State Roundup: How tax hikes will pay for Education Blueprint; immigrant workers power Maryland workforce; Moore establishes environmental literacy program

State Roundup: How tax hikes will pay for Education Blueprint; immigrant workers power Maryland workforce; Moore establishes environmental literacy program photo

HOW TAX INCREASES WILL PAY FOR BLUEPRINT: According to a chart provided by the Blueprint’s Accountability and Implementation Board that oversees the multi-billion-dollar education plan, a $1.25 increase in a pack of cigarettes could generate about $86 million, while tax increases on other tobacco products could provide another $5 million in the upcoming fiscal year. The total amount of tobacco revenue is expected to decrease from $91 million to about $71 million by fiscal year 2029, because when tobacco taxes go up, tobacco use often goes down — or users look to other states with lower taxes to buy their products. Nevertheless, an additional $76 million generated in taxes on tobacco and other products in fiscal years 2026 and 2027 would be designated toward the Blueprint fund. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

NEW DATA FINDS IMMIGRANTS POWER MARYLAND WORKFORCE: New data shows that Maryland has a larger immigrant labor force than the U.S. average. About 21% of workers in the state are foreign-born compared to a 17% nationwide average. Those foreign workers are also fueling the state’s meager 2 percent labor force growth, as they are more likely to participate in the labor force than natural born Marylanders. The state has a 2.4% unemployment rate and has approximately three job openings available for every worker, one of the highest ratios in the nation. Emily Hofstaedtler/WYPR-FM.

MOORE SETS UP ENVIRO LITERACY PROGRAM: Gov. Wes Moore issued an executive order Monday establishing an environmental literacy program in an effort to empower Maryland youth to conserve and restore the state’s natural resources in the face of climate change. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.

FIVE SPOTS TO CELEBRATE NATURE THIS EARTH DAY: Earth Day is celebrated by people all over the world. In addition to volunteering to help clean the environment or advocating for environmental issues, some choose to celebrate the day by spending time outdoors. Here are five places in and around Maryland where you can appreciate nature this Earth Day and year-round. Mariam Bukhari of Capital News Service/

DEM LAWMAKERS FIND CONVENTION DELEGATE SELECTION IRKSOME: Del. Robbyn Lewis has never been to a Democratic National Convention before. So when the call came for candidates interested in serving as delegates to this summer’s convention in Chicago, Lewis signed up to run in the May 14 Democratic primary as a delegate pledged to President Biden. A few weeks later, Lewis learned that the Maryland Democratic Party had rejected her candidacy and that her name would not be appearing on the primary ballot as a Biden delegate. She wasn’t alone. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

***PART-TIME EDITOR NEEDED: Would you like to help Maryland Reporter put together its daily roundup of news? We need an editor Friday mornings, typically working 6-8 a.m. to compile the roundup for our website and the newsletter. Work in your pajamas. This is ideal for a retired journalist or freelancer. If interested, contact Len Lazarick, and attach a resume. If you’re reading this newsletter, you have a good idea what we do. You obviously need to know something about Maryland media, government and politics. You’ll know a lot more once you start doing it.***

DEM 6th DISTRICT HOUSE CANDIDATES SPAR AT PUBLIC FORUM: Democratic candidates for the Maryland Congressional District 6 seat weren’t afraid to challenge each other and make jabs at campaign practices and policy views during a forum at in Clarksburg on Sunday, marking the final weeks till the May 14 primary election. Top fundraiser April McClain Delaney, an attorney with a telecommunications policy background, was notably absent from the event, and Del. Joe Vogel (D-Dist. 17) addressed her absence during his closing statement. Ginny Bixby/MoCo 360.

MAYOR SCOTT TOUTS RESULTS OF VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAM: When Mayor Brandon Scott first proposed a goal of reducing Baltimore shootings by 15% per year, his staff “almost fainted” and others laughed, Scott recalled Monday. Midway through his five-year violence prevention plan, residents are beginning to see the fruits of that work, and those double-digit declines are becoming reality, Scott said at a news conference. Darcy Costello/The Baltimore Sun.

CORRECTIONS OFFICER STABBED, HOSPITALIZED: A correctional officer at a state prison in Cumberland was stabbed by an inmate Sunday evening.The officer at the North Branch Correctional Institution, a maximum-security facility in Western Maryland, is in stable condition at a hospital in Morgantown. Dillon Mullan/The Baltimore Sun.

FOUNDATION SET TO AID BUSINESSES IMPACCTED BY METRO LINE WORK: As Metro’s delayed Purple Line project has left unfinished construction alongside roads and prevented the emerging Blue Line project and further development, local small business owners and entrepreneurs are expected to feel the sting as construction begins– if they haven’t already. The Greater Washington Community Foundation, funded by a $500,000 donation from PNC Bank, will help a small group of businesses to grow in these corridors. Richard Elliott/The Washington Informer.

OPINION: HOPE FOR HEALTHIER JOURNALISM OUTLOOK IN MARYLAND: I believe in journalism. At its best, journalism celebrates the good we have in common, shines light on the wrongs and points the way toward making things better. So, I listened with interest last week as the University of Maryland, the Knight Foundation and The Baltimore Banner discussed the findings of the university’s study on the state of local journalism in Maryland. No surprise, what researchers found ain’t great. But they also discovered reason to hope. Rick Hutzell/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:

1 Comment

  1. Jay A

    If Brandon Scott thinks a 20% drop in homicides is something to be proud of, he needs to see the facts. 20% of 300 homicides means 240 people were killed. Potential taxpayers for Baltimore. If that trend continues for five more years, 1,200 potential taxpayers won’t be able to support Baltimore and it’s increasing cost of operations. It shouldn’t take five years to turn things around to feel safe. Sadly, another 240 people might lose their life this year because Brandon Scott thinks he has a handle on crime prevention. My father-in-law, father of eight children, was the first homicide victim on January 2, 1974. Fifty years later, the first homicide victim was on January 2, 2024. Nothing has changed but the homicides continue.
    Parents need take action and be held accountable and responsible for their children’s actions or their offspring may be the next homicide victim. The homicide rate should drop 100%, now that would be something to be proud of broadcasting.

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