State Roundup: MTA considers barriers to protect Bay Bridge; How Delaware made bridge protection a reality

State Roundup: MTA considers barriers to protect Bay Bridge; How Delaware made bridge protection a reality

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Maryland Reporter will be taking tomorrow, Independence Day, off to celebrate. Have a wonderful and safe July 4th and we’ll see you on Friday!

MTA CONSIDERS BARRIERS TO PROTECT BAY BRIDGE: The Maryland Transportation Authority is considering installing protective barriers at the Bay Bridge in the wake of the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge after it was struck in late March by a large container ship. Jonathan Pitts/The Baltimore Sun.

HOW DELAWARE MADE BRIDGE PROTECTION A REALITY: Wilmington, Del., workers are nearing the halfway point of a 26-month, $95 million project to replace the pier protection system at the foot of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The span carries about 100,000 vehicles per day between Delaware and New Jersey and is an indispensable link in the Interstate 95 corridor. Such an upgrade rarely happens. But officials with the Delaware River and Bay Authority made it happen. The story of how they did has as many twists and turns as a freighter’s route through Wilmington and Camden to the Port of Philadelphia. Jonathan Pitts/The Baltimore Sun.

OFFICE OF STATE PROSECUTOR FAILED TO USE COMPETITIVE BID PROCESS: A state agency charged with investigating and prosecuting public officials violated state procurement law when it purchased a case management system, according to the Office of Legislative Audits. The Office of State Prosecutor failed to use a competitive bid process to purchase the system. State auditors said the agency also failed to provide a written justification for using a sole source contract when it spent more than $131,000 on the system between 2020 and 2023. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

MARYLAND TO TEST FEDERAL HOSPITAL MODEL: Maryland is set to be one of two test-subject states for a new federal program that officials hope will improve patient outcomes and bridge inequities while constraining hospital and medical costs. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Tuesday that Maryland and Vermont will be the first states to implement the new States Advancing All-Payer Health Equity Approaches and Development Model, called the AHEAD Model. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

STATE PAUSES ENROLLMENT FOR MEDICAID BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PROGRAMS: The Maryland Department of Health has issued a six-month pause on accepting new Medicaid enrollments for specific behavioral health programs to mitigate potential fraud, waste and abuse by providers under Medicaid guidelines. The pause, which went into effect on Monday, applies to psychiatric rehabilitation programs, health homes, partial hospital programs and intensive outpatient treatment programs. Gabrielle Lewis/The Frederick News Post.

RED LINE FUTURE IN HANDS OF ‘TRUE BELIEVER:’ When the proposed Red Line transit project was canceled in 2015, Holly Arnold was angry. As the manager for the Maryland Transit Administration’s capital program at the time, it had been her job to plan out the money for the new east-west light rail. She loved the job. But then her boss’s boss canned the project. After an eight-year hiatus, the Red Line is back. Arnold is not only thrilled about the project’s revival, now she’s in charge of it. Daniel Zawodny/The Baltimore Banner.

9 MO CO DEMS SEEK TO FILL LOVE’s HOUSE SEAT: Nine Democrats have applied for the chance to replace newly appointed state Sen. Sara Love (D-Montgomery) in the House of Delegates, and on Tuesday evening they made their cases at a public forum sponsored by a local political club. Gov. Wes Moore (D) will have the final say on filling the District 16 House vacancy, but the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee is scheduled to make its recommendation for the appointment to the governor on July 11. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

COMPTROLLER CORRECTS ERROR IN CANNABIS TAX COLLECTIONS: The Office of the Comptroller has updated its quarterly report on cannabis taxes after identifying a clerical error in its data. Last week, Comptroller Brooke Lierman released the third report on quarterly recreational tax collections, which included tax collections for five regions of the state for the first three months of the year. A clerical error transposed collections for the Capital and Central regions, making it appear as if there were sharp and unexplained fluctuations in collections, even as recreational cannabis sales tax collections grew by just 0.7%. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR RETIRES, NEW CHIEF NAMED: There’s new leadership at the Office of Legislative Audits. Gregory Hook, a 43-year veteran of the office who served as legislative auditor since 2018, retired Monday. Replacing him is Brian Tanen. Tanen was named legislative officer Monday by Department of Legislative Services Executive Director Victoria Gruber. He joined the office in 1996. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

HOW SUPREMES’ RULING AFFECTS MARYLANDERS INVOLVED IN JAN. 6 RIOT: The Supreme Court’’s ruling that the felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding must include evidence that a defendant tried to tamper with or destroy documents will not have an impact on the vast majority of cases brought against Jan. 6 rioters. According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, of the more than 1,400 people it arraigned in connection to the riot, more than 82% were never charged with or convicted of the obstruction law. Luke Parker/The Baltimore Sun.

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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