State Roundup, September 20, 2019

A Kirwan Commission met behind closed doors to look at models to pay for $4 billion in annual increased education costs; cost of Maryland’s individual health insurance drops for the second year in a row; AG Frosh and city State’s Attorney Mosby “stunned” to learn of governor’s crime proposal in the media; state revenues revised up; an audit is causing lawmakers to call for reforms in state business incentive deals; MD students striking for climate change today; Hagerstown community college lays out legislative priorities; school bus driver shortage has kids squatting in bus aisles; Maryland Racing Commission chair is fed up; Carroll County residents still fired up about county prayer dispute; Cummings misses hearing for medical procedure; environmental organization taps new leader

Slight uptick in state revenues, but caution urged

The Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates voted unanimously Thursday to increase the state’s projected revenues for the current fiscal year by just under $130 million, but cautioned that the uptick “is not indicative of long-term economic growth.”

State Roundup, September 19, 2019

Gov. Hogan launches process to pay millions of dollars to five men wrongly convicted, imprisoned; within minutes of touting competition in bidding process, Hogan defends no-bid contract extension; while Maryland farmers fight climate change on a day-to-day basis, state program hopes to help them see the long view; state vows to fight President Trump order nixing its say over auto emissions standards; survey finds fewer commuters are driving solo; Hogan pushes Attorney General Frosh to take up more Baltimore City criminal cases; Prince George’s State’s Attorney Braveboy to end cash bail requests; Annapolis campaign consultant pleads guilty to wire fraud; and Washington County see influx of meth cases.

State Roundup, September 18, 2019

Audit finds that the Maryland Department of Commerce failed to verify that companies given taxpayer-funded incentives actually created jobs; in the first six months of the year, opioid deaths in Maryland fell; 10 candidates on list for opening on Maryland’s Court of Appeals; Howard County residents protest proposed desegregation plans; Baltimore’s police commish tells state panel that no internal probe into Gun Trace Task Force corruption has begun; Baltimore mayor invites plaintiffs with grievances against police to speak to spending panel; and Montgomery County introduces ambitious racial equity bill.

State Roundup, September 17, 2019

Maryland’s congressional Democrats ask Ag Secty Perdue to rescind rule that they say could yank 50,000 in state from food stamps; state census panel stymied by lack of planning; Gov. Hogan to lead infrastructure, economic mission to Australia; U.S. Rep. Brown touts gaming industry as important to state education, economy; BGE says Howard council member’s Ellicott City plan could harm its service to the area; Montgomery County seeks to restrict youth access to e-cigarettes with bill to restrict location of vape shops; and Montgomery finds itself lagging in fulfillment of climate change promises.

State Roundup, September 16, 2019

Gov. Hogan pledges State Police copter crews for Baltimore crime-fighting efforts; cocaine-related deaths have skyrocketed since 2015; state’s Lynching Truth and Reconciliation panels begin tour of Maryland; state approves more than $23 million in funding to bring air conditioning to more than 15 additional schools in Baltimore County and city; Montgomery’s public campaign financing program said to be a model for rest of state; as probe of Metro and its former chairman to kick off, Maryland closer to releasing its portion of funding; as President Trump pulls funds from military projects for border wall, replacement child care facility in Prince George’s imperiled; Maryland winemakers see impact of climate change; and Howard councilwoman pushes plans for Ellicott City flood mitigation.

Opinion: Howard County is not segregated

The Howard County superintendent’s redistricting plan forces 7,300 students to switch schools, promoting equity by reducing the presence of low-income families at some schools and increasing their presence at other schools. Many of the plan’s proponents cannot defend it in good faith. Consider the example set by the County Council’s own segregation smear.

State Roundup, September 13, 2019

Baltimore greeted President Donald Trump with a 14-foot inflatable rat as he visited for the first time the city he disparaged as rat infested; his visit was to speak at a gathering of Republican Congressional retreat where he only mentioned the city at the end of his speech; AG Frosh will challenge a Clean Water rule rollback; Maryland vaping illness cases triple; a Maryland same-sex couple is challenging a decision to deny citizenship to their infant daughter, who was born in Canada to a surrogate; Maryland U.S. reps are objecting to a practice where ICE deports immigrants thinking they are visiting an immigration office; a call for a smarter Bay Bridge that handles traffic better on existing roads; Metro board wants to make ethics investigations public; Carson cleared of misconduct furnishing his HUD office suite; UMB starts Cannabis masters; $7 million Camden train station complete

Opinion: We need to move more people over the Bay bridges, not more cars

Rather than a new vehicle-oriented Chesapeake Bay Bridge crossing, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy strongly supports the research and immediate implementation of aggressive travel demand management (TDM) strategies to more easily cross the current Chesapeake Bay Bridge spans. Why not make the absolute best of what we currently have using technology and smart infrastructure-based planning, prior to embarking on a project that is literally years and billions of dollars away from happening? We need relief from congestion now.