State Roundup: Drugstores, opioid makers reach settlement with state; lawmakers continue to see approval for Juvenile Justice bill; Moore’s ‘ENOUGH’ anti-poverty act faces spending scrutiny

State Roundup: Drugstores, opioid makers reach settlement with state; lawmakers continue to see approval for Juvenile Justice bill; Moore’s ‘ENOUGH’ anti-poverty act faces spending scrutiny

The state settlement with Walgreens, Walmart and two opioid manufacturers is expected to add $238 million to state efforts to fight the opioid crisis over 15 years. Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

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DRUGSTORES REACH SETTLEMENT WITH STATE OVER OPIOID CRISIS: Maryland’s top lawyer announced Wednesday afternoon that the state had reached settlements with Walgreens, Walmart and two opioid manufacturers that are expected to add $238 million to its efforts to fight the opioid crisis over the course of 15 years. Angela Roberts/The Baltimore Sun.

LAWMAKERS SEEK APPROVAL FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE BILL: Legislation on juvenile justice measures that Maryland Democratic leaders want to combine with accountability and rehabilitation received preliminary approval Wednesday in the House of Delegates. The debate on House Bill 814 lasted slightly more than an hour, which included discussion of four amendments the Judiciary Committee added to the bill on Tuesday night. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

  • Maryland’s House of Delegates advanced legislation revising consequences for children charged with crimes, as near-identical bills intending to curb youth crime and improve public safety are moving through legislative chambers this week. Democratic leaders said they must change a law they passed two years ago to hold some of the youngest offenders accountable and connect them with treatment services. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.

MOORE IS ASKED HOW TO JUSTIFY NEW SPENDING ON ENOUGH ACT: An hour into hearing mostly glowing comments about his plan to invest in Maryland’s most impoverished neighborhoods, Gov. Wes Moore was posed a question Wednesday that brought to the forefront a topic he and other Democrats have largely avoided in this year’s session of the Maryland General Assembly. How does he justify the new spending — even at only $15 million per year — when the state is facing billions of dollars in shortfalls in the coming years and is not actively considering ways to raise new money? Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.

  • As part of his goal to eradicate child poverty in Maryland, Gov. Wes Moore’s latest tactic is to funnel millions of dollars into low-income communities. But he may have a problem: a budget deficit. Moore’s ENOUGH Act — it stands for “Engaging Neighborhoods, Organizations, Unions, Governments and Households” — got generally glowing reviews from a committee of lawmakers who heard the governor’s pitch on Wednesday. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

COMMENTARY: IT IS TIME FOR ENOUGH: For too long, the scourge of poverty has plagued communities across Maryland, leaving behind a trail of despair, inequality and missed opportunities. Decades of systemic neglect, exacerbated by racially exclusionary policies such as redlining, urban renewal and mass incarceration, have entrenched poverty in certain neighborhoods … But now, with the introduction of the ENOUGH Act, there is hope on the horizon. Baltimore City Councilwoman Phylicia Porter/The Afro.

MEDICAL AID IN DYING BILL STRUGGLES TO FIND ENOUGH SUPPORT: Medical aid-in-dying legislation is on its last stand of the 2024 legislative session, with a handful of senators still struggling to support a bill that would allow a terminally-ill patient to ask for a prescription that would hasten their death with the help of a physician. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

SCHOOL BOARD OKs NEW SLIDING SCALE FOR PRE-K TUITION: Maryland families with annual incomes between three and six times the federal poverty line will pay for pre-K on a new sliding scale starting next fall. The state board of education voted unanimously Tuesday to cap pre-K tuition contributions for families earning between around $83,000 and $166,000 each year at seven percent of their annual income. The new payment system was adopted to align with the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future goal of expanding pre-K access state wide. Bri Hatch/WYPR-FM.

MARYLAND TO PICK UP TAB FOR PRETRIAL MONITORING OF POOR DEPENDANTS: Maryland will pay for private pretrial electronic monitoring of poor defendants through at least the end of the year, state lawmakers said Wednesday, confirming plans to salvage the program after it abruptly ran out of federal funds this month. Katie Shepherd and Katie Mettler/The Washington Post.

HOW ONE EMAIL PULLED LARRY HOGAN INTO THE SENATE RACE: Larry Hogan might not be running for Senate this year but for a letter he received in early January, from Darin Thacker, a lifelong Maryland resident and chief of staff to the chairman of the Senate GOP’s campaign arm. Hogan, a popular former Republican governor of Maryland, had rebuffed years of entreaties and lobbying from a parade of powerful Republicans. But he could not ignore this appeal. Shane Goldmacher/The New York Times.

HARFORD EXEC, COUNCILMEMBER GET INTO ANOTHER SPARRING MATCH: Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly and County Council member Aaron Penman are sparring again, with the latest tussle revolving around an alleged ethical violation on a land use review. Previous public exchanges between the two Republicans include wiretapping claims, accusations against the county executive about alleged misappropriation of funds, and attempts to disqualify Penman from the council. Ben Terzi/The Aegis.

ANGELOS LAW FIRM TO BE SOLD TO THREE MEMBERS: The law firm of Peter Angelos, whose share of the big-dollar awards and settlements he won for asbestos victims funded his purchase of the Baltimore Orioles, will be sold to three members of the practice. Jean Marbella/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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