More restrictions put on power of Board of Public Works by House bill

Gov. Larry Hogan’s recent attempts to acquire land from the federal government for a Redskins stadium and to expand the Baltimore-Washington Parkway have led to yet another effort to limit the power of the Board of Public Works made up of the governor, comptroller and state treasurer.  The bill passed the House of Delegates Thursday in a party-line vote after lengthy floor debate.  

Dundalk High School under construction (Photo by sugargliding on Flickr)

Big jump in school construction funding stalled in Senate

Time is ticking down on the largest school construction bill in Maryland history.With just five days until the end of the General Assembly session April 8, the Senate has yet to pass HB727, dubbed the Build to Learn Act, which would provide an additional $2.2 billion for school construction, divvying up the bulk of the funding to the state’s largest counties.

Bob Bauman remembers publisher Ralph Hostetter

In his 97 years, Ralph Hostetter, in pursuit of his many interests, personal and business, touched many lives for the good.  He was my friend and the editorial support of his newspapers contributed greatly to my political success. 

32-15 was the number to play as legislature overrides vetoes

The Pick Four number to play Thursday in the legislative lottery was 32-15. In three successive party line votes in the Maryland Senate, that was the vote tally Democrats played to overcome Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes of bills to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour and to allow Maryland schools to open before Labor Day, overturning the governor’s executive order.

Prescription Drug Affordability Board advances in House

Maryland delegates are pushing back against high prescription drug costs, but their proposal stops short of setting drug price caps for all Marylanders.Instead, the House of Delegates advanced a proposal Tuesday that will limit what the state will pay for the prescription drugs of state and local government workers and institutions.

Analysis: The Mess at UMMS—Part II: Legislative action must be stronger than HB 1428

This is the second of two parts by career government auditor Charlie Hayward addressing the “Mess at UMMS,” and the legislative reaction to it. The first part detailed many red flags that trained auditors look for to assess the seriousness of problems, so they can create audit steps designed to fully address them. In this Part II Hayward :   Argues that proposed emergency legislation is unlikely to be fully responsive to red flags;  Describes why American Hospital Association guidance UMMS proposes using as best practices can be improved;   Lists some of the elements of a credible audit.

State Roundup, March 25, 2019

House OKs creation of Prescription Drug Affordability Board to set limits on state, local government payouts for medications for its employees; Montgomery lawmaker to yank bill that would allow development at unused portion of Baltimore County cemetery; UMMS official face wrath of House committee over board of directors “self-dealing,” promising audit of its board relationships; numerous red flags were evident at UMMS; as Mayor Catherine Pugh gets ready for re-election bid, her earlier claims and promises come back to haunt; and just where are all those ‘Healthy Holly’ books anyway?; and Supreme Court set to hear Maryland, N.C. gerrymandering cases on Tuesday.