State Roundup: County execs call on state to close billion-dollar tax loophole; lawmakers eye raising some tolls to fill transportation budget gap

State Roundup: County execs call on state to close billion-dollar tax loophole; lawmakers eye raising some tolls to fill transportation budget gap

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

COUNTY EXECS CALL ON STATE TO CLOSE LOOPHOLE TO RAISE $1.6B: County executives from Anne Arundel, Frederick and Montgomery called on state lawmakers Wednesday to ignore special interests and campaign donors and pass a proposal that would raise $1.6 billion in new tax revenue. A coalition of more than two dozen groups and progressive lawmakers want to implement combined reporting for corporations doing business in Maryland, which treats a parent corporation and its subsidiaries as one corporation for state income tax purposes. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

LAWMAKERS TARGET RAISING TOLLS: Maryland lawmakers are homing in on plans to raise some toll rates for the first time in a decade and to place a new fee on electric vehicles to start solving a roughly $3.3 billion transportation budget deficit in the coming years. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.

JUDGE OKs CHURCH SEX ABUSE CASE TO MOVE FORWARD: A judge in Prince George’s County allowed a child sex abuse lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Washington to go forward Wednesday, agreeing with the plaintiffs that a recent Maryland law allowing the claim was constitutional. Steve Thompson/The Washington Post.

CONSENSUS SOUGHT ON JUVENILE JUSTICE BILLS: Lawmakers are moving toward consensus in House and Senate bills on changes to Maryland’s juvenile justice system, discussing how to address crime by children ages 10 to 12 and get them into rehabilitation programs that can help. The main point of contention between the two bills is whether kids who are being shielded from prosecution should go to programs without Department of Juvenile Services involvement or, instead, go into a DJS process that would play out in court. Steph Quinn of Capital News Service/

BILLS COULD PROVIDE ABORTION CLINICS WITH MORE SECURITY: Abortion clinics in Maryland could pay for enhanced security and greater access through a grant program being considered by state lawmakers, who want to tap into millions of dollars that have sat unused by insurance carries as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. Brian Witte/The Associated Press.

  • Two bills in the 2024 legislative session aiming to create grants that would be used to increase security personnel, add equipment and other security measures to protect the safety of providers, patients and their families. But the mechanisms to provide those protections and funds are quite different between the two bills. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

LAWMAKERS HEAR BILLS TO CURB DEADLY OVERDOSES: Lawmakers in the General Assembly are hearing bills to prohibit the distribution of heroin and fentanyl without lawful authority to do so.  Victoria & Scottie’s Law is named in honor of two individuals who died from fentanyl overdoses. The bill would impose up to 20 years of imprisonment on anyone convicted of selling these substances that lead to serious bodily injury or death. Lana Mutnick of Capital News Service/

STATE SEEKS TO FILL REPUBLICAN VACANCIES ON ELECTIONS BOARD: Maryland leaders are taking steps to fill two Republican vacancies on the state elections board — one because a board member resigned after being charged in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

CONGRESSMEN SUPPORT BAY RESTORATION PROGRAM: Citing encouraging signs of improvement, five Maryland lawmakers expressed their support Wednesday for increased funding of the federally backed Chesapeake Bay restoration program. Yesenia Montenegro and Brennan Stewart of Capital News Service/

MARYLAND CONGRESSMEN SEEK TO REMOVE LEE STATUE: A 24-foot statue of Confederate Gen. Robert Lee at Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg has caught the ire of Maryland Democratic lawmakers and is the subject of proposed congressional legislation that would have it removed. Congressman David Trone, lead sponsor of the bill, was joined in support by Steny Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Jamie Raskin, and Glenn Ivey. John John Williams/The Baltimore Banner.

MO CO MAY BAN POLICE SEARCHES OF VEHICLES: The “Freedom to Leave Act” would ban police searches of vehicles, even if officers obtain verbal consent from drivers. The bill is intended to give people more rights in their vehicles and also is intended to stop officers from gaining consent using intimidation. The bill’s goal is to reduce racial profiling in police stops. Alex Gary of Capital News Service/

UM HALTS FRATERNITY, SORORITY ACTIVITIES: The University of Maryland issued a cease and desist letter Friday to all Interfraternity and Panhellenic Council groups after a series of misconduct allegations. The university is launching an investigation into the claims but has halted any recruitment activities or events involving alcohol. This is the latest incident in a series of reports across the country where Greek life has been alleged of misconduct. Sydney Nauman of Capital News Service/

HOPKINS DIVERSITY OFFICER OUT AFTER DEFINING PRIVILEGE: Johns Hopkins Medicine’s chief diversity officer is no longer in the role two months after she wrote a newsletter identifying people with “privilege” and sparking backlash. She defined those social groups with privilege as white people, heterosexuals, cisgender people, men and Christians, among others. Republican politicians, including Maryland Republican Andy Harris, and conservative media outlets seized the email as an example that diversity, equity and inclusion work is discrimination paid for with tax dollars. Lilly Price/The Baltimore Sun.

B’MORE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BEATS BIDEN IN AMERICAN SAMOA: After careful research, Jason Palmer, a little-known Democratic presidential candidate, found a place — 7,000 miles from his Baltimore home — where he had a chance of upsetting President Joe Biden in a primary. American Samoa. Jeff Barker/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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