State Roundup: After late negotiations, lawmakers reach deal on $63 billion state budget plan; Board of Public Works OK UMBC settlement with sex abuse victims

State Roundup: After late negotiations, lawmakers reach deal on $63 billion state budget plan; Board of Public Works OK UMBC settlement with sex abuse victims

Wednesday's Board of Public Works meeting consisted of, from left, Treasurer Dereck Davis, Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller and Comptroller Brooke Lierman. Governor's Office Photo by Joe Andrucyk.

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LAWMAKERS REACH COMPROMISE ON $63 BILLION BUDGET PLAN: Maryland lawmakers said Wednesday they’ve compromised on a $63 billion budget plan after divisions over raising a menu of taxes and fees to solve looming budget deficits had threatened to derail the final days of the annual three-month session. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.

  • The budget deal will raise up to $340 million in new taxes and fees next year. The chambers agreed to raise new money for transportation projects by increasing fines for speeding in a work zone; increasing vehicle registration fees based on weight class, so that heavier vehicles contribute more to repairing roads; and adding a ride-hailing surcharge, in addition to other fee hikes. Katie Shepherd/The Washington Post.
  • Exact details of the full agreement were not immediately available late Wednesday. Even revenue expectations were presented as estimates that will need to be finalized by budget analysts in the hours ahead. A final vote in both chambers is expected soon after. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
  • Over the past few days, there was a public negotiating session that included pointed speeches from delegates, and then senators canceled the next day’s hearings on House bills. But a marathon night of discussions among top negotiators that went until 1 a.m. Wednesday resulted in a budget agreement they unveiled later that afternoon. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

SENATE PANEL RECOMMENDS CHANGES TO JUVIE REFORM BILLS: A Senate panel recommended several changes Wednesday to resolve differences on separate juvenile justice reform bills that have been moving through the General Assembly. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee advanced House Bill 814 to the full Senate with a few provisions that coincide with the Senate version of the legislation — including that children ages 10 to 12 could be sent to juvenile court if charged for a third-degree sex offense, aggravated animal cruelty and certain firearm offenses. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

UMBC SETTLEMENT COULD MEAN UP TO $180,000 FOR EACH VICTIM: The University of Maryland at Baltimore County has agreed to pay up to $4.14 million to student-athletes who were subjected to sexual abuse and discrimination by a coach, according to the Justice Department. Susan Svrluga/The Washington Post.

  • Victims of sexual misconduct by the swim coach will be entitled to $180,000 or $60,000 each as part of a settlement approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works on Wednesday. Brenna Smith and Kristen Griffith/The Baltimore Banner.

FREDERICK BILL WOULD REEVALUATE SHERIFF PAY: A bill that would establish a three-year process to update the salary of the Frederick County sheriff came before a Maryland House of Delegates committee on Tuesday. SB562, which is sponsored by Frederick County’s state delegation, passed unanimously in the Senate last month. If enacted, the bill would set up a work group to study the salaries of sheriffs and other similar law enforcement agents across the state and coming up with a recommendation for the Frederick County sheriff. Ceoli Jacoby/The Frederick News Post.

MOORE, SCOTT TOSSED INTO A STRONGER NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT: Neither Gov. Wes Moore nor Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott are new to the national spotlight. But the Key Bridge collapse is a test on a different level, with an impact on both a mayor who is six weeks away from a tough Democratic primary election and a governor who political observers say could have a real shot in a crowded Democratic presidential race in four years or beyond. Sam Janesch and Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.

AFTER KEY COLLAPSE, SOME WONDER ABOUT THE BAY BRIDGE: The dual-spanned, 4-mile-long Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which opened in 1952, is among the world’s longest over-water structures. Like the Key Bridge, it is among the 3% of bridges in the country to fall under the “fracture critical” category, meaning the entire structure could collapse if certain supports give way. And, like the Key Bridge, the Bay Bridge straddles Maryland’s well-trafficked shipping channels. Container and cruise ships routinely pass underneath. Ben Conarck/The Baltimore Banner.

CSX SHIPPING COAL THAT WOULD HAVE GONE THROUGH PORT: Coal and commodities are flowing out of Maryland on CSX Corp. railcars during the indefinite closure of the Port of Baltimore. The port accounted for 28% of coal exports in the United States in 2023, according to census data, second only to Norfolk, Va. The railroad giant said Wednesday that it is transporting freight that would typically flow through the port to New York through existing rail routes and partnerships with steamship lines. Dillon Mullan/The Baltimore Sun.

DALI DEBRIS: NO BATTERY ACID BUT ANIMAL PELTS WASH ASHORE: Samples of Patapsco River water collected the day of the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge did not contain signs of fuel or battery acid, according to test results. Dillon Mullon and Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Animal pelts aren’t exactly the sort of flotsam Marylanders are used to seeing wash up along the state’s shorelines. Since the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, people have reported finding unusual items that they suspect came from the cargo ship Dali. Lillian Reed/The Baltimore Banner.

BA CO CHIEF OF IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS FEELS WEIGHT OF ROLE: For Giuliana Valencia-Banks, the difficulty of the past week has only been compounded by how personal it felt. Valencia-Banks is the Baltimore County chief of immigrant affairs, a role that is much newer than its city counterpart. But since the Key Bridge collapsed March 26, sending six immigrant, Latino construction workers to their deaths, Valencia-Banks has emerged as the face of the county’s efforts to guide victims’ families through an unimaginable tragedy. Maya Lora/The Baltimore Sun.

PRINCE GEORGE’S OFFICIALS CALL FOR CEASE FIRE IN GAZA: Over 20 Prince George’s County elected officials, both current and former, have signed onto a resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza. Their intent is for the County Council to vote on the resolution, adding more pressure for President Joe Biden (D) and Congress to change their stance. Richard Elliott/The Washington Examiner.

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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