State Roundup: Maternal Health Act awaits Moore’s signature; health care providers to lose large chunk of HIV funding; Elections Board seeks dismissal of lawsuit

State Roundup: Maternal Health Act awaits Moore’s signature; health care providers to lose large chunk of HIV funding; Elections Board seeks dismissal of lawsuit

The much-supported Maternal Health Act awaits Gov. Wes Moore's signature. Photo by Hannah Barata for Pexels.

MATERNAL HEALTH ACT AWAITS MOORE’s SIGNATURE: The Maryland Maternal Health Act of 2024 is among the hundreds of pieces of legislation awaiting the governor’s signature. The bill, considered a priority by the Legislative Black Caucus and Women’s Caucus passed both chambers of the General Assembly with no opposition. Maryland’s maternal mortality rate for 2021 was 21.2 per 100,000 live births; however racial health disparities persist. Wambui Kamau/WYPR-FM.

HEALTH PROVIDERS TO LOSE 3/4ths OF FUNDING TO AID HIV PATIENTS: By the end of June, health care providers in Maryland will lose nearly three-quarters of the funding they use to find and treat thousands of people with HIV, which could be a public health catastrophe. Advocates and providers say they had been warned there would be less money by the Maryland Department of Health, but were stunned at the size of the drop — from about $17.9 million this fiscal year to $5.3 million the next. Meredith Cohn/The Baltimore Banner.

ELECTIONS BOARD SEEKS DISMISSAL OF FEDERAL LAWSUIT: Attorneys representing the Maryland State Board of Elections are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit that alleges voter roll irregularities and other election law violations in the state. Two groups — Maryland Election Integrity LLC and Missouri-based United Sovereign Americans — filed suit in March against the state board for maintaining inaccurate voter registration lists and violating federal election law. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

OPINION: BOOK BANS ARE DANGEROUS: The Maryland legislature passed the Freedom to Read Act this session. The act sets standards for school libraries that prohibits books from being excluded or removed because of the author’s background and prevents library workers from being disciplined for following the standards. Still, the number of book challenges across the country warrants an outcry. Kerry Graham/The Baltimore Banner.

A HUGE TAXPAYER INVESTMENT: SPARROWS POINT FACTORY NEVER OPENED: The promises echoed into a massive warehouse once used by Bethlehem Steel: $350 million in public and private investment, 2,000 new jobs and the return of manufacturing to Sparrows Point within a year. It was March 2022, the tail end of the Omicron wave of COVID-19 in the U.S., and a company called United Safety Technology hosted local politicians and federal officials at a groundbreaking of its state-of-the-art nitrile glove factory — jumpstarted by a $96.1 million investment from the federal government. Two years later, not a single glove has rolled off the line. Giacomo Bologna/The Baltimore Banner.

METRO STATIONS TO CLOSE FOR SUMMER: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced Monday that the Glenmont, Wheaton, Forest Glen and Silver Spring Metro stations will close June 1 and reopen Sept. 1 and the Takoma Metro station will close June 1 and reopen June 30 in order to allow for construction at the stations and the Purple Line. WMATA announced Feb. 9 that it would temporarily close the five Metro Red Line stations over the summer. Ginny Bixby/MoCo 360.

***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.***

CECIL DELEGATE CALLS ASSAULT CHARGES BY SON UNFOUNDED: A Cecil County delegate says assault charges filed against him last week by his adult son are unfounded and were “inappropriately filed.” Del. Kevin B. Hornberger (R-Cecil) is facing a second-degree assault charge filed last week by his adult son, Adam Hornberger. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

FREDERICK BOARD BEGINS EARLY PRIMARY VOTE COUNT: Roughly three weeks ahead of the 2024 primary election, more than 5,000 voters in Frederick County have already completed and returned mail-in ballots to the local board of elections with their choices for local and federal offices. The Frederick County Board of Elections began the mail-in ballot canvass for the primary election on Monday — eight business days before the start of early voting on May 2, per state law. Ceoli Jacoby/The Frederick News Post.

POLITICAL NOTES: MOORE TO HEADLINE FUND-RAISER FOR ALSOBROOKS: Gov. Wes Moore is scheduled to headline a star-studded fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Angela Alsobrooks in Baltimore on the evening of April 30, according to an invitation. The other scheduled speakers are U.S. Reps. Kweisi Mfume, Jamie Raskin and John Sarbanes and state Comptroller Brooke Lierman. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

B’MORE FILES SUIT AGAINST DALI OWNER, MANAGER: Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and members of the Baltimore City Council filed a lawsuit against the owner and manager of the Dali, the cargo ship that struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, causing a deadly collapse. Tashi McQueen/The Afro.

8 MO CO PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN STATE’s TOP 20: Eight Montgomery County Public Schools  are among the Top 20 public high schools in Maryland, according to the rankings released Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report. Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda was the No. 2 school in the state, behind Baltimore’s Eastern Technical High School. Poolesville High School snatched bronze. James Musial/MoCo 360.

PRINCE GEORGE’S EMERGENCY BILL TARGETS YOUTH CURFEWS: Prince George’s County Council members passed emergency legislation Tuesday that creates a path for targeted youth curfews following last weekend’s teen melee at National Harbor. The bill allows for the police chief to designate juvenile curfew zones at the request of retail and commercial property owners. Lateshia Beachum and Jasmine Hilton/The Washington Post.

NEW CHARGE AGAINST BA CO WOMAN IN CONSPIRACY TO ATTACK SUBSTATIONS: A federal gun charge has been added to the case against a Baltimore County woman accused of conspiring with a neo-Nazi leader to attack and destroy energy substations around the Baltimore area to “lay [the] city to waste.” Cody Boteler/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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