State Roundup, July 17, 2019

National Capital Planning Commission concerned over Capital Beltway widening, affect on 20 acres of parkland it oversees; behind the scenes, the race is getting started to one day replace Mike Miller as Senate president; as more elderly inmates qualify for release, state prison population continues to drop; audit finds sensitive data on 1.4 million students, 200,000 teachers inadequately protected; insurers say state re-insurance program has stabilized their market; as U.S. House adopts resolution condemning President Trump’s recent racist tweets, U.S. Rep. Hoyer steps into breach as House Speaker Pelosi pulled from podium; and Baltimore police team up with state and federal agencies on a three-year effort to fight violent crime, gangs and the drug trade.

State Roundup, July 16, 2019

State audit finds Maryland agency failed to monitor groups it funded to provide gambling, opioid addiction treatment and care for disabled children; as BSO bargaining gets ready to restart, emails reveal BSO CEO scripted a message for Gov. Hogan to deliver; Stanford study finds Maryland’s charter school students about a month ahead of public school students; Independent Can Co. says Trump tariffs cost it $1 million last year, with losses expected to double this year; U.S. Rep. Harris defends President Trump’s racist tweets about four congresswomen of color; UB President Schmoke proposes NYC-style restructuring of Baltimore colleges; growing diversity changes political landscape in Arundel; school audit for Howard County is narrowed; and 1st medical marijuana dispensary opens in Carroll County.

State Roundup, July 15, 2019

Gov. Hogan maintained silence on Sunday over expected ICE raids that never happened; House Speaker Jones says first order of 2020 will be hike in school funding; Christian school sues state after funds pulled for discriminating against students because of sexual orientation; Black Caucus Foundation celebrates a successful year; board of Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway replaces Del. Lisanti as exec director after 17-year stint; and 200 Arundel teachers join efforts to write school curriculums.

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, July 11, 2019

State teachers union spent most on lobbying this past session, while JHU came in third as it sought, won OK for armed police force; two state lawmakers say they are concerned about FBI, ICE mining Maryland driver’s licenses for facial recognition database; court dismisses Atty Gen Frosh’s emoluments lawsuit against President Trump; Baltimore city state’s attorney tells congressional panel that federal drug policies have harmed city; Gov. Hogan taps three for Baltimore County District judgeships; and U.S. mayors agree to Baltimore resolution to not pay ransom to cyber-hackers.

Record rains having mixed impacts on the Chesapeake

The downpours that soaked 2018 have spilled into this year, with three of the first five months reporting higher-than-normal freshwater flows into the Chesapeake. That will likely mean worse-than-normal oxygen conditions in the Bay. Scientists are predicting the fourth largest summertime dead zone in the last two decades. Still, the often record-setting rains that commenced a year ago have not been a total washout for the estuary.

State Roundup, July 10, 2019

With Gov. Hogan withholding money, some supporters balk at giving BSO more money landing it on shaky financial ground; as Congress debates Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill, four in five Maryland kids go hungry in summer; state teachers learning to flex their individual muscles; Hogan joins 21 governors in supporting tougher Obama mileage standards; Maryland GOP begins considering a party without Gov. Hogan leading; state’s first African American woman National Guard head retires; Open Meetings Compliance Board says Talbot council’s email, text convos violated law; Queen Anne’s considers ban on mass balloon releases; and Mayor Jack Young reconsiders run for Baltimore mayor.

State Roundup, July 9, 2019

Want to find out latest figures on what lobbyists are earning and what organizations are paying? State searchable database has been updated; Gov. Hogan’s decision to withhold millions in approved funds to impact to Southern Maryland projects; Hogan is urging Congress to pass trade pact with Mexico and Canada; Treasurer Kopp says Maryland considering divesting from fossil fuels; former Prince George’s Exec Baker tapped to serve on UMMS board; UM-Baltimore County athletes sue accuser in latest pushback over sexual assault claims; overall casino revenue drop; and gay Montgomery County councilman battles deluge of hate.

State Roundup, July 8, 2019

As Gov. Hogan cites possible economic downturn in reasoning to withhold budgeted $245M in project funds, including school construction and BSO, Democrats blast his bipartisan push as hypocritical; three years after racing commission gives $1.7 million to Stronach for upgraded housing at Laurel Park, project remains unfinished; new law requires state to disclose fees state pays to Wall Street investment firms: state retirement fund paid $370 million annually on $51 billion in assets; state Labor Dept. discloses April data breach; large number of purchases delays more rebates on electric vehicles; Amazon plans large center in Prince George’s; and Hogan to move ahead with emergency tower in Montgomery.

Opinion: School funding workgroup is stacked against counties

The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Funding Formula Workgroup, has now been created to make recommendations for the distribution of funds by local school districts and between state and local governments. This workgroup will also make recommendations for specific funding formulas. I am greatly troubled by the make-up of the workgroup, which has only two members to represent interests of the county governments that pay the local costs of schools.