Shady deals at MTA, persisting problems with social services, issues with developmental disabilities, UMES, auditors find

In four reports released in the past week, state auditors found: potential shady contract deals at the Maryland Transit Administration that they referred for prosecution, persisting problems at local social services agencies, failure to follow state procurement regulations and check residency requirements at a state university, and problems in verifying that Marylanders with developmental disabilities are getting the help they need.

Maryland voters support raising the minimum wage to $15

On one of the top issues facing legislators in Annapolis this session, 61% of Maryland voters favor raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and almost half (47%) strongly favor the idea, according to a new poll for MarylandReporter.com by Gonzales Research & Media Services. The move is broadly favored by more than three-fourths of Democrats (78%) and eight out of 10 African Americans (81%), as well as a majority of independents (55%). Only among Republican voters, a minority of the Maryland electorate, is their broad opposition to it, with almost half (49%) strongly opposed to the hourly hike.

Opinion: Live streaming of legislative sessions would honor journalists

I spent three hours off-and-on last Thursday watching the live gavel-to-gavel coverage on C-Span of the new U.S. House of Representatives being sworn in, including the return to power of that Baltimore girl turned San Francisco maven, Speaker Nancy D’Allesandro Pelosi. Wednesday the new Maryland General Assembly is being sworn in and we can watch the live gavel-to-gavel of the proceedings NOWHERE.

Poll: Hogan rides high, Trump in the dumps, middling support for sports betting, more for legalizing marijuana

Gov. Larry Hogan enters his new term with universal high approval from every sector of Maryland — blacks, whites, Republicans, Democrats, men, women, rural and suburban — according to the latest Gonzales Maryland Poll. All groups approve by 70% or more. President Donald Trump, on the other hand, continues to have high disapproval from almost two-thirds of Maryland voters. Half of them favor beginning impeachment proceedings.

Public will get to propose 6th Congressional District lines to commission online

The public will have the opportunity to help redraw the contorted lines of Maryland’s gerrymandered 6th Congressional District, the Governor’s Emergency Redistricting Commission announced at its organizational meeting Friday in Annapolis, just hours before the Supreme Court agreed to consider the case from Maryland. The Supreme Court’s decision to review an appeals court’s order to redraw the lines of the 6th CD because it is unconstitutional could make the work of the governor’s commission irrelevant if the high court decides to reverse the lower court order. But the commission plans to press ahead with hearings and redrawing the lines of the 6th and adjacent districts.