State Roundup: General Assembly leaders struggle over budget; Mo Co bills survive crossover day; Trone apologizes for using racial slur in hearing

State Roundup: General Assembly leaders struggle over budget; Mo Co bills survive crossover day; Trone apologizes for using racial slur in hearing

Colorful socks clash with the red carpet on the state Senate floor. Photo from Senate proceedings

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GENERAL ASSEMBLY LEADERS BATTLE OVER BUDGET, ETC. AS SESSION’S END NEARS: With just over two weeks until they adjourn for the year, House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson and their respective chambers are battling over the budget and a few other major policy areas while — as usual for the fully Democratic legislature — largely agreeing on most of the thousands of bills moving toward the finish line. Haggling over the ballooning budget deficit is the most contentious issue facing lawmakers in the crunch time of this year’s 90-day session. But it’s not the only topic on the list of unfinished business. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun

OPINION: HOUSE DEMS BUT MOORE IN A BIND OVER BUDGET: Moore, who has consistently pledged not to raise taxes, now faces the daunting prospect of vetoing a budget bill proposed by fellow Democrats that would do just that. This predicament underscores a deeper rift within the party and raises questions about the alignment of fiscal policies with Democratic principles.  Clayton A. Mitchell Sr./Chestertown Spy

WHICH MO CO BILLS SURVIVED CROSSOVER DAY?: With Monday’s Crossover Day in the Maryland General Assembly’s rear view, Montgomery County-based representatives are either nearing the finish line to get their legislation passed or are putting bills away to revive in a year. Here are updates on a few of the popular bills sponsored by Montgomery County-based representatives that are still “alive” in the General Assembly. Ginny Bixby/MoCo 360

REP. DAVID TRONE (D) APOLOGIZES FOR USING RACIAL SLUR IN HEARING: Senate hopeful Rep. David Trone (D) used a racial slur during a congressional budget hearing Thursday and later apologized, saying he misspoke and did not know what the word meant. Trone dropped a derogatory word for Black people into a brief speech praising President Biden’s tax proposals toward the end of a friendly exchange with the director of the Office of Budget and Management, who is Black. Erin Cox/The Washington Post

NEW AD FOR ALSOBROOKS: One day after a Washington Post poll was released, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Angela Alsobrooks’ campaign released a new ad focusing on her work as a former prosecutor. In the ad, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Ivan Bates endorses Alsobrooks to fill the seat of current U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, who is not seeking re-election. Tori Yorgey/WBAL TV

ARIANA KELLY LEAVING SENATE: Sen. Ariana B. Kelly, D-Montgomery, announced Wednesday night that she will leave the Senate to become the executive director of the Maryland Commission for Women, beginning on May 6. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters

FREDERICK MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO TWO FELONIES FROM ATTACK AT CAPITOL: A Frederick man on Thursday pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington, D.C., to two felony counts of assaulting, impeding, or resisting law enforcement during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Steven Cook, 25, is alleged to have breached the Capitol building and assaulted law enforcement officers in the process, as part of a group that disrupted the certification of the 2020 presidential election. Cook’s sentencing is scheduled for July 19. Clara Niel/The Frederick News-Post

SUICIDE IN BA CO BUILDING RAISES SECURITY QUESTIONSThe death of a Baltimore County employee, who last month smuggled a handgun into a county building and killed himself, has put some employees on edge, raising questions about how the gun passed through security and metal detectors. Baltimore County Police confirmed to the Brew the death by suicide of Gary Lionel Williams, 61. Other than a redacted police report, the incident remains under wraps. Mark Reutter/Baltimore Brew

JURY AWARDS FORMER PG CO WHISTLEBLOWER OFFICER $385,000:  A federal civil jury in Maryland found that a former Prince George’s County police lieutenant battered and falsely imprisoned a female officer and that county police commanders failed to protect her when other members of the police force retaliated against her for coming forward. In U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, the jury Wednesday awarded former county police officer Kara McMurray $200,000 from the county and $185,00 from the former lieutenant. A separate hearing will determine the amount of economic damages to which McMurray is entitled. Ruben Castanada/Baltimore Post-Examiner

SEN. SARAH ELFRETH JUGGLES DUTIES WITH CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN: Sen. Sarah Elfreth (D-Anne Arundel) is among eight state lawmakers who juggle their legislative duties as they campaign for Congress during the 90-day General Assembly session. Elfreth joins four other lawmakers trying to garner the Democratic nomination in the May 14 primary to replace Rep. John Sarbanes (D-3rd). William J. Ford/Maryland Matters

LAWMAKERS CONSIDER REMOVING RN REQUIREMENT FOR NURSING LEADER: Lawmakers are evaluating what expertise is needed to lead the Maryland Board of Nursing, as they consider legislation that would remove a requirement that the executive director have a registered nursing license to qualify for the position. Danielle J. Brown/Maryland Matters

SECOND SUPER PAC ENTERS BMORE MAYORAL RACE: A super PAC supporting the reelection of Mayor Brandon Scott was registered with the Maryland Board of Elections this week, the second such political action committee to pick a side in the mayor’s race. The Working for Baltimore PAC was registered to chairperson Hannah Thompson, an Anne Arundel County employee, and treasurer Tamika Winkler. The organization has not recorded any donations or spending. Emily Sullivan/The Baltimore Banner

NEW BANNER CEO SAYS IT WILL EXPAND COVERAGE: The Baltimore Banner is planning to expand its editorial coverage beyond Maryland’s biggest city into the surrounding regions and beyond, its new CEO Bob Cohn told Axios. Cohn sees a geographical expansion and more editorial investments in niche subject areas, like business, culture and tech, as key drivers for adding more digital subscribers. Sara Fischer/Axios Media Trends

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