AUDIT FINDS STATE COULD BE OUT $1.4B IN UNREIMBURSED FEDERAL FUNDS: A new report by the Office of Legislative Audits found that the state has not been reimbursed for $1.4 billion in expenditures at the Maryland Department of Health. The report indicates there was poor documentation for a variety of spending, which ultimately led to the lack of reimbursement from the federal government. Chris Berinato/WBFF-TV News.
- The state had spent the money on a variety of health care programs, including Medicaid, but without proper documentation the department may not get reimbursed by the federal government as expected. If the state does not get paid for the $1.4 billion, it could cause a significant hole in the overall state budget, which runs about $63 billion. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
- The Maryland legislature has been raising questions about how the Health Department documented and utilized some of the millions of dollars of federal COVID funding it received, but the state agency had few answers. “I’ve never seen an audit like this. This is the worst audit I’ve ever seen. And it’s every worse nightmare pulled together,” said Sen. Clarence Lam (D-Howard), Senate chair of the Joint Audit and Evaluation Committee. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.
MD DEPT OF JUVIE SERVICES MOVES GIRLS AGAIN: Maryland’s Department of Juvenile Services will relocate girls awaiting court hearings or long-term placement this month from a single unit of a facility that previously housed only boys to a center the agency says will house all girls in the residential care. The move is designed to correct problems highlighted in reports that revealed that moving girls led to longer and more frequent periods of confinement and isolation, delayed medical services, and exposed girls to sexual harassment. Steph Quinn of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.
HEALTHCARE WORKERS IN MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS: Healthcare workers have been saying they are becoming increasingly stressed and depressed at work for years, now a new study from the CDC backs up those claims. A nationwide survey of healthcare employees found that 13.4% reported being harassed in 2022, double the number from 2018. Thomas Kleinhanzl, the chair of the Maryland Hospital Association’s board of trustees and president of Frederick Health, says that is happening in local hospitals as well. Scott Maucione/WYPR-FM.
STATE PREPS FOR UPTICK IN JOBLESS CLAIMS FROM FEDERAL SHUTDOWN: State Labor Department officials are preparing for a potential uptick in unemployment insurance claims tied to a possible federal government shutdown next month. Congress narrowly averted a shutdown at the end of September with a 45-day resolution meant to provide extra time to cut a budget deal. Reaching an agreement is now complicated by an ongoing battle within the Republican Party to elect a new House Speaker. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
- Maryland officials also are setting up a new lifeline for some federal employees who may soon be forced to work without pay. The program — pending approval at Wednesday’s state Board of Public Works meeting — would offer small, no-interest loans to civilian federal employees who work in Maryland but are not otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
APRIL DELANEY TO RUN FOR U.S. HOUSE SEAT ONCE HELD BY HUSBAND: April McClain Delaney, an attorney with a telecommunications policy background who until last month was a top official of the U.S. Commerce Department, announced Wednesday she is running for the Democratic nomination in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District. The seat was held for six years by her husband, Democrat John Delaney, a multimillionaire businessman who won it following an upset primary victory in 2012. Louis Peck and Ginny Bixby/MoCo 360.
OPINION: HOGAN PANDERS TO THE FAR LEFT: In remarks to political elites gathered in New York City this month, Maryland’s former Republican Gov. Larry Hogan described the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot as “the worst thing that’s happened in our nation.” Imagine that. Worse than the Civil War, Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, and 9/11. …Worse than slavery. Hogan, who is flirting with the possibility of running for president on the No Labels ticket, demonstrates the political peril of going “off message” or simply not having one in the first place. Jim Pettit/Red State.
HOGAN CUTS TIES WITH HARVARD OVER RESPONSE TO STUDENT LETTER: Former Gov. Larry Hogan is the latest influential individual to cut ties with Harvard University over the school’s response to the Israel-Hamas war. Hogan withdrew from the school’s fellowship program, calling the administration’s failure to forcefully denounce the anti-Israel statement signed by more than 30 student groups a “moral stain on the university.” Kayla Gaskins/WBFF-TV News.
- Gov. Hogan reiterates his stand on CNBC’s Squawk Box.
- On Good Morning America.
- And on Fox News.
- Here’s a fact-checking article on one of the most horrific claims about the Hamas attack on Israel, which Hogan repeats: That they beheaded children. Sara Swann/Poynter.
B’MORE WRITES OFF $45M IN UNPAID DEBTS: Baltimore City racked up nearly $45 million in unpaid contractor bills between 2005 and 2017, unrealized revenue that finance officials decided to write off because they had no legal recourse if contractors refused to pay. Adam Willis/The Baltimore Banner.
SLAIN JUDGE HAD HEARD ‘SHOCKING’ TESTIMONY OF ABUSE BY SUSPECT: Pedro Argote was conspicuously absent last Thursday when a Maryland judge granted his wife a divorce and sole custody of their four children, citing “shocking” testimony about the abuse that Argote allegedly inflicted upon them for years. But later that day, authorities say, Argote showed up at Judge Andrew Wilkinson’s home and shot him to death in his driveway. Now a wanted man, Argote remains at large amid a law enforcement search spanning several states. Lea Skene and Michael Kunzelman/The Associated Press.