Politics

  • Former Maryland Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah Proposes Taxing Marijuana In Baltimore

    A former Maryland Deputy Attorney General believes that marijuana could be an economic benefit to the City of Baltimore. Mayoral candidate Thiru Vignarajah said he would issue permits and tax the city’s marijuana trade. “Baltimore has to take the lead here,” Vignarajah said. “This is an opportunity to cut violence and overdose deaths to make sure we address the racial gap and equities and raise revenue.” (WJZ-TV)Read Full Article

  • Baltimore City Council to weigh new ethics rules and limits on mayoral power amid Healthy Holly controversy

    Grappling with the fallout from Mayor Catherine Pugh’s “Healthy Holly” book deals, the Baltimore City Council is set to consider changes to government ethics laws, limits on the power of the mayor and a new way to oust a sitting mayor. The first round of legislation, sponsored by Councilman Ryan Dorsey, will be introduced at Monday evening’s council meeting. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Rudy Giuliani insists Trump did 'nothing wrong' by taking information from Russians

    President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani insisted Sunday there was "nothing wrong" with the president's 2016 campaign taking information from the Russians, as House Democrats pledged stepped-up investigations into campaign misconduct and possible crimes of obstruction detailed in special counsel Robert Mueller's report. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Trump administration to sanction nations — including allies — for importing oil from Iran

    The Trump administration is poised to tell five nations, including allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey, that they will no longer be exempt from U.S. sanctions if they continue to import oil from Iran, officials said Sunday. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to announce on Monday that the administration will not renew sanctions waivers for the five countries when they expire on May 2, three U.S. officials said. The others are China and India. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Cailey Locklair - MDRA Op-Ed

    The Maryland Retailers Association supports the firm stance Governor Hogan and the Maryland legislature took against selling Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or “ENDS,” to minors. Maryland retailers provide adult smokers access to healthier and safer alternatives to cigarettes, and these products were never intended to encourage teen smoking. We believe ENDS products should not be marketed towards children, and will continue to fight for common sense measures against this practice.Read Full Article

  • Delegate Nick Mosby - No More Taxpayer Money Until Stronach Replaces Laurel Park Housing

    On Friday, March 29, I had the opportunity to tour the worker housing at the Laurel Park racetrack with Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, as the Maryland General Assembly considers taking the unusual action of mandating that MEDCO provide a $120 million loan to the Stronach Group.Read Full Article

  • Consumer Energy Alliance Supports the Independence Energy Connection Project

    Washington, D.C - As Maryland legislators consider the future of energy infrastructure and regulatory changes in the state’s electric market, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Mid-Atlantic Executive Director Mike Butler reinforced the consumer group’s support for an energy policy that can bring affordable and reliable power to the region for consumers.Read Full Article

  • Dr. Michael Kapsa - To Address Drug Costs, Annapolis Should Look North to Trenton

    Health care spending is the domestic challenge of our time. America is on track to hit $4 trillion in annual expenditures. And while a figure this large can seem daunting, the price tag should hit home: $11,000 each year—and rising – if we translate it to a per person cost.Read Full Article

Business

  • Fellow UMMS board members helped finance Pugh’s campaign

    Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, then a state senator in a tough campaign for the job she long coveted, turned to fellow University of Maryland Medical System Board of Directors for an influx of cash as voting started in the 2016 Democratic primary for mayor. Pugh received $200,000 in loans from fellow UMMS board members in mid-April of that year. Additionally, 13 board members, as well as UMMS employees serving in ex officio capacities on the board, and their spouses contributed nearly $37,000 to Pugh between June 2015 and April 2016, records show. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • National Aquarium’s Plan To Relocate 7 Dolphins Will Be Delayed

    The National Aquarium’s plan to relocate its dolphins next year will be delayed because of climate change and pollution, according to officials. For more than two years, officials have been planning to move the aquarium’s seven bottlenose dolphins from Baltimore to Florida or the Caribbean, but they have yet to find a suitable location for the new sanctuary. The aquarium reviewed and vetoed more than 50 possible locations because of unclean water or threats like sea-level rise and extreme storms. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • Unemployment in Maryland ticks up in March

    The unemployment rate in Maryland ticked up to 3.8% in March from 3.7% the previous two months, but is still below the 4.1% the state posted a year ago. The state rate was the same as the national rate of 3.8% for March, which was unchanged from the previous month and little changed from a year ago, according to the latest report from the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Counties wrestle with regulations about location of solar installations

    When the Maryland Legislature this year dramatically increased the amount of solar power Maryland must produce in the coming years, lawmakers also increased the pressure on the counties that help decide where that power will come from. Counties already had been grappling with where, and where not, to locate large solar installations. Now that more such installations will be needed, the pressure has intensified. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

Education

  • What's next for the Johns Hopkins police force? New state law allows private school to set up armed department

