Politics

  • Hogan budget plan would trim Baltimore recovery programs

    Gov. Larry Hogan is proposing cuts to programs passed to help Baltimore recover after the riots of 2015, $10 million to lure Amazon’s new headquarters to the state and a small raise for state workers. State analysts started poring over the Republican governor’s $44.4 billion state budget proposal in detail Wednesday, providing a deeper glimpse into the final spending plan of Hogan’s four-year term. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Kirwan tells lawmakers Md. is complacent about education system

    The chairman of the commission studying Maryland’s education policy and funding formulas told legislative fiscal committees Tuesday that despite being ranked among the best in the nation in years past, state schools are actually in the “middle of the pack” in the United States. William E. “Brit” Kirwan, chairman of the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, went on to point out that since the United States is similarly ranked in the middle internationally, Maryland schools are in the middle of the middle in terms of ranking. (Md. Matters)Read Full Article

  • Gov. Larry Hogan has large cash advantage over Democratic rivals, with over $9M in the bank

    Gov. Larry Hogan has more than $9 million in the bank for his re-election effort this year, according to the finance reports filed Wednesday night, giving him a sizable cash advantage over his potential Democratic rivals. Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford raised a combined $5.4 million over the past 12 months, bringing their total cash on hand to $9.03 million, according to the reports. Individual Democrats in the race were expected to post totals less than one-third that figure when the latest round of campaign finance reports were due at midnight Wednesday. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Brochin has most cash on hand in Baltimore County executive race

    Of the five people running to become the next Baltimore County executive, state Sen. Jim Brochin's campaign has the most money on hand. The Democrat from Cockeysville said he raised about $381,000 over the course of the past year and has $765,000 in the bank heading toward the June primary. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Patients overpaying for prescriptions: save money by asking this one question

    You could be overpaying for your prescriptions and have no idea. In some cases, pharmacists can't tell you you're paying too much. Even if they wanted to, confidentiality agreements restrict them from notifying consumers of a cheaper price. This practice is called a clawback and Baltimore County Delegate Eric Bromwell likens it to theft. (WMAR-TV)Read Full Article

  • Gene M. Ransom III: Marylanders of All Ages Should Talk to Their Doctors About Getting Vaccinated

    As we enter fall, parents around Maryland have sent their children into the school year with everything they need to succeed, including their required school vaccinations. But immunizations aren’t just for our children – they are a lifelong, year-round medical necessity, and a critical public health tool for protecting against a broad range of dangerous and potentially deadly illnesses.Read Full Article

  • Wendy Davis Interview Series: Episode 2

    In this second of a two-part interview, Wendy Davis shares with KOFA Managing Partner Jamie Fontaine her thoughts on Betsy DeVos’ proposed dismantling of Title IX. Watch Video

  • Dr. Leana S. Wen: Graham-Cassidy Health Care Proposal Is Detrimental to Nation’s Health

    The Graham-Cassidy bill scheduled to be voted by the Senate next week is even more detrimental than previous attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It will take away health insurance coverage from millions of people, devastate Medicaid, and eliminate protections for patients, including coverage for pre-existing conditions.Read Full Article

Business

  • Report: Maryland can give minorities a leg-up in entering legal marijuana market

    Discrimination in Maryland’s broader business climate would justify giving minority and women-owned businesses preferences for entering the state-regulated medical marijuana market, according to a report released Wednesday. The long-awaited report, ordered by Gov. Larry Hogan (R), gives lawmakers the justification they need to pass legislation to help more minorities break into the industry. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Franchot continues push for brewery reform

    Peter Franchot is on something of a crusade. The Maryland comptroller is pushing for a series of reforms to the laws regulating breweries, and painting himself as the champion of the state’s beer makers. Franchot has been a regular presence at events with Frederick brewers to push new legislation. (News-Post) Read Full Article

  • Sinclair Broadcast will test new broadcast standard in Dallas market

    Sinclair Broadcast Group and several partners plan to build out the infrastructure to run a trial of Next Generation TV, a new mobile-friendly broadcast transmission standard, in the Dallas television market. Hunt Valley-based Sinclair and partners Nextstar Media Group and Univision Local Media said Wednesday they had reached an agreement with American Tower Corp., a wireless and broadcast infrastructure provider, to build and operate single-frequency network sites to broadcast the signals around Dallas. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Ocean City business owners decry sick leave measure

    Maryland's General Assembly may have overturned Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of a controversial bill requiring many employers to offer sick leave, but Eastern Shore Republicans say the fight isn't over. “I don’t think the end of the story’s been written yet," said Delegate Chris Adams, R-37B-Wicomico. “I’m getting calls regularly from business people now that they see the bill is now going to be in effect." (Daily Times) Read Full Article

Education

  • DeVos approves Maryland school accountability plan

    Maryland will begin grading all its public schools on a five-star rating system this year under a sweeping rewrite of how schools are held accountable. The new system is part of a plan approved Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education. Secretary Betsy DeVos’s final approval of Maryland’s plan — and those of 10 other states — came after a tug of war between the Maryland legislature on one side and Gov. Larry Hogan and the state school board on the other. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Education advocates object to proposed budget cuts in MCPS central services

