State Roundup: Moore budget cut proposal shifts funds to higher costs in child care, Medicaid; Maryland senators appeal for full funding of Key Bridge replacement

State Roundup: Moore budget cut proposal shifts funds to higher costs in child care, Medicaid; Maryland senators appeal for full funding of Key Bridge replacement

The State House in Annapolis (MarylandReporter.com file photo)

$150M IN PROPOSED BUDGET CUTS SHIFTS FUNDS TO CHILD CARE, MEDICAID INCREASES: Gov. Wes Moore on Wednesday proposed cutting just under $150 million in state funds scheduled to go to a wide range of programs and services this year in order to cover increasing costs for child care and Medicaid. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.

  • The cuts, proposed just 10 days into the new budget year, siphon spending from five agencies and also draw down 10 percent of a state savings account earmarked for specific projects. Moore, a rising figure in the Democratic Party, was elected on big promises to “leave no one behind” but faced a budget situation unlikely to finance them. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
  • Under the plan, the comptroller’s office, for example, loses $1.1 million that would have gone to hiring staff sooner in the fiscal year. The Maryland Department of Health faced hiring delays and programming cuts totaling more than $26 million. Brenda Wintrode and Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
  • Republican leaders welcomed the fact that the administration is not calling for more taxes or fees to fix the budget, but said Moore’s plan is “not exactly an act of courage” given longer-term fiscal challenges the state faces. “It is going to take more than swapping dollars around to address our fiscal challenges,” House Minority Whip Jesse T. Pippy (R-Frederick) said in a statement. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

MD SENATORS APPEAL FOR FULL FUNDING OF NEW KEY BRIDGE: Whether the federal government will pay 90% or 100% of the new Francis Scott Key Bridge — a difference that is expected to be roughly $170 million — was at the center of a discussion Wednesday in a U.S. Senate hearing. Hayes Gardner/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Maryland Democratic Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin urged a Senate panel Wednesday to support full federal funding to replace the Francis Scott Key Bridge, given the “off the charts” impact of the disaster. “We are asking for the 100% because that’s what we’ve done in the past” for major disasters elsewhere in the country, Cardin said in testimony to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Elijah Pittman/Maryland Matters.

LONE SURVIVOR OF KEY BRIDGE COLLAPSE SPEAKS OUT: Julio Cervantes Suarez, the lone member of his construction crew to survive the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, believed he would die as he fell toward the Patapsco River. In the first interview Cervantes has given since the bridge collapsed at about 1:30 a.m. March 26, he told Tom Llamas of NBC News that he was submerged in water up to his neck before he escaped his work vehicle. Cassidy Jensen and Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun.

CANDIDATE VETTING BY CENTRAL COMMITTEES FALLS SHORT: Political central committees in Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions are charged with filling legislative vacancies and vetting the candidates to see if they’re eligible for the offices they are seeking. Those reviews, however, do not always include scrutiny of public records — including court records.Two of nine Democrats seeking to fill the District 16 seat vacated last month by now-Sen. Sara Love (D) were found to have had some contact with the courts involving criminal charges or other proceedings. Bryan Sears and Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

MARYLAND BROADBAND PLAN WINS FEDERAL OK, DOLLARS: Maryland will be able to access more than $267 million in federal funds to help expand broadband access across the state, after federal officials recently approved the state’s plan to do so, The money is part of the Biden administration’s $42.45 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment plan, which is designed to help states and local governments bring high-speed internet service to remote or underserved areas. In Maryland, the funding will be used to provide internet access for about 21,000 unserved homes and 9,000 underserved communities. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

FEW PRIVATE CHILD CARE PROVIDERS TO JOIN EXPANDED PRE-K PROGRAM: Maryland is counting on private child care providers to take part as the state expands its pre-K program — but many providers don’t plan on becoming involved. In a spring survey of the state’s child care providers conducted by the Local News Network, only 12.9% of respondents said they plan to or were already involved in the pre-K program created under the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, the state’s expansive education reform plan. Audrey Keefe and Mira Beinart of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.

OPINION: THE LACK OF BLACK WOMEN IN GOVERNMENT: Angela Alsobrooks, an attorney and the county executive of Prince George’s County, was recently nominated for Maryland’s open U.S. Senate seat. Given that nomination, and the fact that current Vice President Kamala Harris is of Black descent, you might think that Black women are serving in the U.S. government in considerable numbers. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. Ashley Estelle/The Afro.

HARRY DUNN PAC GIVES TO ALSOBROOKS, 10 OTHER SENATE HOPEFULS: The new political action committee of former U.S. Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn, a former candidate for Congress from Maryland, doled out its first 10 endorsements on Wednesday, sending along $2,500 to each of the Democratic candidates for Senate on the list. Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Maryland, is one of the 10 recipients of the PAC’s largesse. She’s competing for an open seat against former Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

CARROLL SCHOOL BOARD BANS TWO BOOKS ON FAMILY STRUCTURES: The Carroll County Board of Education rejected two books from its elementary health curriculum, in a 3-2 vote — “The Family Book ” by Todd Parr and “The Great Big Book of Families ” by Mary Hoffman. Each book depicts different family structures, including families with same-sex parents, adopted children, single parents and stepparents, and do not include any discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity. Lizzy Alspach and Thomas Goodwin Smith/The Carroll County Times.

MO CO SCHOOL BOARD STUDENT MEMBER REFLECTS ON A DIFFICULT YEAR: Sami Saeed first got a glimpse last summer of how intense his term would be as the student representative of Maryland’s largest school district. Protesters were flooding Montgomery County’s school board meetings to call for the district to let families opt out of storybooks featuring LGBTQ characters. Nicole Asbury/The Washington Post.

B’MORE DPW WORKERS EXPOSED TO DANGEROUS HEAT, IG SAYS: Baltimore Department of Public Works employees in Cherry Hill do not have adequate access to water, ice or fans to combat intense summer heat, according to a report from the city’s inspector general. The report said the agency hasn’t responded adequately to complaints about the problem, potentially violating federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards as well as a memorandum of understanding the city has with the workers’ union. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Conducting a surprise visit to the Cherry Hill Solid Waste Yard Wednesday morning, Baltimore Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming found employees exposed to hazardous working conditions, including no functioning air conditioning, broken thermostats, inoperable water fountains and no ice. Mark Reutter/The Baltimore Brew.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

cynthiaprairie@gmail.com
https://www.chestertelegraph.org/

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: cynthiaprairie@gmail.com

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