State Roundup: Maryland congressional delegation confident of bipartisan federal support to help rebuild Key Bridge

State Roundup: Maryland congressional delegation confident of bipartisan federal support to help rebuild Key Bridge

Maryland's congressional delegation expresses confidence that it will receive bipartisan support for financial aid to rebuild the Key Bridge. Katharine Wilson/Capital News Service

CONGRESSMEN CONFIDENT OF BIPARTISAN SUPPORT TO REBUILD KEY BRIDGE: The Maryland congressional delegation on Tuesday predicted bipartisan support for federal funding to rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge. “Tragedy knows no partisanship,” Rep. Andy Harris, Maryland’s lone Republican in Congress, said during a press conference following a Capitol Hill meeting involving the entire Maryland congressional delegation, Gov. Wes Moore, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and others. “I’m committed to make sure that we navigate this through a bipartisan process.” Katharine Wilson of Capital News Service/

  • U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin said he would soon introduce a bill to bypass the usual cost-sharing formula for transportation projects, in light of the scope of the tragedy and President Joe Biden’s pledge to pay for the project. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
  • The far-right House Freedom Caucus, of which Harris is said to be a member, announced last week that Congress should fully offset or pay for the funding and that it should waive regulations like the Endangered Species Act and labor agreements. Jennifer Shutt/Maryland Matters.

MOORE SIGNS BILLS FOR AID TO PORT WORKERS: Bills providing financial aid to workers affected by disruptions at Baltimore’s port and another that formally renames the facility in honor of Helen Delich Bentley were signed into law by Gov. Wes Moore (D) Tuesday. Both were included in more than 120 bills that received Moore’s signature. The total number includes dozens of identical House and Senate cross-filed bills. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

NEW LAW WOULD ALLOW CIVIL LAWSUIT AGAINST GUN INDUSTRY: Maryland lawmakers passed a handful of gun bills this year, permitting civil lawsuits against the gun industry and banning devices that turn handguns into machine guns. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.

MOORE PLEASED WITH HOUSING PACKAGE: All three bills in Gov. Wes Moore’s (D) affordable housing package have received final approval from both chambers of the General Assembly and are on the way to his desk. Moore told reporters Monday he is pleased with the housing package. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

PG COUNCIL SPLITS WITH STATE OVER ACTION ON CANNABIS: Cannabis dispensaries cannot be subject to stricter zoning rules than those for alcohol stores under legislation awaiting the signature of Gov. Wes Moore (D). Lawmakers crafted the measure to protect a nascent recreational industry, developing the proposal as Prince George’s County leaders attempted to limit where new dispensaries may open. On Tuesday, the County Council voted 8-0 to adopt rules some cannabis advocates have described as restrictive, despite the General Assembly’s actions. Lateshia Beachum/The Washington Post.

KEY BRIDGE COLLAPSE COULD COST $4B IN INSURED LOSSES: The Baltimore bridge collapse could cost up to $4 billion in insured losses, which would make it the most expensive incident involving a ship collision for insurers in modern history. Federica Cocco/The Washington Post.

LOW UNEMPLOYMENT, FEW WORKERS COULD SLOW KEY BRIDGE REBUILD: Despite Maryland’s low unemployment rates, employers are struggling to fill job vacancies and the workforce’s blue-collar sector is especially stressed. Job seekers lack the specialized skills demanded by the market, which could make it challenging to find qualified local workers for the reconstruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, according to economists. Emma Tufo of CNS/

DESPITE KEY BRIDGE TRAGEDY, LAWMAKERS CONTINUED WORK: The tragedy in the Port of Baltimore threatened to overwhelm their best-laid plans at the end of this spring’s legislative session, but Maryland state lawmakers still managed to pass several key measures that look beyond the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and ahead to the future. Lydia Hurley of CNS/

HOW BLACK PORT COMMISSIONERS MANAGER RACIST RHETORIC: When the devastating collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge prompted racist falsehoods to spread like wildfire online, Karenthia Barber found herself in the crosshairs of a far-right disinformation campaign against “DEI” — diversity, equity and inclusion — alongside her Port co-commissioner Sandy Roberts. Now, both are speaking out. John John Williams and Brenna Smith/The Baltimore Banner.

POLL FINDS CRIME A MAJOR FACTOR IN UPCOMING ELECTION: Heading into next month’s primary election, crime, taxes, and economic development and jobs ranked at the top of a list of voters’ priorities, a new Goucher College/Baltimore Banner poll found. Among a subset of Maryland voters, 78% of respondents said crime was a “major factor” that would influence their support of a political candidate. Economic development and jobs was another major factor for 76% of respondents, while 75% of those surveyed called taxes and government spending a major factor in their vote. Hallie Miller/The Baltimore Banner.

IN UPCOMING ELECTIONS, CANDIDATES HINT AT CAMPAIGN COFFERS: Even before they file their campaign finance reports, some Maryland contenders are teasing their numbers as a sign of their level of support. Harry Dunn, the former U.S. Capitol Police officer who is running in the 3rd congressional district, is going to report raising more than $3.75 million since becoming a candidate in early January. Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, running in the Democratic primary for Senate, said she will report raising more than $2.1 million in the first quarter of 2024. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

SCOTT HAS FINANCIAL EDGE OVER DIXON IN B’MORE MAYOR’s RACE: With barely a month to go until election day, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott retains a sizable cash advantage over his rivals, including former Mayor Sheila Dixon, reporting nearly double the balance of his leading challenger in campaign finance filings submitted Tuesday. Adam Willis/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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