State Roundup: Ferguson makes changes in Senate leadership; Hogan toll project likely to remain part of highway widening project;

State Roundup: Ferguson makes changes in Senate leadership; Hogan toll project likely to remain part of highway widening project; file photo.

WITH GRIFFITH’s DEPARTURE, FERGUSON CHANGES SENATE LEADERSHIP: The departure of Senate Finance Chair Melony Griffith (D-Prince George’s) for the private sector is causing a cascade of changes within the leadership of the Maryland Senate chamber. Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore) named Sen. Pamela Beidle (D-Anne Arundel) chair of the Senate Finance Committee and Sen. Alonzo Washington (D-Prince George’s) will move from the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to Senate Finance, among others. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

HOGAN TOLL PROJECT LIKELY TO REMAIN PART OF WIDENING: Larry Hogan may no longer be in the governor’s mansion – but the controversial toll lanes he proposed for portions of I-495 and I-270 are likely to remain part of the proposed widening project for those highways, Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore) said Monday. Louis Peck/MoCo 360.

ANOTHER BWI CONTRACT DRAWS CRITICISM: Another contract awarded by the Maryland Aviation Administration is drawing criticism and unwanted attention. Last month, a high-ranking state lawmaker requested that the Office of Legislative Audits look into whether a lucrative contract to operate two gas stations and convenience stores near BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport was awarded properly. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

FERGUSON VOWS TO REFORM PROCESS TO FILL GA VACANCIES: Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore) Monday vowed action on reforms to the way state legislative vacancies are filled – an issue that has come to the fore this year in Montgomery County, with five openings decided by a vote of the county’s 24-member Democratic Central Committee. But he threw cold water on prospects for pending action two other reforms – instituting so-called ranked choice voting and doing away with contested elections for candidates for Circuit Court. Louis Peck/MoCo 360.

POLITICAL BRIEFS: POLL FILLING GA VACANCIES; FICKER CAMPAIGN; KENNEDY SIBS: A majority of Maryland voters want to change how vacancies in the General Assembly are filled, according to a poll commissioned by a coalition of public interest groups. Perennial candidate Robin Ficker released his first digital campaign ad Tuesday as he runs for the Republican nomination to represent Maryland in the U.S. Senate. Former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D) and three of her siblings called their brother Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential campaign “perilous for our country.” Bryan Sears, William Ford and Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.

MOCO DEM CENTRAL COMMITTEE TAKES A HIT: Montgomery County’s beleaguered Democratic party leadership suffered another apparent blow Tuesday evening as a member of its Central Committee resigned, citing poor leadership, dysfunction and a lack of financial transparency, and alleging committee leaders worked to further personal agendas rather than serving the public. Ginny Bixby/MoCo 360.

RASKIN SAYS HE’s COMMITTEE TO STAYING IN U.S. HOUSE: Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8th) said his passion to remain as a member of the House of Representatives comes from defending the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law. The congressman from Montgomery County said in an interview Monday that the idea to seek the Democratic nomination to replace longtime Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) “was very attractive to me.” But he’s committed to remain in his House seat. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

BUTTIGIEG TOUTS IMPORTANCE OF AFFORDABLE ELECTRIC VEHICLES: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stressed the importance of making electric vehicles more affordable and improving transit options during an appearance Tuesday in Baltimore, highlighting them as ways the Biden administration can fight climate change. David Zawodny/The Baltimore

LAUREL PARK OFFICIALS SAY RACE FACILITY IS SAFE: As Laurel Park readies to host the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day on Saturday, track officials say they are confident in the facility’s safety, just over five months after racing was temporarily suspended after two horses died in back-to-back races on April 20. Angelique Gingras of Capital News Service/

RECORD NUMBER OF GUNS SEIZED AT BWI: With 2½ months left in the year, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday it has seized a record number of guns from travelers at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport. Lori Aratani/The Washington Post.

SUBSTITUTE TEACHER ARRESTED FOR BRINGING GUN TO SCHOOL: A Glen Burnie High School substitute teacher was arrested Friday by Anne Arundel County Police after a loaded handgun was found in his backpack, according to a letter to parents from the school’s principal. Brian Jeffries/The Capital Gazette.

FREDERICK DEVELOPING ZONING REGS FOR CANNABIS SHOPS, GROW FACILITIES: Frederick County is working to develop zoning requirements for cannabis dispensaries and facilities that grow or process the plant, which was legalized for adult recreational use in Maryland earlier this year. State law authorizes county and municipal governments to “establish reasonable zoning requirements for cannabis businesses” that are not overly burdensome to cannabis licensees. Ceoli Jacoby/The Frederick News. Post.

COLUMN: INSIDE A DOG FIGHTING RING: “That’s what I’m talking about, college boy. Show ‘em what you do, baby. Good boy. Goin’ put you on something, motherfu***r.” That was the voice of Frederick Douglass Moorefield Jr., then a high-ranking Pentagon communications official captured in a video seized by investigators, according to a lengthy affidavit filed in the U.S. District Court for Maryland. The FBI agent who wrote the affidavit believes the Anne Arundel County man was promoting one of his dogs. Rick Hutzell/The Baltimore Banner.

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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