State Roundup: Heat standards for Maryland workers on the horizon; Moore pardons a beginning toward repair of long-time justice issue

State Roundup: Heat standards for Maryland workers on the horizon; Moore pardons a beginning toward repair of long-time justice issue

It may be a bit late for the current heat wave, but the Maryland Department of Labor is set to pass a heat standard to protect workers. Image by Sven Lachmann from Pixabay

AS TEMPS SOAR, LABOR DEPT SET TO PASS WORKERS’ HEAT STANDARDS: As heat advisories and watches get issued across the state, workers continue on the job. The Maryland Department of Labor is set to pass a proposed heat standard to keep them safer, but it may not come until the worst of summer heat has passed. Just a handful of states have heat standards, and Maryland will be the first on the East Coast. Meanwhile, states like Florida have made it illegal for municipalities to pass their own heat standard. Emily Hofstaedter/WYPR-FM.

MOORE’s PARDONS JUST ONE PART TO FIXING PROBLEM: Gov. Wes Moore’s decision to offer mass pardons for low-level marijuana crimes is part of a nascent but growing effort to remedy inequities in the criminal justice system wrought by a drug that is now legal in many parts of the country. Katie Shepherd, David Ovalle and David Nakamura/The Washington Post.

  • While advocates are celebrating the pardons as a “powerful symbolic gesture,” many see them as just a first step in improving the lives of those still struggling with the fallout of minor criminal offenses. “The pardon is only one piece of the puzzle of that equity issue,” said Heather Warnken, executive director for Criminal Justice Reform at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

KURT SCHMOKE LED THE WAY FOR DRUG DECRIMINALIZATION: Decades before Gov. Wes Moore took the lectern on Monday morning to issue a sweeping pardon of state marijuana convictions, another Maryland politician advocated for legalizing drug use. Kurt Schmoke had seen the war on drugs play out as the Baltimore state’s attorney in the 1980s. He became convinced that the country’s drug crisis was a public health problem, not a criminal one. In 1988, months after being elected as Baltimore’s mayor, Schmoke proposed to a conference of mayors and police chiefs in Washington that they should consider decriminalizing drug use in the way the United States had changed course on alcohol after Prohibition. Daniel Wu/The Washington Post.

FERC DENIES ENERGY FIRM’s BID TO HIKE B’MORE ELECTRIC RATES: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday denied a national energy company’s bid to increase electricity rates around Baltimore to pay for outgoing power plants to remain online. Dillon Mullan/The Baltimore Sun.

LEGAL MANEUVERS MAY KEEP DALI CREW ON BOARD FOR A WHILE LONGER: Crew members who have been stuck aboard the cargo ship that toppled the Francis Scott Key Bridge may have to wait a little longer before they can leave the United States. A federal judge ordered the ship’s owner and the U.S. government not to allow crew members to travel to their home countries until at least Thursday, when there will be an emergency hearing on a request to make the crew available for depositions. Madeleine O’Neill/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Eight crew members were set to leave the country for the first time since the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed, but attorneys representing people economically hurt by the wreck say letting them go would complicate litigation over the incident. Brett Barrouquere /The Baltimore Banner.

DEL. BUCKEL DENIES INTOXICATION, DRIVING CHARGES: Minority Leader Del. Jason C. Buckel defended himself Tuesday against charges that he was driving negligently and under the influence when he was stopped by police near Cumberland last week. “I did not over consume any alcoholic beverages on the night in question, particularly as I had not been feeling well earlier in the afternoon and had taken some over the counter medication,” Buckel’s statement said. “I was not speeding. I was not driving erratically in any way.” Matt Small/WTOP-FM.

B’MORE WATERWAYS GET A FAILING GRADE – AGAIN: It’s report card time for Baltimore’s waterways and, as they have for the past 11 years, they flunked. Baltimore Harbor, the Patapsco River and the Gwynns Falls not only got failing grades, but have been trending slightly downward over that past decade. The Jones Falls has improved, slightly. Fern Shen/Baltimore Brew.

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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