State Roundup: Moore pauses O’s lease agreement; federal suit filed against Wicomico County challenges at-large districts

State Roundup: Moore pauses O’s lease agreement; federal suit filed against Wicomico County challenges at-large districts

HAPPY HOLIDAYS OPEN HOUSE: Gov. Wes Moore greets the musicians who performed Saturday at the holiday open house at Government House, the residence of Maryland's governors and their families. Hundreds of people lined up to greet Moore and first lady Dawn Moore during the annual event. Governor's Office photo by Patrick Siebert and Anthony DePanise.

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AFTER FERGUSON’s OBJECTION, MOORE PAUSES O’s LEASE AGREEMENT: Gov. Wes Moore paused a new lease agreement with the Orioles on Friday after pushback from a key lawmaker who objected to a provision that he said would not be in the state’s interest. After years of negotiation, the Orioles and the state had reached a tentative agreement on a lease deal that would keep the club at Oriole Park at Camden Yards for 30 more years. Jeff Barker, Hayes Gardner and Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.

COLUMN: JOHN ANGELOS FEELS THE HEAT: You’d think the owner of a baseball team that just won 101 games would be enjoying at least a brief period of grace. But with a long-term lease deal getting snagged yet again, John Angelos is feeling the heat. Orioles fans are disgruntled enough to cross their fingers for a new owner to sweep through and take over just in time for the holidays. Kyle Goon/The Baltimore Banner.

STATE BUDGETING EXPECTED TO FACE A DIFFICULT TIME: Gov. Wes Moore addressed controversial cuts to the state’s transportation budget Thursday, largely pointing to former Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration rather than his own for the shortfall. “Our predecessors turned away from making hard choices on what should and should not be prioritized as a state government,” Moore said as he addressed attendees of the Maryland Association of Counties winter conference Thursday. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Moore escalated his call to rein in state spending this week, telling a convention of local government leaders the “hard truth” is the state has to pick some priorities at the expense of others. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
  • Eric Luedtke, Moore’s chief legislative officer, told county officials Friday that the coming legislative session will center around “answering some really tough questions” because of an end to billions in federal aid that pumped up state coffers in recent years. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

MOORE TO INTRODUCE ABOUT A DOZEN BILLS: Gov. Wes Moore previewed his legislative initiatives during the Maryland Association of Counties winter conference in Cambridge on Thursday night, indicating his intent to introduce around a dozen bills during legislative session that begins in January. He previewed bills on data center infrastructure, the law enforcement workforce and several on housing. Dwight Weingarten/The Hagerstown Herald Mail.

  • Northern Virginia is home to almost 300 data centers, the highest concentration of these facilities in the world. But Maryland is looking to get in on the action, and the push to make the state a major hub for data centers is a top priority of Gov. Wes Moore (D) and will be part of his legislative package in the upcoming General Assembly session. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

FEDERAL SUIT FILED AGAINST WICOMICO CO. TARGETS AT-LARGE DISTRICTS: Civil rights groups and residents in Wicomico County filed a federal voting rights lawsuit Thursday against the county on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, alleging that its system for electing school board and council members is racially discriminatory and unlawful. Joe Heim/The Washington Post.

  • “I hope we see true diversity and representation considering these are elected positions,” said Monica Brooks, president of the Wicomico County Branch of the NAACP. “In the current system, there’s one space allocated for the people of color. Attempts to (create) diversity have all failed particularly in the At-Large space for people of color. This system isn’t benefitting our community in any way, shape, or form.” Kristian Jaime/The Salisbury Daily Times.
  • The suit alleges the county suppresses Black voters by electing “at large” members of the county school board and the council. That process makes it nearly impossible for more Black school board members and council representatives to be elected proportionate to the population. Stephen Janis and Taya Graham/The Afro.

SOLUTIONS SOUGHT TO AID YOUTH IN MENTAL HEALTH DECLINE: Declining mental health among young people is an ongoing issue, as lawmakers, workplaces and even local schools look for solutions to help kids and adolescents who are struggling with anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide. But the issue is multifaceted, according to Sara DiLeonardo, behavioral clinical strategist with Cigna Healthcare, who spoke at the Maryland Association of Counties winter conference in Cambridge. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

POLITICAL NOTES: MOORE NAMES COMMISSION MEMBERS; OLSZEWSKI TO HEAD MACo: Gov. Wes Moore named a slate of new members to the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs this week. Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. was named board president of the Maryland Association of Counties at the nonprofit’s annual winter conference Thursday. Hallie Miller and Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Sun.

OPINION: ARCHDIOCESE BANKRUPTCY ALLOWS EQUITABLE COMPENSATION: The Archdiocese of Baltimore recently announced its decision to file for Chapter 11 reorganization under the U.S. bankruptcy code in response to numerous anticipated lawsuits stemming from historic and previously time-barred cases of child sexual abuse. The lawsuits can go forward under a recent change in Maryland law. There was no other choice that would allow the Archdiocese to both provide equitable financial compensation to survivors of abuse who bravely have come forward to report the evil they suffered and for the Church to continue its mission. It’s a mission that does a tremendous amount of good in the community, as I’ve seen firsthand. Joe Foss/The Baltimore Banner.

MAYOR SCOTT TO UNVEIL PLAN TO ADDRESS VACANT HOUSING: Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott will unveil an ambitious $3 billion plan Monday to attack the city’s thousands of vacant properties, promising to address a decades-old problem with funding from a newly created Tax Increment Financing zone and a yet-to-be-secured state investment. Emily Opilo and Lorraine Mirabella/The Baltimore Sun.

LONGTIME HOWARD AUDITOR OUT? Longtime Howard County Auditor Craig N. Glendenning appears to have been removed from his position without any announcement. As reported previously in Baltimore Fishbowl, Glendenning received heated criticism for an investigative report into a tip that a local chapter of the sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha received preferencial treatment in the use of county library space. The audit report included descriptions of participants’ race and gender which some felt were inappropriate. Matthew Liptak/Baltimore Fishbowl.

  • The county’s council, which appoints the local government’s auditor, had “decided to move in a different direction” from Craig Glendenning, who has held the locality’s watchdog post for 11 years, District 2 Councilmember Opel Jones said Sunday. Dan Belson/The Baltimore Sun.

MO CO TEACHER SUSPENDED FOR PALESTINE RALLYING CRY: A Montgomery County Public Schools employee alleges that school officials discriminated against her by placing her on administrative leave for writing, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” in her school email signature. Nicole Asbury/The Washington Post.

HOPKINS BUILDS AI HUB FROM MUCH LAUDED COVID TRACKER: It began as a pandemic-era tool bookmarked by internet browsers, crawling along television news chyrons and cited in local public health updates. More than 2.5 billion views later, the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard’s lasting, yet lesser-known, legacy may be how it helped attract monumental funding to build an artificial intelligence hub in Baltimore. Lillian Reed/The Baltimore Banner.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

cynthiaprairie@gmail.com
https://www.chestertelegraph.org/

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: cynthiaprairie@gmail.com

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