TRANSPORTATION DEPT FACES 8% CUTS DUE TO SHORTFALLS: Maryland’s Department of Transportation is facing billions in cuts to address shortfalls that will squeeze operations and construction budgets. State officials spent the better part of this past week briefing lawmakers and local leaders on an 8% across-the-board cut to all the agencies within the department. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
- The six-year plan calls for the 8 percent cut in the annual budgets of the state’s highway, transit, ports and airports agencies, along with the Motor Vehicle Administration. Construction budgets at most of the agencies would face even deeper cuts, according to the summary. Ian Duncan and Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
‘MEDICAL AID-IN-DYING’ ADVOCATES HOPEFUL FOR 2024 LEGISLATION: In Maryland, physicians are prohibited from participating in so-called “medical aid-in-dying.” Maryland lawmakers have tried year after year, but so far, no bill to legalize medical aid in dying has passed. But supporters of the legislation think that 2024 might be the year it passes, due to a changing political climate and overall voter support for the measure. The General Assembly is set to convene Jan. 10. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.
DEM U.S. SENATE HOPEFULS SEEK TO APPEAL TO LATINO VOTERS IN 1st FORUM: In their first shared stage in the vote-rich suburbs of D.C., the three Democratic candidates seeking Maryland’s open U.S. Senate seat pitched themselves to the state’s growing Latino population on Sunday, each arguing they could best represent the diverse community’s long-overlooked needs. Those three contenders are telecom executive Juan Dominguez, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and U.S. Rep. David Trone. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
- The candidates took questions from community members on issues relevant to the Latino community, Prince George’s County and beyond. Forum topics focused on issues impacting the Latino community, like immigration reform, representation in government and supporting Latino students in public schools. Megan Clarke/WBFF-TV News.
ALSOBROOKS V TRONE: ON ABORTION: Given the powerful motivator abortion has been for Democratic voters since Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court more than a year ago, both of the party’s Senate frontrunners – U.S. Rep. David Trone and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks – have gone to lengths to highlight their bona fides. Louis Peck/MoCo 360.
TRONE V ALSOBROOKS: ON DIVERSITY: In a majority-Black jurisdiction of Prince George’s County, the absence of Latinos – who currently account for nearly one-quarter of the county’s population—in high-ranking positions in the county government has been a continuing source of controversy for County Executive Angela Alsobrooks during her tenure as executive. And her leading opponent, U.S. Rep. David Trone, presumably sensing a vulnerability, has begun to raise the issue. Louis Peck/MoCo 360.
POLL FINDS TRONE AHEAD: A recent poll from Hickman Analytics Inc. finds David Trone leading the primary stage for U.S. Senate among Democratic voters. Hickman found Trone has an advantage on name recognition, with 86% of Democratic voters have heard the name “David Trone.” This is 13% higher than opponent, Angela Alsobrooks, with 73% of voters recognizing her name, the poll found. Megan Rodgers/WBFF-TV News. Editor’s note: David Trone is on Hickman Analytics client list.
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OPINION: FORMER STADIUM AUTHORITY CHAIR WEIGHS IN ON O’s MOU: Beginning in 2017, I and senior members of the Maryland Stadium Authority team began discussions to determine ways to improve the Camden Yards complex. We envisioned the 85 acres of Camden Yards (the two sports stadiums plus Camden Station, the B&O Warehouse and surrounding parking) as a vibrant whole and key contributor to the revitalization of the west side of downtown Baltimore. Unfortunately, the Orioles are trying to take over the Warehouse, Camden Station, Oriole Park and much of the parking for their own vision. Financially, this is a bad deal for the State of Maryland, as many have noted. Thomas Kelso/Baltimore Brew.
STATE SUPREMES TO HEAR ‘QUALIFIED IMMUNITY’ ARGUMENTS: The Maryland Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments Monday in the civil case of Korryn Gaines’ son Kodi, who was shot by Baltimore County Police in 2016. The case could have broader consequences for bystanders injured in police shootings. After a standoff, 5-year-old Kodi was injured in the shooting that killed his mother and had to undergo multiple surgeries, according to court filings. Cassidy Jensen/The Baltimore Sun.
ACCESSING GENDER-AFFIRMING CARE REMAINS DIFFICULT: While access to gender-affirming care has improved in the last 10 years, it still varies across Maryland. From finding experienced doctors to availability of prescribed hormones, trans care can require a lot of work on the patient’s part. Tommy Tucker of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.
SEN. CARDIN, MD ENVIRO SECRETARY HEAD TO CLIMATE CONFERENCE: U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D) and state Environment Secretary Serena McIlwain are the top Maryland officials headed to the annual international climate conference now underway in the United Arab Emirates. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
PROTECTIONS INSTITUTED FOR THREATENED ROCKFISH: In the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, invasive predators, warming waters and overfishing have threatened the immensely popular striped bass, known locally as rockfish. The stock of young striped bass has been troublingly low since 2019, making this the worst stretch in the species’ history since its population collapsed in the 1980s. Maryland is deploying emergency rules shortening the 2024 fishing window to protect the weeks during and after spawning season. Katie Shepherd/The Washington Post.
ARCHIVE OF 20th CENTURY MARYLAND VITAL RECORDS AVAILABLE ON LINE: A team of genealogists, historians and researchers obtained more than 5 million 20th century vital records from the Maryland State Archives. Now, they’ve made them available for anyone to view online at no cost. Their goal was to obtain and digitize over 100 years of Maryland birth, marriage, death and naturalization documents, a project they dubbed The Maryland Motherlode. The records can now be viewed on the Internet Archive. Penelope Blackwell/The Baltimore Banner.
BLACK ATTY GENS ON RACIAL EQUITY, POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY: There is a record number of Black attorneys general, seven in total, serving today. The Associated Press spoke with six sitting Black attorneys general – including Maryland AG Anthony Brown – about their views on racial equity, public safety, police accountability and protecting democratic institutions. Matt Brown/The Associated Press.
CARROLL SHERIFF CONTINUES INMATES DRUG TREATMENT: The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office will continue providing drug treatment services to inmates at the Carroll County Detention Center, under a mandate by the state. At its meeting Thursday, the Board of Carroll County Commissioners unanimously approved a $109,000 contract with Genesis Treatment Services of Westminster for assessments, treatment, counseling and medications for inmates with opioid use disorders. Sherry Greenfield/The Carroll County Times.
WOMAN SHUTTLE ASTRONAUT WHO FLEW AFTER CHALLENGER DIES AT 76: Mary Cleave, the NASA astronaut who in 1989 became the first woman to fly on a space shuttle mission after the Challenger disaster, has died at the age of 76 in Annapolis. Staff/The Baltimore Sun.