State Roundup: Families of overdose victims urge lawmakers to toughen sentences for dealers; some cuts in transit still possible even with new revenue streams

State Roundup: Families of overdose victims urge lawmakers to toughen sentences for dealers; some cuts in transit still possible even with new revenue streams

The Maryland State House. photo.

FAMILIES OF OVERDOSE VICTIMS URGE TOUGHER SENTENCES FOR DEALERS: Family members who lost loved ones to deadly drug overdoses spoke in favor of a proposed law that would empower the Maryland court system to sentence individuals who sold fentanyl or heroin to an individual who dies from or is seriously injured by an overdose, to up to 20 years in prison. The measure would also offer criminal immunity to those who assist a person in a medical emergency induced by taking heroin or fentanyl. Thomas Goodwin Smith/The Carroll County Times.

NEW REVENUE FOR TRANSIT COULD STILL MEAN SOME CUTS: Maryland transportation officials this week fielded questions from state lawmakers about the $3.3 billion budget shortfall they face in funding their six-year plan. Though officials avoided drastic cuts this year, they are hard at work identifying new revenue streams amid a trend of declining gas tax revenues. Among the five takeaways from the hearing are that: Baltimore transit could still face future operations cuts and the MTA isn’t spending all of the money it allocates for much-needed maintenance. Daniel Zawodny/The Baltimore Banner.

COLUMN: FEES, TOLLS & TAXES TO PAY FOR HIGHWAY SHORTFALL: Maryland lawmakers want everyone who benefits from the changing ways that roads are used to pay up. With Maryland suddenly short of money for maintaining those pathways of commerce, state lawmakers in Annapolis are considering adding a 50-cent fee to most online purchase and home delivery transactions. This is among a range of ideas floating around Annapolis to fill a $3.3 billion shortfall in funding for the state’s six-year transportation plan. Rick Hutzell/The Baltimore Banner.

CHAMBERS MUST RESOLVED DIFFERENCES IN JUVENILE JUSTICE BILLS: Now that Maryland lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved juvenile justice reform measures, members of each chamber must determine how to resolve differences in separate bills. House Bill 814 and Senate Bill 744 have similar provisions such as requiring the state Department of Juvenile Services to offer programs for youth at the highest risk of being a victim or perpetrator of gun violence. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

PROTESTERS SEEK RESOLUTION FOR CEASEFIRE IN GAZA: Dozens of individuals testified on Monday before members of the Maryland legislature regarding a resolution that calls for a ceasefire in Israel and Palestine, with the vast majority echoing the sentiments of the vice president of the United States, who called for an “immediate ceasefire” in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza over the weekend. Dwight Weingarten/The Hagerstown Herald-Mail.

ENERGY FIRMS OPPOSE MOVE TO REIN IN DEREGULATION: As the full state Senate takes up a measure that would put reins on the state’s 25-year-old deregulated electricity marketplace, big energy companies opposing the legislation have appealed to Gov. Wes Moore (D), arguing the bill is “anti-consumer, anti-business, and anti-environment.” Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

SWATTING HOAXES HIT POLITICAL FIGURES IN MARYLAND: Unidentified callers phoning fake threats of violence to 911 have launched massive police responses in recent months to the homes of prominent political figures and state capitol buildings, including last week in Annapolis. The dangerous hoax, known as “swatting,” is meant to draw a heavily armed police presence and has been increasingly used against political figures. Brenda Wintrode and Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

MEDICAID UNWINDING PUSHES MORE TO STATE INSURANCE MARKETPLACE: The massive Medicaid eligibility redetermination period — often called “unwinding” — has contributed to more Marylanders buying individual private health care plans through the state’s insurance marketplace, according to a Monday budget hearing in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Social Services. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

CONTRASTING POLLING IN 2nd, 3rd CONGRESSIONAL RACES: New polling paints a picture of two very different races for open congressional seats in the Baltimore suburbs. In the 2nd Congressional District, the Democratic primary appears to be Johnny Olszewski Jr.’s to lose. Meanwhile, in the 3rd Congressional District, no one among a slew of Democratic candidates is getting out of single digits and more than half of voters are undecided, according to another poll. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

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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