TREASURER BLASTS FAILURE TO MEET CONTRACT DIVERSITY REQUIREMENTS: State Treasurer Dereck E. Davis voted against an emergency contract Wednesday because the state labor department waived requirements that a portion of the contract is used to hire women- or minority-owned businesses. Despite Davis’ protest vote, his colleagues on the powerful state spending board, Gov. Wes Moore and Comptroller Brooke Lierman, approved the contract 2-1. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.
- The Board of Public Works approved the $635,000 software contract Wednesday despite objections by Davis that the contract failed to meet state diversity requirements. The emergency contract is needed to support a loan program for federal employees who may be affected by a government shutdown next month. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
STATE LABOR DEPT PROPOSALS WOULD AID FED WORKERS DURING SHUTDOWN: The Maryland Department of Labor proposed two different methods of compensation for federal employees who could be impacted by a government shutdown next month to lawmakers Tuesday. ”Excepted” employees, also known as essential workers, are eligible to receive money from the state’s new loan program, which would be put into effect for the first time if the shutdown occurs. Meanwhile, furloughed workers and government contractors can apply for unemployment insurance. Angelique Gingras of the Capital Gazette/MarylandReporter.com.
ATTY GEN, PUBLIC DEFENDER TEAM UP TO END MASS INCARCERATION: Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown (D) and Maryland Public Defender Natasha Dartigue said some people view their offices as adversarial because of their different missions in the criminal justice system. But on Wednesday at Bowie State University, they stood side-by-side to launch the Maryland Equitable Justice Collaborative, an effort to eliminate mass incarceration. William Ford/Maryland Matters.
- Representatives from over 40 such agencies and groups attended the launch of the Maryland Equitable Justice Collaborative at Bowie State University, kicking off a multi-year process that officials said will include legislative and funding recommendations for the coming General Assembly session. Steph Quinn of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.
BPW OKs ELIMINATING HEALTH DEPT CONTRACT POSITIONS FOR REGULAR STAFF: The Board of Public Works approved a plan from the Maryland Department of Health Wednesday to establish 144 regular positions, eliminating 180 contract positions, but the approval came with a scolding for the previous administration’s failure to document more than $1 billion in federal funding, jeopardizing reimbursement. Lucy Hubbard of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.
DELANEY’s ADDITION TO 6th DISTRICT RACE CROWDS DEM FIELD EVEN MORE: Democrat April McClain Delaney is the latest among at least 15 candidates seeking to represent Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, leaving behind a job with the Biden administration to run for the office. Maryland’s lone open congressional seat – currently held by David Trone who is running for Senate — is the only one in deep-blue Maryland dubbed “competitive” by Cook Political Report. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
HARRIS BACKED JOHNSON FOR HOUSE SPEAKER: U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, the only Republican in Maryland’s congressional delegation, backed Louisiana’s Mike Johnson for House speaker. He won on the first ballot on Wednesday. Johnson, like Harris, has been a supporter of former President Donald Trump who helped lead an effort to block the results of the 2020 presidential election after Trump alleged the voting was rigged. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.
OLSZEWSKI VETOES PLASTIC BAG AMENDMENTS: Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. on Wednesday vetoed legislation that would have exempted liquor stores and certain types of bags from the plastic bag ban law set to take effect Nov. 1. Lia Russell/The Baltimore Sun.
- Olszewski made good on his promise to veto County Council amendments to the coming single-use plastic bag ban, including an allowance for businesses to sell thinner plastic bags for 5 cents and a change that struck liquor stores from the list of businesses that must charge customers for reusable or paper bags starting next week. Taylor DeVille/The Baltimore Banner.
BOWIE 1st HBCU TO OFFER DEGREE PROGRAM AT CORRECTIONAL FACILITY: Last fall, Bowie State became the first historically Black university in Maryland to offer a bachelor’s degree program at a correctional facility, according to school officials. Its fall semester class began this week, for about 20 men studying sociology. A pilot for women incarcerated in a neighboring facility starts this fall, too. Kristen Griffith/The Baltimore Banner.
AN INTERVIEW WITH MOHAMMED CHOUDHURY: Few stars have blazed as bright in education innovation circles as Mohammed Choudhury’s. In less than 15 years, he rose from classroom teacher to turnaround and innovation czar in some of the country’s largest — and most impoverished — school systems. Choudhury was hired to lead the Maryland Department of Education in July 2021. And that relationship soured. Here is a one on one conversation with Choudhury as he departs the superintendency. Beth Hawkins for the 74/Maryland Matters.