State Roundup: Toll revenue loss from Key Bridge collapse estimate at $141 million; Wright formally takes over state public schools; after Biden stumble, MD GOP sees energized voters

State Roundup: Toll revenue loss from Key Bridge collapse estimate at $141 million; Wright formally takes over state public schools;  after Biden stumble, MD GOP sees energized voters

The Francis Scott Key Bridge sits in water shortly after its collapse in March. File photo from the Baltimore City Fire Department Rescue Team 1.

TOLL REVENUE LOSS FROM KEY BRIDGE COLLAPSE ESTIMATED AT $141M: The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge will cost the state an estimated $141 million in lost toll revenue over six years and may bring toll increases a year sooner than expected. That projected loss makes up the lion’s share of the revised forecast that includes a decrease in toll revenues across all facilities. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

WHAT’s NEXT FOR THE BAY CLEANUP EFFORTS: After 10 years and millions of dollars spent, scientists, government officials and environmentalists agree that the latest agreement to restore the Chesapeake Bay will fall short of its 2025 deadline. So what now? The path forward became a bit more clear Monday, after a key Chesapeake Bay Program committee released its suggestions for “Beyond 2025,” opening a 60-day public comment period. Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun.

MARYLAND REPUBLICANS SEE VOTERS ENERGIZED: As Democrats reel from President Joe Biden’s befuddled debate performance last week, political strategists are trying to weigh the impact the new narrative in the presidential election could have on competitive down-ballot races. In Maryland, Republicans believe Biden’s shaky showing will energize their voters in the 6th Congressional District – far and away the state’s most competitive – and possibly in the high-profile open-seat Senate election as well. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

WRIGHT FORMALLY TAKES OVER SCHOOL SYSTEM WITH BIG PLANS: After leading Maryland’s education system temporarily for eight months, Carey Wright is kicking off her own four-year term as the state Superintendent of Schools. And she’s got a lot on her plate. There’s the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, a multi-billion-dollar package of education reforms that has multiple implementation deadlines co-occurring over the next four years. Bri Hatch/WYPR-FM.

  • By 2027, Maryland’s State Board of Education wants to see the state’s students’ reading scores go up. The goal is to make the reading scores on the National Association of Educational Progress — sometimes referred to as “the nation’s report card” — go from near the bottom to within the country’s Top 10. Wright is bullish on the “science of reading” approach outlined in the draft. “It’s a very strategic way of teaching children to read,” Wright said in an interview. Kate Ryan/WTOP-FM.

HOUSE COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS SHUFFLED: The appointment of a Montgomery County lawmaker to fill a vacancy in the Senate has reshuffled some committee assignments in the House of Delegates. Former Del. Sara Love (D-Montgomery) was sworn into the Senate last month to fill a vacancy created by the departure of Ariana Kelly. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

HARFORD CANCELS AP AFRICAN AMERICAN COURSE: Harford County Public Schools will not offer Advanced Placement African American Studies next year after school board members expressed concerns about course content, calling it “divisive” and too political. The course, along with Women in Perspective and Sixth Grade Social Sciences, was brought before the Harford Board of Education Monday night. Each of the current curriculums was subject to updates that board members voted on. Matt Hubbard/The Aegis.

  • “The topics are heavily politically oriented and perpetuate the message of oppressed versus oppressor,” Terri Kocher, a board member who voted against the class, said at the meeting. “I think we’re missing an opportunity to present positive messages of unity and great American contributions.” Kristen Griffith/The Baltimore Banner.

BA CO COUNCIL SIZE TO GO TO THE VOTERS IN NOVEMBER: Baltimore County residents will decide whether to add two elected officials in November after the County Council passed a related bill Monday. The County Council voted 5-1 for the bill to add two more members to the legislative body during the 2026 election cycle. The bill, which required five members’ affirmative votes, will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot as a charter amendment. Amendments to the charter, which does not mention expansion, need a majority vote to go into effect. Lia Russell/The Baltimore Sun.

  • The vote was 5-1 with Councilman Julian Jones absent. Councilman Pat Young, a Democrat, was the lone “no” vote, but not because he was opposed to expanding the body. Young said he had been swayed by advocates who wanted the council to expand to 11 members, arguing it would increase the likelihood it would be more diverse. John Lee/WYPR-FM.
  • The current council is all male, with six white members and one African American. “Over time, there is a resounding theme,” Young said. “We have been historically, with painfully few exceptions, a very white and very male council.” John Rydell/Maryland Matters.
  • Newly proposed maps would split the westside district into two smaller ones, creating a pair of districts where the Black population is far higher than the white population and where a minority candidate might prevail. Rona Kobell/The Baltimore Banner.

B’MORE CITY VOTERS TO DECIDE ON $1,000 ‘BABY BONUS:’ A ballot question that would establish a fund to issue payments to parents of newborn children in hopes of fighting child poverty has gotten approval to appear on Baltimore city ballots this fall. The question, which is among many circulated for the ballot this year, would create a Baby Bonus fund that would issue one-time $1,000 payments to parents upon the birth or adoption of a child. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.

AG DELAYS RELEASE OF BODY CAM FOOTAGE IN FATAL POLICE SHOOTING: There will be a delay in the release of body-worn camera footage from a fatal May 29 officer involved-shooting in Silver Spring, the Independent Investigations Division of the Maryland Office of the Attorney General announced Monday. After an hours-long barricade in an apartment, a man who has not been identified by police was fatally shot by SWAT officers, according to authorities. Elia Grffin/MoCo 360.

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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