    Students and education advocates on Tuesday night argued against budget cuts to offices supporting accelerated instruction and English learners and asked for more funding for counseling services. The Montgomery County Board of Education held its second public hearing on Superintendent Jack Smith’s proposed $2.59 billion budget plan for the school system. Overall, Smith’s budget would boost spending by about 2.7 percent compared to the prior year and includes new investment in dual-language programs and career learning opportunities. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • Maryland education numbers bode well for WCPS budget

    Needing to fill a $5 million revenue gap in next fiscal year's budget, Washington County Public Schools officials were greeted with good news from the state level Wednesday. Newly released state figures show that the county school system would receive nearly $105.5 million in baseline funding, an increase of about $2.1 million over the current year's $103.3 million, according to Gov. Larry Hogan's proposed fiscal 2019 budget. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

  • Strategic plan, measures of success discussed at Board of Education work session

    The Carroll County Public Schools system has dedicated teachers, high graduation rates, a well-regarded Tech Center and a number of opportunities, but struggles with retaining and paying those teachers, making logical financial choices and with communication, according to feedback gathered from the community and key stakeholder groups. This information moves the CCPS Board of Education one step closer to setting its next strategic plan, something Superintendent Stephen Guthrie said Wednesday will likely be out in draft form for public review in the next few months. (Carr. Co. Times) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Baltimore rebrands its food deserts: Now they're 'healthy food priority areas'

    Call them “food deserts” no more. Areas of Baltimore where residents don't have ready access to healthy, affordable food are now to be known as “healthy food priority areas.” While the new name might be much less evocative, Mayor Catherine Pugh said Wednesday that the new term is more accurate. “There has been an evolving conversation both in Baltimore and nationally,” she said. “ ‘Deserts’ implies there is no food, when actually there is an imbalance between healthy and unhealthy foods.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Mayor Catherine Pugh, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation launch grant program

    Mayor Catherine Pugh has teamed up with the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to create the Baltimore City Community Grants Program for small nonprofit organizations that provide direct services to low-income individuals and families in Baltimore. The program will provide grants of up to $10,000 per year and a maximum of two years for general operating support, program support, equipment, and capacity building. (WMAR-TV) Read Full Article

  • Ocean City topless debate heads to federal court

    The topless issue that created a firestorm for Ocean City officials this summer is heading to court after a lawsuit filed Tuesday challenges the town's emergency ordinance prohibiting women on the beach from going topless. Salisbury resident Chelsea Eline, who previously used the pseudonym Covington in interactions with local officials and with Delmarvanow.com, filed a suit in U.S. District Court with four other women that claims Ocean City's emergency ordinance is unconstitutional. Tuesday's filing in court makes Eline's real name public. (Daily Times) Read Full Article

  • Cellphone jamming system tested at Maryland prison

    Federal prisons officials on Wednesday tested a jamming technology inside the walls of a federal prison, a rare move that authorities said they hope will help combat the danger posed by inmates with cellphones. The test was conducted over several hours Wednesday morning at a federal prison in Cumberland, Maryland, Assistant Attorney General Beth Williams told The Associated Press as the testing took place. Williams didn't give specifics of how the test worked but said it marks a step in the fight to cut down on inmates' ability to communicate unsupervised and carry on with criminal efforts. (AP) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Hogan's starting point

    Gov. Larry Hogan says the budget proposal he released Wednesday is “simply the first step” in determining how the state will spend taxpayers’ money in the upcoming fiscal year. That’s always true, but circumstances make it much more so this year. Uncertainty about the federal commitment to top Maryland priorities — chiefly in health care but in other areas as well — plus the unpredictable effects of the Trump tax legislation on state revenues make for a lot of complications Mr. Hogan simply couldn’t prepare for by the constitutionally mandated deadline for him to provide the General Assembly with his spending plan. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Carroll County's civil action

    Who knew that Carroll County, where two decades ago the county commissioners refused to join a regional conversation about race relations (that all eight of the county’s municipalities had agreed to participate in, by the way), could demonstrate enlightenment on the subject — and, in the process, put Baltimore a bit to shame. And while it may be premature to declare the region’s most politically conservative county woke on civil rights, it’s not too early to give a thumb’s up to Carroll County Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Guthrie and the Board of Education for engaging the community in a dialogue about whether the student dress code should ban images of the Confederate battle flag. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Jeff Dugan: When the Land of Opportunity moved to Silver Spring

    Discovery Communications recently announced it will be closing the doors on its Maryland headquarters and leaving the state where it all began. The network launched in 1985. By the time I came on board 10 years later, it was still relatively small. In those days, most of the network revolved around the seventh floor of a nondescript office building in Bethesda. For me, working for the Discovery Channel in those early days was like riding a rocket ship that just kept climbing higher and higher. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Katherine Rediger: Viral video of woman outside in hospital gown shows lack of humanity in health care

    The emergency department (ED) is the main entry point into the health care system for much of our population. Nursing shortages and understaffing affect the ED in a profound way, as patient volumes can be difficult to predict. But all patients are accepted into care no matter the capacity of the department. I felt this burden over the years, working as an registered nurse in two different Baltimore city EDs. It was commonplace for my shift team to have more patients than we could handle while at the same time being exposed to some of the most traumatic situations possible. Most of our patients were experiencing physical distress compounded by social and psychological dysfunction — all of which added to the chaos. Constant triage left my colleagues and me burnt out and suffering from compassion fatigue. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article