State Roundup: Apple in court to challenge Maryland’s digital ad tax; Moore announces new road work zone safety efforts; Laurel Park faces a shaky future

State Roundup: Apple in court to challenge Maryland’s digital ad tax; Moore announces new road work zone safety efforts; Laurel Park faces a shaky future

Gov. Wes Moore, center, addresses the pressing issue of safety for the state's road crews last Friday, and orders new regulations to ensure that crews are not injured or killed as they work. Governor's Office photo by Joe Andrucyk.

APPLE, STATE GO AT IT IN COURT OVER DIGITAL ADVERTISING TAX: Lawyers for Apple, one of the world’s preeminent technology giants, went head-to-head Friday with Maryland state government lawyers in Baltimore as a new phase of legal challenges began against the state’s first-in-the-nation digital advertising tax. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Maryland Tax Court Chief Judge Anthony C. Wisniewski ruled from the bench that the case would proceed after more than 90 minutes of nuanced arguments over procedural issues from lawyers for Apple and the Comptroller of Maryland. The tax applies to companies based on the amount of money they make on ads that are shown to Marylanders as they click and scroll their way around the internet, and was designed to raise money for public schools. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

MOORE ANNOUNCES WORK ZONE SAFETY EFFORTS: Following months of meetings, Gov. Wes Moore announced Friday afternoon that the state would immediately implement several punitive and safety recommendations given by the Governor’s Work Zone Safety Work Group. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.

  • The recommendations include legislative, budgetary and administrative changes that also include lowering the temporary work zone speed limits, conducting more on-site inspections of work conditions, as well as adding more unmanned speed enforcement cameras and making sure current cameras are working. Abby Zimmardi/The Baltimore Banner.
  • Moore announced the increased presence of both state and local police on the same day the state Work Zone Safety Work Group released more than a dozen recommendations, which include increased fines for motorists to reduce crashes and fatalities. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

HISTORIC LAUREL PARK FACES SHAKY FUTURE: Laurel Park’s horse racing future hinges on a proposal to be made to the Maryland General Assembly next month that could alter thoroughbred racing in the state as we know it. A determination will come from the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority, a commission established in the 2023 legislative session to make recommendations on the redevelopment of Laurel Park and Pimlico racecourses – the two most prominent, historic, but aging, thoroughbred racetracks in the state. Angelique Gingras of Capital News Service/

OPINION: PROPOSED O’s LEASE IS A BAD DEAL: Under the Sept. 27th MOU between Gov. Wes Moore (D) and John Angelos, the Maryland Stadium Authority’s role at Camden Yards will change significantly and, to a great degree, the Stadium Authority will cease to exist. …. The MOU will hand the obligation to repair, remodel, add to, extend, maintain, operate, improve and construct and erect at Oriole Park to the Orioles. Because of the “parity clause” included in the MSA’s lease with the Ravens, this right will extend to the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Team owners now and in the future will have these rights even though the stadiums are owned and financed by the citizens of Maryland and, if they are in disrepair, the taxpayers will be asked to spend money to do what should have been done all along. Thomas Kelso/Maryland Matters.

JUDGE TO WEIGH TIME FRAME FOR FILING SEX ABUSE CLAIMS AGAINST CLERGY: Soon, a federal judge will make one of the first key decisions in the Archdiocese of Baltimore bankruptcy. How much time should survivors have to file a claim of clergy sex abuse? An earlier deadline would hasten payments to all survivors, but shorten their window to join in the case. A later deadline would delay their payments, but give them more time to reckon with their trauma and make up their minds. Tim Prudente and Ryan Little/The Baltimore Banner.

ULMAN ELECTED CHAIR OF MD DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Former Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, a one-time rising political star in Maryland who more recently has been a key consultant and influencer in the state on economic development and construction projects, is returning to the political arena. Ulman was overwhelmingly elected the new state Democratic chair Saturday morning. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

STATE FUNDING FOR ARUNDEL ROAD PROJECTS: The design phase of a widening project for part of Route 214 will be fully funded by the end of next year. Meanwhile, money is still being sought to complete design work for other Anne Arundel priorities, including road widening projects on Routes 2 and 3, the state says. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.

BRANDON SCOTT KICKS OFF MAYORAL CAMPAIGN: As Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott is fond of telling people, it’s his 17th year in City Hall. He was first hired as a staffer under future Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, then became councilman and council president. By 2020, he was elected to the city’s highest office. Now Scott is seeking a second term as mayor. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Mayor Brandon Scott kicked off his campaign for a second term Saturday afternoon surrounded by about 100 supporters at the Cahill Recreation Center, giving voters their first glimpse of the message he will push as he faces former Mayor Sheila Dixon in the 2024 primary. Emily Sullivan/The Baltimore Banner.
  • Scott faces former Mayor Dixon in the primary, as well as Bob Wallace, who ran against Scott in the 2020 general election as an independent, among other candidates. Taylor DeVille, Emily Sullivan and Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

STUDY: GAS POWERED YARD EQUIPMENT GENERATES MUCH POLLUTION: Leaf blowers — along with gas-powered lawn mowers, string trimmers, chainsaws and other garden equipment, generate an alarming amount of air pollution. Some machines emit as much pollution in an hour as driving hundreds of miles in a car. A recently released report by the Maryland PIRG Foundation attempts to quantify the public health risks and potential damage. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

OPINION: JUVENILES OFFENDERS NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE: Too often when considering juveniles who are alleged to have committed a crime, we attempt to minimize the community impact of these incidents. And too often, juveniles commit a crime, police apprehend the offenders, and the State Department of Juvenile Services releases them within hours back into the community where they offended. Dawn Luedtke/MoCo 360.

TRONE TAGS SELF AS A DISRUPTOR AS HE SEEKS U.S. SENATE SEAT: U.S. Rep. David Trone has seen a lot in nearly five years in office. Now running for U.S. Senate, he says he’s heard a lot too — from Marylanders across the state “dissatisfied, unhappy with the political system.” Asked how he reconciles his congressional career with the dissatisfaction of the political system as he campaigns for higher office, his answer is simple. “I’m a total disruptor in the system,” the third-term Democrat said. Dwight Weingarten/The Hagerstown Herald Mail.

ALSOBROOKS SEES NEED FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY THREADING THE STATE: Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks has crisscrossed the state in her discussion of issues that she has heard from Marylanders during her campaign so far for U.S. Senate. She started with health care access on the Eastern Shore, moved to housing affordability in Western Maryland and educational funding in Frederick before providing a point of summation: “Economic opportunity is threaded throughout the state.” Dwight Weingarten/The Hagerstown Herald Mail.

STATE HAS 700 HISTORICAL MARKERS; NOT ALL ARE CORRECT: Maryland roads include more than 700 historical markers commemorating famous battles and buildings. Some hark back to the years before Catholic settlers even founded the colony in 1634. Others are more recent. What they share is that many fail to convey the whole story. They’re not supposed to; at 70 words apiece, the idea is to whet an appetite to learn more. Yet a motorist might well learn the wrong information. Rona Kobell/The Baltimore Banner.

BLUEPRINT’s IMPACT ON CECIL SCHOOLS OUTLINED: Cecil County Public Schools will see a number of changes to fund allocation, expanded early childhood learning and college prep and increased teacher salaries as a result of the implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. At an informational meeting held last Monday, CCPS Superintendent Jeffrey Lawson outlined the impact that Blueprint, which is a five pillar statewide funding initiative that was signed into law in 2021, will have on CCPS’s operations. Matt Hubbard/The Cecil Whig.

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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