FULL ANIMAL SHELTERS SIGNAL HOUSING CRISIS IN MARYLAND: If you want to find out how bad the housing crisis is, just check the animal shelters. In Maryland and many places around the country, housing-related issues are now the main reason pets are surrendered. Animal shelters are filling up with beloved pets from families who’ve lost their homes or can’t find an affordable place to live that allows companion animals. In the Baltimore area, dogs in particular are being surrendered and abandoned now at rates never seen. Meredith Cohn and Hallie Miller/The Baltimore Banner.
MOORE SPLITS YOUTH ISSUES FROM CRIME PREVENTION: On Thursday, Gov. Wes Moore (D) signed two executive orders that cleave the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth and Victim’s Services — created in 2020 through an executive order signed by then Gov. Larry Hogan (R) — into two entities. One, the Governor’s Office for Children, will focus on issues of childhood poverty, education and justice in Maryland. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
BLUEPRINT HAS SEEN EDUCATION STRIDES, OFFICIALS SAY: State and local education leaders say they’ve seen success in implementing the multi-billion-dollar Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, an education funding plan, over the past year. In a legislative hearing Friday, the state education department and Blueprint Accountability and Implementation board shared strides made in teacher certification, career readiness standards, and student services. Bri Hatch/WYPR-FM.
CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM RISES AMONG YOUNGER SCHOOL CHILDREN: Maryland state lawmakers and education leaders are searching for ways to decrease chronic absenteeism in schools statewide, which is growing for children in younger grades. Over one-third of Maryland K-12 students missed 10% or more school days last year, the state education department presented in a senate hearing Thursday. That number varies by local district, with 54.1% of Baltimore City students and 34.7% of Baltimore County students hitting that mark. Bri Hatch/WYPR-FM.
IN YEAR TWO: MOORE’s GOALS FOR BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: When Gov. Wes Moore packed up and moved from his North Baltimore home to the governor’s mansion in Annapolis this time last year, he left with a promise to his adopted hometown, the state’s largest city that many felt Moore’s predecessor abandoned in his eight years in office. The Democrat’s $63 billion state budget plan would make strides in some of the areas while leaving some essential questions for future years up in the air, Baltimore-area lawmakers said this week. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
- In addition to the goals Moore set for himself, the state needs billions annually to pay for promises Democrats already made. He wants to spark new high-growth industries such as making Maryland the “offshore wind capital of the U.S.” and a hub for cyber jobs, and to rehabilitate juvenile offenders, among other things. And he has redoubled his commitment to the grand ambitions he laid out in his inauguration speech to tackle systemic problems created over centuries. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
EX-SEN. GRIFFITH SPREADS HER CAMPAIGN WEALTH: Melony G. Griffith, the new president of the Maryland Hospital Association who was the chair of the state Senate Finance Committee until late last fall, spread tens of thousands of dollars in funds from her campaign war chest to former colleagues in the days leading up to the General Assembly session. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
W. MD. DEMS CANCEL STRAW POLL AFTER SUMMIT TICKETS SELL OUT: Last Monday, the Western Maryland Democratic Political Action Committee put tickets up for sale for its next summit, which is scheduled for April 12 and 13. They sold out in a morning, a first — and a promising sign, at first glance. But some Democrats who were unable to buy tickets immediately wondered if someone had bought up all the seats in an effort to sway the results of its straw poll. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
CHANGES TO DELEGATIONS HIERARCHY: Besides new leadership in the delegation representing Prince George’s County, there weren’t many other changes among the state’s delegations, according to the General Assembly website. Here’s the list. William Ford/Maryland Matters.
OPINION: THE FACE OF THE MARYLAND GOP: The annual campaign finance reports show a desperate situation for Maryland Republicans. Amazing what happens to fundraising when Donald Trump is the face of the GOP and the Republicans nominate an unlikeable and uncompetitive candidate for governor. Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin.
MELBY TO HEAD MOCO GOP CENTRAL COMMITTEE: Dennis Melby, who served as first vice chair of the committee in 2023, was elected Tuesday evening to his second stint as chair of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee. The new Maryland Legislative Jewish Caucus has a majority made up of Montgomery County members. Montgomery County Council President Andrew Friedson has raised over $800,000 in his potential 2026 run for Montgomery County executive. Ginny Bixby and Louis Peck/MoCo 360.
***Coming off the success of his first play, “Baltimore You have No Idea,” Sun columnist Dan Rodricks has produced “Baltimore Docket,” which dramatizes seven trials he has covered over the years. Three of six performances in February are already sold out. Click for tickets here.***
AS FILING DEADLINE NEARS, WA CO CANDIDATES SPARSE: The filing deadline for candidates in this year’s election is two weeks away. But as of Friday, the number of candidates for Washington County offices was sparse. Staff/The Hagerstown Herald Mail.
OPENING STATEMENTS TODAY IN MOSBY FRAUD TRIAL: Attorneys are set to give opening statements Monday morning in the federal mortgage fraud trial of former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who faces two counts of mortgage fraud for allegedly making several false claims on mortgage applications for two properties in Florida. With those statements, prosecutors and defense attorneys will offer the jury previews of the evidence they plan to present in the case and how each side believes it should be interpreted. Alex Mann/The Baltimore Sun.
B’MORE PUBLIC WORKS STAFF SHUTS DOWN REPORTER: Baltimore Department of Public Works staffers abruptly shut down a reporter’s coverage of the annual meeting on Baltimore’s progress in ending sewage overflows and basement backups that’s mandated by state and federal regulators. Fern Shen/Baltimore Brew.
ON THE MEDIA: THE SUN PURCHASE: This year has had a rocky start for journalism. The Baltimore Sun changed hands again, and layoffs loom at the LA Times. On this week’s On the Media, hear how private investment firms broke local news. Meanwhile, nonprofit publications try to repair the damage. Staff/On the Media.