State Roundup July 12, 2019

Immigrant policy dominates the headlines as Baltimore braces for ICE raids; Baltimore Brew and plaintiff win appeal on police settlement gag order case; Dems allege Hogan campaign violations; agencies fail to do required excessive force reporting; homicide case brings attention to Maryland judge discipline lag; Purple Line delayed; Garrett hands over wastewater operation; Mosby supports drug injection site; DeGrange joins lobbying firm; Court of Appeals swearing in; utility companies interested in rate setting changes; Hogan hones communications shop; fallen journalists memorial gains support; Diamondback editorial on accreditation review; Hopkins offers gun policy seminar for teens; NOAA says Maryland flooding will worsen

State Roundup, June 28, 2019

Supreme Court won’t interfere on gerrymandering the ruling in Maryland case says; Hogan calls for redistricting overhaul; hundreds rally in Baltimore ICE protest; Pimlico negotiating continues; Ports to take over MTA; one year anniversary of Annapolis newspaper shootings; Hogan criticizes Montgomery on emergency communications planning; Kirwan funding means teacher raises in Harford; Shoemaker joins Family Violence Council

State Roundup, June 21, 2019

The Supreme Court rules the Bladensburg Peace Cross can stay; opinions are divided on the landmark case about religious symbols in public life; Kirwan education commission meets; a look into the problems with the REAL ID roll out; Metro chief Jack Evans to resign in light of ethics lapses; state employees get raises; MTA prices rising; VEEP Mike Pence to attend annual GOP dinner but Gov. Hogan will be out of town; more on the gas pipeline lawsuit; Maryland reps trying to keep USDA offices from moving; Ellicott City biz owner testifies on disaster aid; MoCo public access channels endangered; fired Pocomoke city manager files open meetings complaint; and U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer turns 80.

State Roundup, June 14, 2019

Gov. Hogan, lawmakers angered over UMMS report, news that four board members on leave have been invited to return; Maryland Matters reports that ex-House Speaker Clay Mitchell has died at 83; BSO musicians descend on Annapolis to urge Hogan to free funding to save their jobs; county leaders focus human trafficking prevention; state funds aid Preservation Maryland to ID historic sites with significance to LGBTQ community; Hogan seeks say in Baltimore city-Stronach talks on Pimlico but continues to oppose state-funding for facility rehab; Baltimore city nixed state help with government computer hack; Climate Change Part 5: state mounts efforts to aid those left in the cold; Carroll expected to get new early vote site; city councilman to introduce plastic grocery bag ban; and John Delaney makes cut for first Dem prez debate.

Senator questions security breach at courthouse by Howard County Register of Wills

State Sen. Gail Bates is asking for answers about a breach of security at Howard County  Courthouse involving Register of Wills Byron Macfarlane at the end of September. Howard County Sheriff’s Office deputies found a group of 15 to 20 in the courthouse with an access pass from Macfarlane, said Major Donald Knott, chief deputy. At the time the courthouse was closed and Macfarlane was not present.

New Maryand laws take effect Monday, Oct. 1, 2018 — spoofing phone calls, rookie drivers, vaping

Scores of laws passed during this year’s General Assembly session go into effect Monday. Some key new laws Oct. 1 include measures to: ban spoofing phone calls; stop the distribution of electronic cigarettes to minors; create a new extreme risk protective order (red flag) that will take guns away from alleged abusers; shrink the period required for driving learner’s permits from nine months to three,

Maryland grapples with national crisis of mental illness in jails

Responding to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures about mental health and the criminal justice system, Sen. Will Smith, D-Montgomery, said more effective initial encounters with people in mental health crisis and offering pretrial services are two ways in which the state and local governments need to act. The NCSL report calls for “codifying specialized training requirements for law enforcement on how to respond to mental health, substance use and behavioral disorder issues” as well as “funding for community-based mental health services such as crisis stabilization units designed to reroute individuals prior to entry into the justice system,” among other recommendations.

Many state employees don’t get evaluated, auditors find, citing poor training of supervisors

Not enough supervisors are getting training in the state government’s employee performance evaluation training program, state auditors have found. State law requires every state government employee to have twice yearly performance evaluations. A June report by Office of Legislative Audits found that on average 5,600 were not evaluated at all from fiscal 2012 to 2016, according to the Department of Budget and Management, amounting to 10% to 16% of the executive branch workforce. Some agencies evaluated almost all employees, but others, such as Public Safety, evaluated less than 70% of the people who work there.