STATE OFFICIALS RALLY TO CODIFY REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: Top government officials rallied Monday in Annapolis as they start to make a final push to codify reproductive rights into the Maryland state constitution. Maryland first lady Dawn Moore and House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne Jones (D-Baltimore County) called on Maryland voters to cast their ballots this November for a constitutional amendment protecting abortion in the state. Scott Maucione/WYPR-FM.
- “While states like our neighbor, West Virginia, passed a near total abortion ban and closed their doors on reproductive rights, Maryland has opened ours,” Moore said. “So Maryland is doing the right thing today, but we don’t know who our elected leaders are going to be 20, 30 years from now.” Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
MOORE BUDGET DOESN’T RESOLVE BILLIONS IN SHORTFALL: A $63 billion budget proposed by Gov. Wes Moore (D) resolves short-term budget concerns but does little to address billions of dollars in projected budget shortfalls in coming years, legislative analysts said Monday. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
HEALTH CARE ADVOCATES SEEK BETTER ACCESS, LOWER DRUG PRICES: In what is shaping up to be a financially difficult year for the General Assembly, community health and hospital advocates hope state lawmakers consider bills that would improve access to care for low-income Marylanders, help reduce high-cost drug prices and reform prior authorization practices. Angela Roberts/The Baltimore Sun.
LEGISLATIVE GROUP SEEKS TO PREVENT COLLEGE PROGRAM DUPLICATION: A legislative work group assigned to evaluate policies for approving or denying college degree programs offered a list of recommendations for the Maryland Higher Education Commission, several of which focused on preventing program duplication. Lilly Price/The Baltimore Sun.
COMMENTARY: IMPOSING ‘CAGE FREE’ ON OUT-OF-STATE EGGS: Three-quarters of the eggs sold in Maryland are raised in other states. HB0357 / SB0193, a bill in the General Assembly, presumes to impose “cage-free” standards not just on Maryland chicken farmers, but on farmers elsewhere who produce the other three-quarters of the supply, by making the sale of noncompliant eggs unlawful. Whether or not laws like this would pass muster at the current court, they remain an aggressive and uncalled-for extraterritorial extension of state police power. Walter Olson/The Cato Institute.
TRUMP TO APPEAR ON GOP PRIMARY BALLOT, DESPITE PROTESTS: Donald Trump will be on Republican ballots during Maryland’s presidential primary this spring, though it appears a vocal contingent of voters aren’t happy about it. They wrote to the state by the dozens urging Secretary of State Susan Lee to disqualify the ex-president from the ballot, as other states have attempted. The crux of the argument is that Trump instigated an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
OPINION: ANDY HARRIS SPITS INTO THE WIND: Saturday’s hearing was not a thoughtful examination of wind power. It was spit-in-the-wind politics by Maryland’s lone Republican in Congress, U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, and two fellow congressional Republicans from the Jersey Shore. Supporting players like Rick Meehan, the longtime mayor of Ocean City, gave their lines on cue. Rick Hutzell/The Baltimore Banner.
***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.***
HOWARD MAN SENTENCED FOR THREATENING LGBTQI GROUPS, STATE DELEGATE: A Howard County man was sentenced Thursday to two years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for leaving a threatening voicemail message with a group that advocates for LGBTQI+ people. Adam Michael Nettina, 34, of West Friendship also delivered threats to two legislators, a state delegate from Maryland and one from Virginia. John John Williams/The Baltimore Banner.
PROSECUTORS, DEFENSE PAINT TWO DIFFERENT MARILYN MOSBYS: Federal prosecutors began presenting their case on Monday against Marilyn Mosby, a Democrat who served two terms as the city’s top prosecutor from 2015-2023, arguing that she’s a smart and sophisticated lawyer who knew exactly what she was doing when she filled out two mortgage applications without disclosing necessary information. But Mosby’s attorneys contended that their client trusted and relied upon loved ones and licensed professionals to navigate a complex and unfamiliar process, acted in good faith and committed no crime. Dyland Segelbaum/The Baltimore Banner.
AUDITORS FIND B’MORE POLICE FAILED TO MONITOR OVERTIME: Police overtime in Baltimore has been reduced in recent years, but it remains largely unsupervised and conducted in violation of the department’s own policies, auditors conclude in a wide-ranging report released today. Mark Reutter/The Baltimore Brew.
- The review, which covers Dec. 20, 2020 to June 30, 2022, found that 100 officers logged more than 1,000 hours of overtime during fiscal year 2022 at a cost of nearly $7.7 million. Seven officers each received more than $100,000 in overtime that same year. William Ford/Maryland Matters.
COMMENTARY: SUN NEEDS A CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: As the Sun comes under the influence of its new owner, conservative David Smith of Sinclair, its important to have those conservative voices back. I’m not a fan of Dan Rodricks’ viewpoints, but he is on top of a wide array of Baltimore issues. Keep him, please. Hire a regular conservative columnist like the late Gregory Kane and bring back former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (full disclosure, a friend). Richard Vatz/Baltimore Banner.
OPINION: AN OPEN LETTER TO DAVID SMITH, FROM A JOURNALIST: There’s been a lot of loathing expressed for you since the news broke that you bought the Sun, much of it focused on the way you use your more than 200 TV stations to promote a conservative view of what’s wrong with America. I’ve got no problem with critical news coverage, or conservative values. What I do object to is fear-mongering based on race, crime, gender, poverty and convenient stereotypes. That’s what many observers are worried you’re about to do, Mr. Smith. Rick Hutzell/The Baltimore Banner.
FORMER SEN. LARRY HAINES DIES AT 85: Larry Eugene Haines, a Republican dairy farmer who became a real estate broker. then served 20 years in the Maryland Senate, died Jan. 13 at Lorien Taneytown, an assisted living facility. He was 85. Jacques Kelly/The Baltimore Sun.