State Roundup: Advocates hope to raise the tipped minimum wage through ballot issue; lawmakers propose tougher sentences for crimes in ‘sacred spaces’

State Roundup: Advocates hope to raise the tipped minimum wage through ballot issue; lawmakers propose tougher sentences for crimes in ‘sacred spaces’

Advocates hope to see a higher minimum wage for tipped workers on the ballot. Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

ADVOCATES OF HIGHER MINIMUM WAGE FOR TIPPED WORKERS SEEK TO GET ISSUE ON BALLOT: Advocates pushing for a higher minimum wage for tipped workers announced Tuesday that they will press to take the question directly to Maryland voters in November after lawmakers scrapped a bill that would have raised the pay floor. Katie Shepherd/The Washington Post.

LAWMAKERS PROPOSE TOUGH SENTENCES FOR CRIMES IN ‘SACRED SPACES:’ In recent years, violent crimes have occurred in places that shock the conscience: there was the attempted murder of a middle school student on a bus, and an actual murder in a graveyard during a funeral. Now, state lawmakers in Prince George’s County are proposing tougher sentences for crimes that happen in certain “sacred spaces.” John Domen/WTOP-FM.

BROWN EXPANDS PROBE OF CHURCH SEX ABUSE, SEEKS NEW TESTIMONY: The office of Attorney General Anthony Brown (D) is actively seeking testimony from victims of child sex abuse in Maryland locations of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware, for its ongoing probe into the Catholic Church. Glynis Kazanjian/Maryland Matters.

MOORE ANNOUNCES REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH EXPANSION: The Moore administration announced over $15 million in grant awards and a budget proposal aimed to improve reproductive health care and abortion access across Maryland. The funding announcement comes during an election year when voters will have the opportunity, on the November ballot, to vote to amend the state’s Constitution to enshrine Marylanders’ right to terminate or continue a pregnancy. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

REFORM OF DIMINUTION CREDIT SYSTEM CATCHING ON: Lawmakers have had the chance to pass versions of “Geraldine’s Law” multiple times. But the idea of reforming the diminution credit system hasn’t caught real momentum until this session, after the murder of Pava LaPere in September. Her accused killer was let out of prison early, 11 months before her murder, thanks to diminution credits. He was previously serving time for a sexual assault. Elizabeth Worthington/WMAR-TV News.

SCHOOL AUDIT FINDS $12.3 MILLION FOR UNDERSERVED STUDENTS UNUSED: A state audit shows at least eight Maryland school systems didn’t use $12.3 million designated for students in underserved communities. According to the document from the Office of the Inspector General for Education, officials with the Maryland State Department of Education didn’t provide training and guidance for local school officials to utilize what are known as concentration of poverty grants. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

POLL: BIDEN TOPS TRUMP IN MARYLAND, SEES TROUBLE NATIONALLY: President Biden would win Maryland again if the 2024 election were held today but a newly released poll suggests problems for the incumbent nationally. A new poll released Wednesday by Annapolis-based Gonzales Research & Media finds Biden continues to dominate Republican former President Donald Trump in a presumed head-to-head general election contest. But Biden’s lead in the survey is one-third smaller than his victory over Trump in 2020. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO MARYLAND’s ‘POWER COUPLES:’ There are power couples all over this state. The people on our annual list of Maryland power couples are generally celebrities in the small, odd-ball world of Maryland politics. Every Valentine’s Day, we honor them. As usual, our power couples list leans heavily toward those who spend most of their time in Annapolis, working in or around state government and politics. But we try to look beyond the borders of State Circle when we can. Staff/Maryland Matters.

FEDERAL LAWMAKERS HOPE TO PRESERVE AIR GUARD FLIGHTS AT MARTIN: Federal lawmakers from Maryland say they are having conversations “at the highest levels of the Pentagon” to try to convince the Air Force to preserve a flight mission at Martin State Airport in Middle River, home of the Maryland Air National Guard’s 175th Wing. The Air Force is phasing out its A-10 “Warthog” attack aircraft over the next five years. No aircraft has been designated to replace them, leaving hundreds of the A-10 program’s pilots and other workers at the Warfield Air National Guard Base in limbo. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.

HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS FOR INNER HARBOR MAY GO AWAY: Plans for redevelopment of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor inched forward yet again on Tuesday evening. After a four hour long meeting, the Baltimore City Council’s Economic and Community Development committee advanced legislation that would expand the footprint of Inner Harbor and remove height restrictions for buildings at the harbor’s waterfront. Emily Hofstaedter/WYPR-FM.

  • Since P. David Bramble and his development firm MCB Real Estate unveiled renderings of their revamped Harborplace in October, the designs have inspired both love and hate in Baltimore residents. Elected officials by and large have expressed broad support for the developer’s vision. Manyleaders — including Mayor Brandon Scott and Gov. Wes Moore — lined up alongside Bramble when he debuted his designs last fall. Adam Willis/The Baltimore Banner.

PARK SCHOOL ALUMS PROTEST CENSORSHIP: More than 200 alumni, faculty and students have signed a letter to The Park School of Baltimore condemning the school’s decision to abruptly cancel an assembly about the war between Israel and Hamas, calling the school’s actions censorship and the antithesis of its longstanding progressive values. Liz Bowie and Kristen Griffin/The Baltimore Banner.

JOSEPH CLARKE, 83, HUSBAND OF MARY PAT CLARKE: Joseph Clarke, a real estate developer who saw the potential of Fell Point’s old Recreation Pier, died Saturday of complications of a fall. He was 83, and the husband of long time Baltimore City Councilmember Mary Pat Clarke. He was also an informal political advisor. “Joe was jovial, collegial and helpful to me,” said former U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. Jacques Kelly/The Baltimore Sun.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

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:

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