STATE LAWMAKERS HINT THAT TAX HIKES POSSIBLE: State lawmakers on Tuesday didn’t rule out the possibility of raising taxes to uphold their policy commitments to voters while balancing the state budget amid projections of a structural deficit. “We should not forgo a conversation about getting the resources we need in the next session to ensure that we have the funds we need in the outlying years for the big, bold commitments we’ve made to the people of Maryland,” state Del. Stephanie Smith, a Baltimore City Democrat, said during a virtual meeting of top lawmakers from both General Assembly chambers. Jack Hogan/The Daily Record.
- Members of the joint Spending Affordability Committee were briefed on a budget picture that sees hundreds of millions in structural deficits balloon to $2 billion by fiscal 2029. That picture raised the specter of tax increases. Some members of the committee were unperturbed by the briefing. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM TO BE ADDRESSED IN ANNAPOLIS: A battle over juvenile justice has been brewing all year across Maryland, and on Wednesday, lawmakers will return to Annapolis to talk about the laws on the books some say are letting juveniles get away with crime. Police, prosecutors, and even parents are crying out for change. Maxine Streicher/WBBF-TV.
STATE TO AID FREDERICK COUNTY COMMUNITIES IN CUTTING PFAS: The Maryland Department of the Environment will assist several Frederick County communities with infrastructure improvements to try to reduce levels of PFAS, otherwise known as “forever chemicals,” in public drinking water. In December 2022, MDE notified officials in Mount Airy, Myersville and Thurmont that their water systems had tested positive for elevated levels of the chemicals, which can be found in nonstick cookware, flame retardants and other products. Ceoli Jacoby/The Frederick News Post.
JESSUP STATE PRISON WITHOUT HEAT, HOT WATER FOR 5 DAYS IN OCTOBER: A state prison in Jessup was without heat and hot water for five days in October. Maryland Department for Public Safety and Correctional Services spokesperson Morgan Wright said a seasonal inspection last month of the boilers at the Patuxent Institution, a maximum security facility, revealed several problems, including mineral buildup clogging tubes. Dillon Mullan/The Baltimore Sun.
OPINION: WHY $1.2 MILLION FOR STADIUM IMPROVEMENTS? How did the Maryland General Assembly, in authorizing the Maryland Stadium Authority to borrow $1.2 million for improvements to the Ravens and Orioles stadiums, arrive at that figure? And what will it be used for? These publicly owned stadiums are not that old. Oriole Park opened in 1992, M&T Bank Stadium in 1998. I have cookie sheets older than that. Dan Rodricks/The Baltimore Sun.
PROSECUTORS REST IN MOSBY PERJURY TRIAL: Federal prosecutors rested their case Tuesday in the federal perjury trial of Marilyn Mosby, and as trial wrapped for the day they issued a warning should the former top prosecutor take the stand in her own defense, touching on five areas that they would seek to press her on cross-examination. Justin Fenton/The Baltimore Banner.
OPINION: WADING INTO THE VALLEY OF DOUBT: I waded deep into the valley of doubt Monday, wanting not so much to hear Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — son of a slain U.S. senator and candidate for president, nephew of a slain president and once a respected environmental advocate — chuck his legacy by spouting dubious opinions about vaccines and media cabals, but from the people primed to absorb them. Rick Hutzell/The Baltimore Banner.
ARUNDEL RAISES NUMBER OF AFFORDABLE UNITS IN HOUSING PROPOSAL: An Anne Arundel County bill that would require developers to set aside a portion of units for moderate-income housing was amended Monday night following its first public hearing. One change made to the bill, which is designed to provide affordable housing for people living and working in the county, was slightly raising the number of affordable for-sale units a new larger development must offer. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.
MO CO APPROVES DRONE AS FIRST RESPONDER PILOT PROGRAM: The Montgomery County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the Drone As First Responder pilot program, which will fund drones to assist the Montgomery County Police Department in emergency response before officers arrive on the scene. Ginny Bixby/Mo Co 360.