TICKET SCALPING DRAWS LAWMAKERS’ ATTENTION: Maryland legislators on Wednesday joined a growing chorus of state officials demanding limits on the reach of Big Tech with two data privacy bills and legislation that would outlaw ticket scalping in the state. Katie Shepherd/The Washington Post.
- With consumer protections in mind, the Maryland General Assembly is looking to stop ticket resellers from price gouging eager concertgoers and arts fans this legislative session. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
- “While the spotlight on ticket reform arose because of the exorbitant ticket prices associated with the recent Taylor Swift tour, this issue…extends beyond major shows and globally renowned artists affecting our local venues like Maryland Hall or Merriweather Post Pavilion,” said Sen. Dawn Gile (D-Anne Arundel) and lead sponsor of Senate Bill 539. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
LAWMAKERS QUESTION JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORMS’ IMPACT: Almost two years after passing landmark youth justice reform, Maryland lawmakers are scrutinizing its impact on young offenders – and questioning whether they’ve done enough to make things better. The 2022 reforms were meant to help more young offenders avoid incarceration and get on the path to rehabilitation. But with spikes in auto thefts, carjackings and handgun violations by youth around the state, lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle are thinking about refining and updating the reforms this year. Steph Quinn of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporters.
SENATE PANELS HOPES TO ADDRESS FLAGGING SCHOOL ATTENDANCE: As the Maryland General Assembly continues to consider legislation to address juvenile crime, the Senate committee tasked with tackling such topics highlighted a related issue even more fundamental than student achievement: school attendance. Statewide, over a quarter of Maryland’s kindergarten through 12th grade students (29.8%) were “chronically absent” in school year 2022-2023. Dwight Weingarten/The Hagerstown Herald Mail.
INFANT MORTALITY RATE IN B’MORE DROPS: A public health initiative B’more for Healthy Babies and the Baltimore City Health Department marked National Maternal Health Awareness Day and celebrated a victory for the city. In 2021, fewer babies in Baltimore died per 1,000 live births than ever recorded, said Rebecca Dineen, assistant commissioner for the city health department’s bureau of maternal and child health. That year, 7.5 infants died per 1,000 live births, about half of the rate in 2009, when Baltimore had one of the worst infant mortality rates in the country at 13.5 per 1,000 live births. Angela Roberts/The Baltimore Sun.
COALITION SEEKS TO BOOST WAGES OF HOME CARE WORKERS: Each year, thousands of Marylanders who are aging or have disabilities receive health care through a family member’s help, in nursing homes, or from at-home patient visits. But a coalition of health organizations believe that those types of health care workers are often not paid adequately for their service. Caring Across Maryland, a coalition that includes health care worker union 1199 SEIU, has announced its support for bills in the 2024 legislative session aimed to support home care, nursing home workers and family caregivers. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.
MO CO PRINCIPAL ACCUSED OF HARASSMENT OUT AT MCPS: A former Montgomery County principal accused of sexual harassment and bullying is “no longer an employee” of the school system, a schools spokesman said Wednesday. Nicole Asbury/The Washington Post.
- Former Farquhar Middle School Principal Joel Beidleman had been on administrative leave since Aug. 4. Montgomery County’s inspector general determined on Dec. 1 that he had engaged in bullying and harassment and violated MCPS’ Code of Conduct. As of Dec. 18, he was no longer receiving a salary, according to the MCPS spokesman. Courtney Cohn/MoCo360.
MCPS WARNED OF MISCONDUCT, DID LITTLE REPAIR WORK: IG’s REPORT: Montgomery County Public Schools officials were warned multiple times since 2019 about problems with how the district investigates employees’ reports of misconduct but did little to fix the problems, according to a new report by the county’s inspector general. Nicole Asbury/The Washington Post.
CASSILLY VETOES NEW HOTEL TAX FORMULA: Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly vetoed a new formula for distributing hotel tax revenue a week after Harford County Council passed it. Cassilly cautioned against using this spending formula that would change how the $750,000 in hotel tax revenue would be directed. Tony Roberts/The Aegis.
HARFORD RECONSIDERS 2013 STUDENT CELLPHONE POLICY: The Harford County school board is weighing whether to allow middle school students to possess cellphones in the classroom. The current policy, last amended in 2013, allows students of all levels to have deactivated cellphones during school hours. Dillon Mullan/The Aegis.
PROSECUTORS FINISH CASE AGAINST MOSBY: Federal prosecutors finished presenting their case on Wednesday against former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who’s accused of repeatedly lying on mortgage applications to influence lenders related to the purchase of two luxury vacation homes. Dylan Segelbaum/The Baltimore Banner.