Politics

  • Chief of staff to Maryland Senate president appointed as top legislative analyst

    Maryland Democratic legislative leaders named Victoria L. Gruber, chief of staff to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), to serve as executive director of the Department of Legislative Services. Gruber replaces Warren G. Deschenaux, who retired in December after two years as the state’s top legislative analyst and a long career working on policy in Maryland. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Democratic gubernatorial candidates make their case in Montgomery County

    Gov. Larry Hogan's highway widening plans? Unrealistic. Dedicated Metro funding? For it. Equitable dollars for school construction? Needed. Those were the answers from the eight Democratic gubernatorial candidates who met at a brief forum Thursday morning in North Bethesda at the annual Committee for Montgomery legislative breakfast. Despite efforts by moderator Josh Kurtz to elicit some differences between the candidates, they ended up sounding similar throughout. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • Maryland must pay cabinet secretaries who weren't confirmed, judge rules

    An Anne Arundel County judge ruled Thursday that the state must pay two of Gov. Larry Hogan's cabinet secretaries who were not confirmed by the legislature. Circuit Judge Ronald A. Silkworth ordered the state to pay acting health secretary Dennis Schrader and Wendi Peters, who had been acting secretary of planning, retroactively to July 1 when they stopped receiving paychecks following actions by state lawmakers. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Politics of crime heating up in Maryland

    State lawmakers set to return to Annapolis next month to debate legislation during an election year. But Baltimore’s surging violent crime is already being propelled to the center of Maryland politics. When Republican Gov. Larry Hogan announced his plan to reduce crime in Baltimore last week, Democrats pounced. Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh declined an invitation to attend the announcement. She said Hogan’s strategy offered no new ideas. (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

  • More than 20 medical marijuana dispensaries in Maryland approved, drug supply low

    Medical marijuana regulators approved 12 new dispensaries Thursday to open in the state, more than doubling the number of businesses allowed to sell the drug. But they cautioned the supply remains low, and it may be difficult to buy marijuana until at least March. “Product is limited,” said Bryan Lopez, chairman of the Medical Cannabis Commission. “We expect that it will continue to be limited.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Amtrak names team to redevelop Baltimore's Penn Station, surrounding Amtrak properties

    The long-discussed redevelopment of Baltimore’s Penn Station and nearby Amtrak properties took a major step forward Thursday with the selection of a group of mostly Baltimore-area firms to lead the massive project. The national passenger railroad said it is negotiating exclusively with Penn Station Partners, which includes Beatty Development, Armada Hoffler Properties, Cross Street Partners and Gensler, among others, for a master development deal that could result in up to 1.6 million square feet of retail, residential and office development in a five-acre area around the century-old station. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Medline Industries plans to leave Havre de Grace; build new distribution center in Perryville

    Medline, a global manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies and clinical solutions, is nearly tripling its footprint in Maryland with the construction of a 1.1 million square-foot distribution center in the Principio Business Park in Perryville. The new distribution center, which will replace the company’s current Havre de Grace facility, will be LEED-certified and is expected to create more than 200 new jobs over the next six years, which, when combined with their current workforce, will provide jobs for more than 300 local residents. (Dagger) Read Full Article

  • Census Bureau office closing, affects 136 jobs

    Workers at the U.S. Census Bureau's call center in Hagerstown said they were told this week that the office will close in February and their jobs will be eliminated. The closure affects about 136 workers in the Hagerstown office, according to a statement released Thursday to Herald-Mail Media by Michael C. Cook Sr., division chief of the public-information office for the Census bureau. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

Education

  • Here's what Lansdowne High's proposed renovation would fix

    The engineers who designed Lansdowne High School’s proposed $60 million renovation presented their work and answered a barrage of questions at a Board of Education meeting late last month. Next Thursday, after a 5 p.m. Lansdowne High PTSA meeting at the school, Baltimore County will bring that presentation to the community, offering an opportunity for public input. If the school board approves the project in April, the project as planned will be “substantially completed” by August 2020, engineers said in the presentation. (Arbutus Times) Read Full Article

  • Maryland colleges join effort to collect data on biomedical students' career outcomes

    With so few biomedical graduate students going on to find jobs in academia after earning their degrees, two Maryland universities are joining a coalition of research institutions to track their career outcomes and inform prospective students. “Our students who are in graduate programs want to know what their future might hold,” said Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “We have a responsibility as universities to give them more information about the market trends and where the jobs are.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Howard, Prince George's community colleges partner with Bowie State at Laurel College Center

