State Roundup: Maryland gets a ‘C’ for redistricting effort; Senate panel reviews collective bargaining for state workers; Sharfstein to chair hospital cost control board

State Roundup: Maryland gets a ‘C’ for redistricting effort; Senate panel reviews collective bargaining for state workers; Sharfstein to chair hospital cost control board

In this 2022 photo, Del. Mark Fisher of Calvert County tries to show the House how the redistricting map they were about to pass violates the Maryland Constitution. Screen shot from floor session

MARYLAND EARNS A ‘C’ FOR REDISTRICTING EFFORT: Maryland received a C grade for its recent redistricting effort, according to a new report released by Common Cause that is critical of the Maryland General Assembly’s role in the process. The report praises the efforts of a commission appointed by former Gov. Larry Hogan (R). The grade is dragged down by criticisms of a legislative effort the group found was highly partisan and lacked public transparency. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

SENATE PANEL REVIEWS COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FOR STATE WORKERS: Amid strikes across the United States in industries ranging from health care to entertainment to automotive manufacturing, members of the Senate Finance Committee met Tuesday to review the landscape of collective bargaining powers for Maryland’s state employees and to discuss where opportunities may expand in the upcoming 2024 legislative session. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

STILL NO ANSWERS IN 2022 DEATH OF DEAF INMATE: The death of Javarick Gantt, a 34-year-old deaf man, in a Baltimore jail in October 2022, coupled with an August report by the ACLU on conditions at the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center, raised urgent questions about the facility’s ability to safely house people, especially those with disabilities. Ben Conarck/The Baltimore Banner.

BA CO SERGEANT REPRIMANDED FOR LANGUAGE, NOT FOR BEATING PRISONER: Although the Baltimore County Police Department determined more than two years after the February 2020 beating a Black prisoner that a white sergeant committed misconduct and lodged three administrative charges against him, he did not lose vacation time or pay. And in April of this year, a panel of three officers constituting a trial board ruled the officer didn’t use unnecessary force. The panel’s members agreed he should receive a written reprimand for “inappropriate and profane language.” Cassidy Jensen/The Baltimore Sun.

Gov. Wes Moore rides with Prince George’s County Community College commercial driving school student Carlos Sanchez Wednesday, Oct. 11. (Capital News Service/Tommy Tucker)

BUTTIGIEG PRESENTS CDL GRANTS TO TWO COMMUNITY COLLEGES: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg presented grants to two Maryland community colleges Wednesday to help cover tuition in their commercial driver’s license programs. Prince George’s County Community College and Community College of Baltimore County received $173,640 and $197,410 respectively, to help with the cost of tuition for veterans, refugees, and the underserved. Tommy Tucker of Capital News Service/

  • The money comes from the transportation agency’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to help community colleges enroll students interested in the trucking industry. There’s a nationwide shortage of 80,000 truck drivers and the federal government is working to attract students who are current or former military personnel and their spouses to the industry. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

SHARFSTEIN TO CHAIR HOSPITAL COST BOARD: Former Maryland Secretary of Health Joshua Sharfstein will be the new chair of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission, a powerful board tasked with constraining hospital rates in the state. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

SUPPORT FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION INFO AT MOCO GUN SHOPS: Montgomery community members shared their views Tuesday on a new piece of legislation before the Montgomery County Council that would require firearms retailers to provide suicide prevention literature upon purchase. While most speakers supported the measure, a couple voiced concerns about infringement on gun shop owners’ First Amendment rights. Ginny Bixby/MoCo 360.

PROTESTERS OF SCHOOL TRANS POLICY MET WITH BIGGER COUNTER-PROTEST: Parents and children with the group Parental Alliance for Safer Schools in Baltimore County gathered to protest the county’s policy that follows federal mandates allowing transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. The group also wants the county to force trans athletes to compete on teams that match the gender on their birth certificates. But they were met by a larger group of counterprotesters, who showed up to voice support for trans students and the county schools’ policy supporting them. Aliza Worthington/Baltimore Fishbowl.

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS DECRY $5.5M B’MORE STREAM PROJECT: The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other critics of a $5.5 million Baltimore city stream restoration project say it will claim 700 trees and do much more harm than good to western branch of Herring Run. They are calling for the Scott administration to halt the project. Fern Shen/The Baltimore Brew.

PG BAG BAN WON’T EXEMPT SNAP RECIPIENTS: As Prince George’s County prepares to implement a plastic bag ban and a mandatory 10-cent fee for paper bags starting Jan. 1, a bill to create a fee exemption for SNAP and WIC users failed in committee last month.  Kayla Benjamin/The Washington Informer.

ANDREA VERNOT, WHO PROMOTED MARYLAND EVENTS, DIES AT 60: Andréa Marie Vernot, an arts and tourism administrator who promoted events in Baltimore and throughout the state, died of pancreatic cancer Sept. 23 at her Trappe home in Talbot County. She was 60. She also was director of the Office of Volunteerism under Gov. William Donald Schaefer and worked as state director for Sen. Barbara Mikulski. 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: