State Roundup: ER wait times in Maryland hospitals among longest; behavioral health insurance coverage lacking; new laws target work zone safety, caring for victims’ families

State Roundup: ER wait times in Maryland hospitals among longest; behavioral health insurance coverage lacking; new laws target work zone safety, caring for victims’ families

Wait times in Maryland hospital emergency rooms have been found to be among the longest. Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

WAIT TIMES IN MARYLAND ERs AMONG THE LONGEST: While long emergency department wait times are a problem everywhere in the country, they are particularly bad in Maryland. Patients in Maryland spend 4 hours, 7 minutes, on average, from the time they arrive in emergency departments to the time they leave, according to federal data last updated in January. That doesn’t include patients seeking help for psychiatric or mental health reasons — a population that waits, on average, for about 6 hours, 40 minutes in Maryland. Angela Roberts/The Baltimore Sun.

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH COVERAGE LAGGING: Maryland health officials often tout the state’s relatively low 6% uninsured rate, but a new report shows that even the state’s insured population can struggle to receive coverage for a major component of overall well-being: behavioral health services. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

LAWS TARGET WORK ZONE SAFETY, AIDING VICTIMS’ FAMILIES: After a pair of deadly work zone incidents cast attention on the dangers of road work,  Gov. Wes Moore enacted a set of protections for workers and their families that his administration describes as “a moral imperative.” Hours after the state’s legislature adjourned, a bill increasing fines for work zone speed violations and another covering educational costs for families of fallen workers were among the first measures from the 2024 session that Moore signed into law. Sapna Bansil of Capital News Service/

MOORE TOUTS BIPARTISAN WORK IN 2024 LEGISLATIVE SESSION: Gov. Wes Moore bragged the other day about “going 26 for 26” in passing his bills through the General Assembly, a display of bipartisan achievement he called “Maryland’s win.” With his second legislative session now in the rearview mirror, Moore has been touting bipartisan support for his agenda the past two sessions since he took office in 2023. Kiersten Hacker of Capital News Service/

JUVIE SERVICES SECTY WANTS TO ‘TRY BOLD STUFF:’ Maryland Secretary of Juvenile Services Vincent Schiraldi visited Harvard Law School Friday for a book tour event that represented a critical opportunity to better understand one of Maryland’s most influential government officials. “I’d like to see us go further and try some bold stuff,” Schiraldi said. “[P]articularly reinvesting the savings into communities where I think the real evidence gives.” Gary Collins/WBFF-TV News.

POLL: BLUEPRINT GETS OVERWHELMING SUPPORT: In spite of looming fiscal challenges and a high price tag, an overwhelming majority of Marylanders support the state’s ambitious Blueprint for Maryland’s Future education plan, according to a new poll, Lia Russell/The Baltimore Sun.

GOP SUPPORTERS WANT HOGAN TO AVOID DISSING EX PRES TRUMP: Andy DePaola welcomed Larry Hogan to his family’s restaurant with a big smile and a handshake. The warning came a few minutes later. DePaola, the 64-year-old namesake of DePaola’s Bagel and Brunch here in Maryland’s conservative Eastern Shore, whispered to a reporter that Hogan better avoid disparaging former President Donald Trump. Steve Peoples and Brian Witte/The Associated Press.

DEL. HORNBERGER CHARGED WITH 2nd-DEGREE ASSAULT OF ADULT SON: Del. Kevin Hornberger is facing a second-degree assault charge that his adult son, Adam Hornberger, filed against him on Wednesday morning after a dispute between them at their home near North East one day earlier, according to Cecil County District Court records. Kevin Hornberger is the ex-husband of Cecil County Executive Danielle Hornberger. Carl Hamilton and Matt Hubbard and /The Cecil Whig.

B’MORE MAYOR CANDIDATES DEBATE: The top candidates for Baltimore mayor broke little new ground during the season’s first televised debate Wednesday. Mayor Brandon Scott and former Mayor Sheila Dixon — the front-runners — were joined by attorney Thiru Vignarajah and businessman Bob Wallace. Emily Sullivan/The Baltimore Banner.

PFAS IN SALISBURY WATER EXCEEDS 400% OF SAFE LEVEL: Three Maryland and Delaware locations, including Salisbury, have been listed as exceeding PFAS levels by over 300% in an Environmental Protection Agency study into pollution of “forever chemicals” in water systems. Kristian Jaime/The Salisbury Daily Times.

ON THE BELTWAY AND IN THE DARK: In early April, a WTOP staffer noticed an unusual number of streetlights were out along the Beltway in Maryland, with more than 60 spotted between Interstate 95 and the exit to Connecticut Avenue. This left large sections of the interstate where streetlights exist, in the dark. Derek Gunn, an MDOT SHA transportation engineer who oversees the area that includes the Beltway, said while lighting is seen as a “critical part of our infrastructure,” one big problem remains: The system is old. Mike Murillo/WTOP-FM.

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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