HEALTH DEPARTMENT WORRIES ABOUT CANNABIS’ EFFECT ON KIDS: During the Cecil County Council work session this week, the county Health Department expressed its concerns over the lack of research on cannabis use and risks associated with that lack in the wake of the recent legalization of the substance. Health Officer Lauren Levy with the Cecil County Health Department said the health department’s biggest concern is children being exposed to cannabis and the unknown effects associated with child consumption and exposure. Mark Hubbard/The Cecil Whig
BMORE’S $641 MILLION PANDEMIC AID PLAN MAY SEE CHANGES IN EARLY 2024: As Baltimore’s spending of its pandemic aid windfall inches slowly forward and federal deadlines loom, Mayor Brandon Scott’s top stimulus officer predicted that changes may be coming to the $641 million spending plan as soon as early next year. Adam Willis/The Baltimore Banner
BMORE MULLS REPLACING FIREWORKS WITH NEW YEAR’S DRONES SHOW: Should Baltimore have a drone show instead of Inner Harbor fireworks on New Year’s Eve? The idea has been suggested by Todd Yuhanick, interim CEO of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA), which puts on the annual fireworks extravaganza to ring in the New Year. Ed Gunts/Baltimore Fishbowl.
OPINION: WHAT HAPPENED TO A BICYCLE REVOLUTION?: Gavin Buckley promised Annapolis a bicycle revolution. We’re still waiting. Rick Hutzell/The Baltimore Banner