State Roundup: Inmates could soon be taking college courses; environmentalists lukewarm on session; panel nears naming 8 drugs to get price-caps; Hogan hits the campaign trail

State Roundup: Inmates could soon be taking college courses; environmentalists lukewarm on session; panel nears naming 8 drugs to get price-caps; Hogan hits the campaign trail

The Statehouse in Annapolis. Image by Bruce Emmerling from Pixabay


Federal authorities opened a criminal investigation into the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, with FBI agents raiding the container ship Dali early Monday morning. The criminal investigation is focused on whether the ship’s crew knew there were mechanical or electrical issues aboard the Dali before it left the Port of Baltimore three weeks ago, according to an official familiar with the investigation. Lee O. Sanderlin and Justin Fenton/The Baltimore Banner.

STATE INMATES COULD SOON GET COLLEGE CLASSES: People incarcerated in Maryland could soon begin to receive higher education instruction from the state’s university system. The state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services announced a memorandum of understand last week with the University System of Maryland to offer courses and classes for incarcerated individuals to receive a bachelor’s degree and credit-based certificates. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

ENVIRO-ADVOCATES LUKEWARM ON GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESULTS: For advocates and environmentalists, the General Assembly session was at best mediocre for the state’s lofty climate aspirations. Some fear late backroom interventions and compromises could upend the state’s ability to meet its statutory emissions-reduction and clean-energy targets. Aman Azhar of Inside Climate News/The Baltimore Banner.

DRUG AFFORDABILITY BOARD NEARS NAMING 8 PRICE-CAPPED DRUGS: Maryland’s Prescription Drug Affordability Board is moving closer to putting price caps on as many as eight drugs. The board selected a handful of drugs it thinks fit the criteria of being cost prohibitive to Marylanders who are on state-run health insurance plans. Those include the diabetes and weight loss medication Ozempic, ADHD drug Vyvance and Dupixent, a medication that’s used to treat asthma. Scott Maucione/WYPR-FM.

WHAT BILLS WILL GIVE GOV. MOORE AGITA? Gov. Wes Moore (D) signed dozens of bills into law Tuesday. He’s got hundreds of bills to review over the next six weeks. He has three bill signing ceremonies tentatively scheduled. He can sign bills, veto them or let them become law without his signature. Will any of the bills passed give the governor heartburn? Is there anything that could emerge on his veto list? Here are at least a few measures that passed with some degree of controversy — and where Moore may feel pressure from advocates to wield his veto pen. William J. Ford, Josh Kurtz, Danielle J. Brown and Bryan P. Sears/Maryland Matters.

THE MONEY ISSUE STILL LOOMS LARGE: Maryland lawmakers finished their historic 446th session Monday in Annapolis in a way that will set them up to face the same looming question that greeted them when they arrived this year. How, exactly, is the state going to pay for all of this? Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.

Former Gov. Larry Hogan, left, listens to Randy Marriner, founder of Manor Hill Brewing, at Sunday’s stop at the Howard County brewery as he campaigns for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. photo by Len Lazarick

‘MAVERICK’ HOGAN RUNS FOR SENATE: Former Gov. Larry Hogan has just wrapped up a trip a 10-day campaign bus tour across Maryland. His announcement that he was running for U.S. Senate upended the race for what had presumably been a safe Democratic seat for the winner of the primary between two Democrats, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and U.S. Rep. David Trone. Len Lazarick/

AIDING IMMIGRANT CHILDREN WHO CAME ALONE: More than 43,000 children who traveled to the United States unaccompanied from October 2023 to January of this year, entering the immigration system on their own. The experience can be daunting and traumatic for children who don’t speak English or understand complex immigration proceedings. They usually cannot afford an attorney and attend hearings on their own. But efforts are underway to make the process more humane. Some of this work was already being done in Baltimore, a sanctuary city that welcomes immigrants. Clara Longo de Freitas/The Baltimore Banner.

POLL: CLOSE RACE BETWEEN SCOTT, DIXON: Brandon Scott, Baltimore’s mayor of four years, and Sheila Dixon, the city’s former mayor hoping to reclaim her position, are locked in a close race amid a swell in city voters who feel Baltimore is headed in a positive direction, according to a new poll for The Baltimore Sun, University of Baltimore and FOX45. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.

U.S. REP. HARRIS SAYS CONGRESS TO OK FUNDS KEY BRIDGE REPLACEMENT: The conservative Freedom Caucus in the U.S. House has pressed the federal government to seek money from shipping companies that may be liable for the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse before spending taxpayer dollars on a replacement. However, caucus member and Maryland Rep. Andy Harris says he believes it’s OK for the government to “front the money” for a new Key Bridge, while working to be paid back by any liable parties. And, he says, “I think the House will agree and Congress will agree the federal government can keep the project moving.” Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

AMERICAN STEEL LIKELY TO GO INTO NEW BRIDGE: President Biden pledged during his trip to Baltimore to see the wreckage from the Key Bridge to move “heaven and earth to rebuild this bridge as rapidly as humanly possible” and using “American steel.” While Bethlehem Steel’s Sparrows Point Mill, just south of the Key Bridge, was once the largest mill in the world, it has been gone for years. So is it still possible to use U.S. Steel? The short answer is yes. And it’s not just possible — it’s likely. Meredith Cohn/The Baltimore Banner.

CARROLL COMMISSIONER TEMPERS THREAT AGAINST LIBRARY SYSTEM: In the past several weeks, Carroll County Commissioners President Ken Kiler repeatedly has been saying that funding for the county’s public library system is in jeopardy because of the system’s active public support for the Freedom to Read Act, passed by the Maryland General Assembly this legislative session. Last week, Kiler has tempered his position, saying that no final decisions have been made on the fiscal 2025 county budget. Sherry Greenfield/The Carroll County Times.

MARYLAND PROUD BOY TO BE SENTENCED FRIDAY: A onetime Maryland leader of the neo-fascist group the Proud Boys is facing multiple years in prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Scott Miller, of Millersville in Anne Arundel County, is facing sentencing Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington for his role in the insurrection. He pleaded guilty in January to assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon. Brett Barrouquere/The Baltimore Banner.

ARCHDIOCESE PROPOSES CLOSING HALF B’MORE CHURCHES: The Archdiocese of Baltimore has been working for two years to develop a plan for retooling its operations in the city. A proposal shared Sunday with parishioners would, if approved, cut the number of parishes in the city and several suburbs from from 61 to 21. It would slash the number of worship sites in the same area from 59 to 26. Jonathan Pitts/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Here’s what to know about what the church calls “Seek the City to Come,” its initiative to grapple with shrinking congregations in many urban parishes, some of which also have aging buildings and large campuses. Jonathan Pitts/The Baltimore Sun.

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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