State Roundup: End of session comes down to wire for port worker aid, Pimlico funding and Moore housing package … and lawmakers took an eclipse break

State Roundup: End of session comes down to wire for port worker aid, Pimlico funding and Moore housing package … and lawmakers took an eclipse break

On State Circle outside the State House Monday, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, second from left, delegates and visitors were among hundreds viewing the eclipse on the final day of the legislative session. photo by Len Lazarick.

DOWN TO THE WIRE: PORT WORKER AID, PIMLICO FUNDING MAKE DEADLINE: Legislation to aid workers and businesses during the disruption at the Port of Baltimore and another bill allowing for a state takeover of Pimlico Racetrack beat Monday’s midnight deadline despite being introduced late in the General Assembly session. Lawmakers had already passed roughly 500 bills by the last day of the 90-day session. Even so, several important late-filed bills remained for lawmakers to act on in the closing hours as midnight approached. Bryan P. Sears, William J. Ford, Danielle J. Brown and Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

  • The last bills have been considered, the last amendments have been offered and the final votes have been taken. Here’s what Maryland lawmakers did — and did not — do during their 90-day General Assembly session this year. Pamela Wood and Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.
  • Maryland lawmakers approved a plan to rebuild Baltimore’s storied but antiquated Pimlico Race Course and transfer the track to state control in the waning hours of the state’s legislative session Monday. Brian Witte/The Associated Press.
  • The capital budget was a top priority for Democratic leaders, authorizing the creation of more than $1.7 billion for construction, land acquisition and building projects all across the state. It passed unanimously at its final stage in the Senate with less than four hours until the deadline. Angelique Gingras, Kiersten Hacker, Sapna Bansil, Lydia Hurley, Tyrah Burris and Steph Quinn of the Capital News Service/

LAW PASSING & A SOLAR ECLIPSE MARK END OF SESSION: The end of Maryland’s 90-day legislative session saw a spectrum of policies, from gun control legislation and the state’s capital budget to a bill to revive the state’s horse racing industry and more. Legislators even got a brief break to enjoy the partial solar eclipse. Here are some of the highlights from the moments before the clock struck midnight Monday night. Hannah Gaskill and Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.

MOORE HOUSING PACKAGE MOVES TO HIS DESK: All three bills in Gov. Wes Moore’s affordable housing package have received final approval from both chambers of the General Assembly and are on the way to his desk. The bills were largely finalized on Saturday, when the Senate voted on some of his bills that had already been approved by the opposite chamber. But the House had to review the legislation one last time Monday before the bills officially landed on the governor’s desk. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

A ‘RETURN TO NORMAL’ DISRUPTED BY PORT TRAGEDY: The General Assembly, in a feverish attempt to pass hundreds of new laws, closed a 90-day session Monday that lawmakers had described as a return to “normal” after years dominated by the pandemic and leadership changes, but also one that had been dramatically interrupted in recent weeks. Hannah Gaskill and Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.

FEE & TAX INCREASES WON’T AFFECT EVERYONE: The General Assembly passed a budget this session that raises approximately $340 million in additional revenue for transportation and education programs, and increases funding for the state’s shock trauma system. But not every Marylander will foot the bill. Katie Shepherd/The Washington Post.

MOORE, CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO MEET OVER PORT FUNDING: Gov. Wes Moore said Monday that he plans to meet with members of Congress to discuss support for rebuilding the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge, which has blocked the main shipping channel at Baltimore’s port for nearly two weeks. Brian Witte/The Associated Press.

  • Moore’s in-person lobbying today is part of a multi-pronged effort that seeks to involve all 10 members of the Maryland congressional delegation, including its lone Republican, Rep. Andy Harris, according to three people with knowledge of the situation. Funding could face obstacles from some congressional Republicans, even though such aid has been approved on a bipartisan basis in the past. Erin Cox and Jacob Bogage/The Washington Post.

PORT OF BALTIMORE BY THE NUMBERS: The reach of the Port of Baltimore is vast, and it could lose an estimated $15 million per day while closed. Two smaller, temporary channels for tug, barge and small vessel access have opened, with the Army Corps of Engineers aiming to restore normal access by the end of May. What makes Baltimore’s port so unique? Annie Jenneman/The Baltimore Sun.

COMMENTARY: HOGAN IS NO PROFILE IN COURAGE: I have to laugh when people act like former Gov. Larry Hogan is a “moderate” who deserves a “Profile in Courage” award for saying that he won’t vote for Donald Trump in the 2024 general election or would oppose a national law banning abortion if elected to the U.S. Senate. I don’t see the courage in a candidate for statewide office in Maryland saying he’s not going to vote for a presidential candidate who lost the state in 2016 by 26 percentage points and lost in 2020 by more than 33 points. Teresa Saavedra Woorman/Maryland Matters.

BA CO REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER BECOMES BIG POLITICAL DONOR: An 82-year-old Baltimore County real estate developer has quietly become one of the top donors in local politics, giving more than $1.3 million to candidates around the region over the past dozen years. Justin Fenton/The Baltimore Banner.

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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