    Bowie State University has become the first institution to offer business administration programs at the Laurel College Center, following a signed partnership agreement with the higher education center and Howard and Prince George’s community colleges. Beginning next fall, students attending either community college can take courses at the Laurel College Center as part of Bowie State’s bachelor’s degree in business administration. (Laurel Leader) Read Full Article

  • Cold weather, old school heaters, prompt Baltimore students complaints to go viral

    Baltimore city officials say they’ve resolved heating issues at Western High School that caused students’ complaints on social media about freezing temperatures to go viral. City schools spokeswoman Edie House-Foster said the North Baltimore school does have heat but, given the building’s old age, the heating structures were “compromised” by recent cold temperatures and high winds. She said the boilers kept shutting on and off. Western High was constructed in 1967, according to a city report. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Montgomery County approves circus animal ban

    Circuses can no longer feature exotic animals in their shows in Montgomery County. The County Council on Tuesday approved a bill to ban certain exotic animals from circus or traveling act performances. Council member Craig Rice, a sponsor of the bill, said the ban came about after residents requested it at a town hall meeting that council members hosted in Silver Spring. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • Maryland gets OK to expand developmentally disabled service

    Maryland has received federal approval to expand services for people with developmental disabilities. The state health department said Thursday said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved expanding services through the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration's Community Supports Waiver. The department says services offered through the waiver will be available by February. (AP) Read Full Article

  • ACLU requests police body camera footage from Harlem Park lockdown after Baltimore Det. Suiter shooting

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland on Thursday requested police body camera footage from the initial, days-long investigation into Detective Sean Suiter’s fatal shooting in Harlem Park last month, saying it wants answers after receiving “many questions about the Baltimore Police Department’s unprecedented decision to cordon off entire sections” of the West Baltimore neighborhood. Suiter, a homicide detective, was investigating a 2016 triple homicide in the neighborhood on Nov. 15 when he was shot in the head with his own gun. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Top patient safety expert, innovator of checklists, departs Johns Hopkins

    Dr. Peter Provonost, one of the nation’s top patient safety experts and advocates, is leaving Johns Hopkins Health System for a job at insurance giant UnitedHealthcare, he announced Thursday on Twitter. “A great opportunity to help improve care for millions,” tweeted Pronovost, currently Hopkins’ senior vice president for patient safety and quality and director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger: Let Mueller do his job

    During my career, I was an investigative prosecutor. My job was to ensure people who broke the law were convicted and punished. But as special counsel in the investigation of possible collusion between Donald Trump associates and Russia, Robert S. Mueller III has not been asked to convict. He’s there to collect the facts. Unfortunately, that job could prove impossible amid constant efforts to disparage Mr. Mueller, the FBI and the investigation (“Politics and the Mueller probe,” Dec. 14). (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Latest push for redistricting reform likely to fall flat

    With the 2018 legislative session roughly a month away, Gov. Larry Hogan has once again pledged to try to improve the state's redistricting process to make it a nonpartisan affair and eliminate gerrymandering in Maryland. Partisan drawing of election districts not only contributes to the hyper-partisanship seen in today's politics, but also disenfranchises voters who feel their voice doesn't matter when politicians are able to essentially pick their constituents, rather than the other way around. (Carr. Co. Times)Read Full Article

  • Michelle Daugherty Siri: Md. legislature should override veto to pass sick and safe leave

    The Maryland General Assembly finally took steps to ensure working Marylanders don’t have to choose between their health and a day’s pay by passing House Bill 1, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (2017), earlier this year. Although Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed the bill, there is clearly enough support — both in the public and in Annapolis — to override the veto and give 700,000 people across Maryland access to earned sick leave. But in a last-ditch effort to defeat the bill, opponents argue that the bill compromises the privacy and safety of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Combating violence in Howard County schools

    Six fights at the 1,200-student Wilde Lake High School in Columbia this school year prompted a Dec. 4 letter from the principal to parents, seeking their help and reiterating that violence has no place in school, or society. “I kindly ask that you take some time,” Principal Rick Wilson wrote, “to speak with your children and remind them that the adults in their lives are here to provide for their safety and to guide them though difficult situations.” The appeal set the right tone for dealing with a serious, if infrequent, problem. But as the bromide goes, talk is cheap. Getting to the root of the problem and intervening requires sustenance. (Ho. Co. Times) Read Full Article