State Roundup: BPW injects another $425M into delayed Purple Line; Corrections workers, jilted on time cards, get $9.5 million

State Roundup: BPW injects another $425M into delayed Purple Line; Corrections workers, jilted on time cards, get $9.5 million

Workers were laying track for the new Purple Line in 2019. But delays have mounted and the Board of Public Works has just approved almost half a billion more to continue the work.

BPW OKs $425M MORE FOR DELAYED PURPLE LINE: Gov. Wes Moore and the state’s chief financial officers approved nearly half a billion dollars in extra funds for the Purple Line on Wednesday, even as they condemned the embattled project’s mounting delays and escalating costs. Nearly seven years after construction began, transit authorities returned to the Board of Public Works yet again this month, this time seeking an additional $425 million for the light-rail project.  Sapna Bansil of Capital News Service/

CORRECTIONAL WORKERS TO RECEIVE AFTER FED PROBE: Over 5,000 Maryland correctional workers will receive a $9.5 million payout, after a federal investigation found that the state tampered with their time cards. The Board of Public Works approved the deal Wednesday. Wambui Kamau/WYPR-FM.

  • The investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor covered three years under former Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Nearly 10,000 employees, including more than 5,000 in the latest payout, fell victim to a scheme where work hours were rounded to the benefit of the department. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

CONTRACT CONTINUED WITH ‘UNIQUELY TERRIBLE’ PRISON CARE PROVIDER: Maryland extended its contract with a troubled, for-profit prison medical care provider, though top officials expressed reservations about the deal. Comptroller Brooke Lierman called the company, currently known as YesCare, a “uniquely terrible and irresponsible” company that has provided poor quality care and dodged responsibility in Maryland and across the country through bankruptcy protections. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

NEW CITY DETENTION CENTER TO COST $1 BILLION TO BUILD: Nearly nine years after former Gov. Larry Hogan shuttered the old Baltimore City Detention Center, a new centerpiece facility for the city’s pretrial jail population is poised to rise from its ashes. But it’s going to cost you. The cost of the $1 billion project is being spread across more than five years, with an estimated completion date in 2029. Ben Conarck and Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

MARYPIRG FINDS UTILITIES HAVE STRONG INFLUENCE IN STATE POLICY: A new study from the Maryland PIRG Foundation, which is being released on Thursday, found that the state’s monopoly utilities have undue influence in state government policymaking. They employ an army of State House lobbyists, Maryland PIRG said, and spend millions of dollars on advertising and association membership in an attempt to sway state policy. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

CROSSOVER DAY APPROACHES: WHAT BILLS HAVE PASSED ONE CHAMBER? Crossover Day in the Maryland General Assembly is Monday, March 18. Bills must pass at least one chamber by that date to have the best chance to be approved by both chambers and sent to Gov. Wes Moore for his signature to become a law. What are some of the bills that have passed at least one chamber? Matt Bush/WYPR-FM.

BILL WOULD KEEP JUVENILE SEX OFFENDERS OUT OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS: A bill to keep juvenile sex offenders out of Maryland public schools is being fast-tracked through Annapolis to make sure it can be passed before the session ends. Chris Pabst/WBFF-TV News.

  • State Sen. Johnny Salling and state Del. Nino Mangione cross-filed the bills after they met with two mothers last month who say their toddlers were sexually abused in Harford and Baltimore counties by a teenager who attends a Baltimore City high school. Lilly Price/The Baltimore Sun.

BATTLE OVER SCHOOL CHOICE RETURNS TO ANNAPOLIS: The battle over school choice programs returned to Annapolis on Wednesday as one Republican lawmaker proposed an amendment that would merge the Right to Learn Act (HB1027) with another piece of educational legislation. Rebecca Pryor/WBFF-TV News.

CANNABIS ENTREPRENEURS AWAIT LOTTERY RESULTS: Hundreds of hopeful entrepreneurs will learn on Thursday if they’re one step closer to starting a cannabis business in Maryland, a state-regulated industry experts have estimated could take in more than $1 billion in annual sales. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.

HARFORD SCHOOLS BUCK PUSH FOR OVERHAUL IN TEACHING READING: By next school year, all Maryland schools will be required to teach kids to read in a way that’s backed by research. Maryland’s scores on a national reading test are falling faster than any other state’s. But Sean Bulson, the superintendent of Harford County Public Schools, sees no reason to change. Kirsten Griffith/The Baltimore Banner.

TREASURER DAVIS BACKS BILL LIMITING HIS CAMPAIGN FUND-RAISING: Maryland Treasurer Dereck Davis (D) told a House Committee on Wednesday he “enthusiastically supports” a bill that would block him from raising campaign funds during the General Assembly session. House Bill 1503 would add the treasurer to the list of elected officials prohibited from fundraising while the legislature is in session. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

WRESTLING FOR NEW STATE REVENUES: A House committee vote Wednesday set up another battle with Senate fiscal leaders over finding new revenues this year. The House Ways and Means Committee voted 15-7 to approve House Bill 1319, which could open the door to casino-style iGaming in Maryland. The committee vote fell mostly along party lines with Del. Joe Vogel (D-Montgomery) joining the six Republicans in opposition. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

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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