    There are sleeping bags rolled up in a corner, snacks strewn around, and almost every wall on the first floor of the Johns Hopkins University’s administration building is covered with posters decrying plans for a police department at the private institution. A small group of students is in its third week of occupying Garland Hall. Never mind that last week, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan signed into law a contentious bill allowing Hopkins to create a force of armed officers. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Maryland school system rolls out report cards showing disparity in achievement

    School officials in suburban Maryland have long debated how to tackle achievement gaps between white students and their classmates of color. But the issue is drawing new attention as Montgomery County rolls out school-by-school accountability report cards. The snapshots of student performance, posted online, key in on black, Latino and economically disadvantaged students at the county’s 206 schools, looking at each group, along with the intersection of race and poverty. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • In inaugural budget, County Executive Ball gives $605 million to Howard school system

    Making education the “top funding priority of his administration,” Howard County Executive Calvin Ball is proposing to fund the county school system $605.2 million in his inaugural spending plan for fiscal 2020. Ball released his $1.7 billion proposed budget Thursday evening, including the $16.2 million increase in funding to the school system over this fiscal year’s budget. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • One of Mike Busch's final bills would provide protections to student loan borrowers

    Wade Davis called Navient’s customer service in March, hoping to adjust the payment plan for his student loan. Davis, 36, and a freelance musician seeking full-time employment, said he couldn’t commit to his plan. After telling a representative from Navient — one of the major student loan servicing companies — of his current financial situation, the representative informed him he would have to sign up for a month-to-month payment plan that Davis said isn’t feasible with his current financial situation. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Maryland lawmakers raise age for vaping to 21. Will it change anything?

    What do cigarettes, Juul pods, rolling papers and nicotine-free vape juice all have in common? Starting Oct. 1 they will all be considered “tobacco products” in Maryland, and you will have to be at least 21 to buy them. House bill 1169 and its corresponding Senate bill 895 will raise the smoking age in Maryland to 21 as well as reclassify all vape products and accessories as tobacco products regardless of their nicotine concentration. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore cop who was found drunk on duty faces up to 30 days in jail

    A Baltimore police officer who was found drunk while on duty faces up to 30 days in jail as part of a plea agreement on misconduct in office and drunk-driving charges, prosecutors said. Aaron Heilman, 27, was fired in October 2018 after being discovered slumped over in his car during the early afternoon in Pigtown. A Breathalyzer found his blood alcohol level was 0.22, almost three times the legal limit. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore sees biggest population loss in single year since 2001, census estimates show

    The U.S. Census Bureau’s annual population estimates have rarely brought good news for the city of Baltimore in recent years. The latest release is no exception. The city lost 7,346 people, or 1.2 percent of its population, during the 12 months that ended July 1, 2018, according to census figures published Thursday. The decline, which puts Baltimore’s estimated population at 602,495 as of July 1, 2018, is the biggest loss the city has experienced in a single year since 2001. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article

  • As Md. roadway deaths drop, educational campaign for pedestrians, bikes begins

    While deaths on Maryland roads dropped by nearly 9 percent in 2018 from the previous year, officials in the Washington, D.C., region are preparing to launch a campaign to prevent deaths among pedestrians and bicyclists. State transportation and law enforcement officials announced Wednesday that 511 people were killed in vehicle crashes across the state in 2018, down from the 558 people killed in 2017. (News-Post) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Black kids as scavengers and predators

    Scavengers and predators. Those are apparently the first words that popped in the head of a security guard for a private company when seeing a group of black teenagers roaming the streets of downtown. Dehumanizing words that evoke tired, age-old stereotypes of young black boys as uncontrollable and animalistic. The security guard, in an email sent to the Downtown Partnership and others, continued his offensive, fear-mongering story line to say the five teenagers dressed in blue jeans and black hoodies were targeting Caucasians, hearkening back to yet another caricature of the fearful black man. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Pitts: Intolerance has no greater champion than Trump

    And what will you say afterward, America? That is not to encourage or even predict that there will be an "afterward" -- that is, that someone will use violence to silence Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress. But it is to say the possibility is real. Especially given that Donald Trump is leading a lynch mob against her. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Levy: Lumping Bernie Sanders into 'old, white male' category discounts his Jewishness

    From the moment Bernie Sanders declared his presidential candidacy on Feb. 19, the internet has been dense with think pieces cutting down the Vermont senator because he is an “old white male.” The barrage kicked off with CNN’s Chris Cillizza, who published “5 reasons to be skeptical of Bernie Sanders' 2020 bid.” While he mostly questioned Mr. Sanders’ ability to withstand a taxing primary race, his final point — “Does the Democratic Party want a 77-year-old white male as its nominee?” — was the most telling. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Rubin: What we need to hear from Mueller

    In testimony before Congress, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III can shed much-needed light on the content of his report, the investigation that preceded and will flow from it, and the actions of Attorney General William P. Barr. Rather than engage in the normal scattershot questioning punctuated by speechifying, the House Judiciary Committee should assign its able attorney Norman Eisen to conduct the questioning. Members could then follow up with additional questions. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article