State Roundup: Blueprint eats through state fund; tax package in the works; wage gender gap impacts Latina women the most

State Roundup: Blueprint eats through state fund; tax package in the works; wage gender gap impacts Latina women the most

The Maryland State House. MarylandReporter.com photo.

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BLUEPRINT EATING UP STATE FUND: Diving deep into the reform plan in reporting “Behind the Blueprint” found that the Blueprint is already devouring hundreds of millions annually from the state’s fund balance, which is on target to be fully drained in 2027. And according to a state Department of Legislative Services fiscal briefing released in January, the state will start running a structural deficit in fiscal year 2025 that will multiply nearly sixfold by fiscal year 2029, when it will hit $2.93 billion. Kiersten Hacker, Christina Walker and Ela Jalil of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.

A TAX PACKAGE IS IN THE WORKS: The chair of the House Ways and Means Committee said she expects her committee will cobble together a revenue package meant to help the state cover billions in looming deficits and ensure the legislature can continue to pay for an education reform plan. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

MARYLAND’s LATINA WOMEN EARN FAR LESS THAN WHITE MEN: Maryland labor officials released a report Tuesday concluding that Latina women here earn $1.8 million less in their lifetimes compared with White men doing the same work, one of the largest such earning gaps in the country. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.

  • Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller (D) and some members of the Maryland General Assembly hope to chip away at the issue of wage disparity between the sexes with legislation on wage transparency during this session. “This is an issue of basic fairness and this is an issue of economic strength,” Miller said Tuesday. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

ADVOCATES TURN AGAINST HOUSING BILL AFTER AMENDMENTS ADDED: At first, Allison Harris supported the bill from Democratic Gov. Wes Moore’s housing administration focused on the tax sale process. Harris, a Baltimore-based lawyer who assists homeowners whose property-related debts end up in tax sale, was pleased that the bill would build new protections into the process across the state. But recent amendments have caused her — and a host of other housing affordability advocates — to withdraw their support for the bill, which passed the House of Delegates on Tuesday by a vote of 126-10. Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun.

  • The bill has been amended to include a measure that would enable homes that are not “legally” recognized as owner-occupied to be included in the tax sale list over unpaid water and sewer charges. Hallie Miller/The Baltimore Banner.

TUITION HIKES MAY BE PART OF CECIL COLLEGE FUNDING CUT FIX: Cecil College officials anticipate a $1 million reduction in state funding after Maryland lawmakers announced a $22.6 million reduction across Maryland’s 15 community colleges — forcing Cecil College to evaluate tuition increases and adjustments to operational hours. Matt Hubbard/The Cecil Whig.

LAWMAKERS GIVE INITIAL OK TO PROCESS FOR HIGHER ED PROGRAMS: Maryland lawmakers gave a preliminary nod Tuesday to legislation aimed at improving the approval process for higher education programs — a longtime source of controversy that was exacerbated last year after a decision by the state’s Higher Education Commission. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

39 SUE STATE AGENCIES OVER ABUSE AT RESIDENTIAL FACILITY: Thirty-nine people have sued three Maryland agencies for placing them in, and failing to regulate, a residential facility for troubled children in Halethorpe where they say they were sexually abused. Alex Mann/The Baltimore Sun.

PORT OF BALTIMORE PUBLIC TERMINALS ARE BOOMING: The amount of cargo coming through the Port of Baltimore’s six public terminals has grown dramatically in the last 25 years, according to data from the Maryland Port Administration. The rises are evident across various types of cargo; container tons increased by over 92 percent from 1998 to 2022, according to the MPA data. Over the same period, automotive cargo went up by a whopping 196 percent and roll on/roll off cargo — farm and construction machinery — went up by more than 113 percent. Varun Shankar of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.

SPECIAL COUNSEL BUFFETED ON ALL SIDES FOR BIDEN REPORT: Special counsel Robert Hur, Maryland’s former U.S. attorney, repeatedly denied on Tuesday that he was trying to “trash and smear” President Joe Biden when he described him in an explosive report as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” However, the transcript of the interview contradicted some of Hur’s most reported contentions. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Few new facts emerged from the acrimonious five-hour hearing. But Hur’s conclusions gave members of the bipartisan panel ammunition to promote their party’s presumptive presidential nominee and criticize the other, while also giving each side things to complain about. Jacob Fischler/Maryland Matters.

FEDERAL FUNDS TO AID CARROLL SHERIFF’S WITH INVESTIGATIONS: When the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office opens its new headquarters in 2026, the building will include a new digital laboratory to investigate and analyze criminal evidence. The lab recently received $500,000 in federal funding. Sherry Greenfield/The Carroll County Times.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

cynthiaprairie@gmail.com
https://www.chestertelegraph.org/

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: cynthiaprairie@gmail.com

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