New Senate budget chair Guzzone forecasts a phase-in for school reforms, spending

The new chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, Howard County’s Guy Guzzone, sees a way forward by phasing in the recommendations without tax hikes – at least for the moment. “If you’re going to spend all this money, you want to see results,” Guzzone said in an interview. “What I believe by now at this point is that we have the resources right now to get this going. We have the resources to see improvements along the way.” “And we’re going to keep checking. And every time we check and realize that we’re succeeding and we’re reaching the next level of success, we can say, OK, let’s figure out how to fund that next level. I think that’s the right way to think about it.”

Maryland to phase in manure restrictions without delay

Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joseph Bartenfelder declared Monday that he saw no need to delay a state regulation that restricts the use of animal manure to fertilize farm fields, despite a study warning there are likely to be problems dealing with the excess manure that is expected to result.

New editor-publisher takes over MarylandReporter.com

Longtime journalist Tim Maier is the new executive editor and publisher of MarylandReporter.com, taking over day-to-day operations from editor and publisher Len Lazarick after 10 years at the helm of the site he founded in 2009. Len will remain as president of the nonprofit corporation and is now chairman of its board. He will continue to write for the website and contribute in other ways with fundraising and business functions. 

New federal budget boosts Chesapeake Bay funding

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program, which guides the overall restoration work throughout the six-state watershed, will get $85 million, the most it’s ever received. That’s a 16% increase over what the program received annually from Congress for the last five years. It’s also almost $78 million more than the Trump White House had asked for this year. That request would have resulted in a nearly 90% cut to the Bay Program budget.

Young-of-year rockfish have another poor year in Md., better in Va.

Striped bass, whose population has been in decline for a decade and a half, suffered from another poor year of reproduction in Maryland, though the news was better in Virginia. Maryland’s annual young-of-year index was just 3.4, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, well below the long-term average of 11.6. It was the ninth time in the last 14 years that the state’s index reflected below-average reproduction in the state.

Md. youths needing psychiatric care find long waits, drives

Traveling long distances to access inpatient psychiatric care is a familiar problem for the parents of children and adolescents living in rural areas. Most juveniles who visit the emergency department for psychiatric reasons spend less than 24 hours there, but a growing number of children and adolescents are staying even longer as they wait in local emergency rooms for transfer to a more appropriate facility.

Maryland uses surveillance, data to track motorists, traffic

Motorists in Maryland may be aware of the cameras that enforce speed and red-light violations, but the state’s tracking practices include other layers to assist in law enforcement efforts, and for traffic and planning purposes. Through the different practices, Maryland collects both anonymous and identifiable information — depending on the method — about driving patterns, raising concerns for privacy advocates.