Politics

  • Many voters remain undecided in Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial primary

    The latest statewide poll of Maryland Democratic voters shows they haven’t yet coalesced behind any of the several Democratic candidates pursuing the governor’s office. The Goucher College poll released Thursday morning found Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker with the most support—about 19 percent of the Democrats polled said they’d vote for him if the primary election were held today. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • Maryland House passes bills on organ transplants, sponsored by speaker who was saved by a liver transplant

    The Maryland House of Delegates on Thursday unanimously passed two organ donations sponsored by House Speaker Michael E. Busch, whose life was saved by a liver transplant last year. One would provide a $7,500 tax credit for living donors to help defray their costs of donating all or part of an organ. Busch’s sister, Kathleen "Laurie" Bernhardt, donated part of her liver to the speaker, who was diagnosed last spring with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a life-threatening condition. The Anne Arundel County Democrat has since recovered and resumed his duties as speaker. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Addition of Scott adds youthful energy to gubernatorial race

    Gubernatorial candidates were already making calls to Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott (D-2), when he connected with Jim Shea, Democratic candidate for Governor, an attorney with the Venable law firm in Baltimore and former chair of the Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland. The difference with Shea, according to Scott, is he not only wanted Scott's advice on connecting with young people, he took the next step and invited Scott to serve on his ticket as Lieutenant Governor. (AFRO)Read Full Article

  • Maryland Gov. Hogan makes his re-election effort official

    Gov. Larry Hogan filed paperwork on Thursday making his run for a second term official. Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford posted a video on social media showing them going to the state elections office in Annapolis for the political ritual of signing candidacy forms. “We’re officially going to sign the paperwork to run for re-election and do another term,” the Republican governor said as the pair stood outside the office. “We’ve got another four months before we know even who we’re running against. We have plenty of time for campaigning.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Express Scripts goes right ahead and makes PhRMA's point

    PhRMA has long pointed out that drug spending is among the smallest and slowest-growing facets of U.S. health care expenditures, and the industry's latest tack is that drugs that work actually save the system money by reducing hospitalizations and forestalling surgeries. (The Readout)Read Full Article

  • 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

Business

  • Maryland, D.C. consider measures to stabilize state health exchanges

    As the federal government continues to challenge the Affordable Care Act, Maryland and District officials are considering state-level rules to protect the affordability and viability of their public health insurance marketplaces. The dual campaigns join those in other states, including California and Connecticut, to draft laws that would preserve tenets of Obamacare, including its tax penalties on individuals who fail to prove they have signed up for health coverage, either privately or on a public exchange. (Wash. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore council committee backs tax break to spur redevelopment of Northwood plaza

    At the request of Morgan State University, a Baltimore City Council committee on Thursday voted unanimously to support millions in tax breaks that officials say will spur redevelopment of the Northwood Plaza shopping center. The 4-0 vote of the committee — which sends the matter to the full City Council on Monday — came over the objection of local union officials and City Councilman Ryan Dorsey, who represents the area. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Ocean City drops changes for short-term rentals like Airbnb - for now at least

    In Ocean City this summer, patrons of Airbnb and other short-term rental services won't have to contend with any new restrictions on their stays. Another way of looking at the issue: Permanent residents of homes and mobile homes won't get the relief many have been pleading for. Town officials who have been working toward legislative fixes to the problem acknowledged Wednesday they need much more time to sort out the legal concerns. (Daily Times) Read Full Article

  • Under Armour outfitting thousands of Baltimore City student athletes and coaches

    Under Armour said Thursday that it is outfitting more than 5,300 student athletes and coaches in the Baltimore public schools with new uniforms or apparel. The sports brand also said it will provide additional funding to upgrade the school system’s athletic and activity facilities. Under Armour, which did not specify how much its commitment will cost, said it was part of a multimillion-dollar collaboration with the Ravens, the Fund for Educational Excellence and the InSideOut Initiative “to enrich Baltimore City schools’ athletic programs.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Education

  • Anne Arundel Board of Education adds $10.9 million to schools budget

    The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County approved an operating budget request Wednesday, but not before adding nearly 52 positions and $10.9 million to the superintendent’s recommendation. Seven members voted to approve the request for the $1.2 billion budget — District 33’s Eric Grannon voted against the approval and District 32 representative Sidney Butcher abstained. A $216 million capital budget request to pay for construction projects was approved unanimously. (Capital) Read Full Article

  • Worcester school board signs off proposed budget

    The Worcester County Board of Education adopted a proposed $108.3 million budget for the coming year. On Tuesday the school board voted 6-0 to adopt a proposed budget of $108,262,987, which represents a 3.34 percent increase over the current year’s spending plan. Increases come in the areas of health insurance, salaries and capital projects. (Dispatch) Read Full Article

  • Carroll Community College proposes $2 per credit tuition increase

    The Carroll Community College board of trustees approved a $2 per credit hour, or 1.5 percent, increase in tuition for next year, an increase that matches what was approved last year, and one that is lower than that of previous years. Last year, the board originally approved a budget that included a $6 per credit hour, or 4.5 percent, tuition increase, but the following month voted to reduce the recommended tuition increase to 1.5 percent following Gov. Larry Hogan’s request to keep tuition increases at 2 percent or less. (Carr. Co. Times) Read Full Article

  • Anne Arundel sheriff calls for bulletproof doors, metal detectors at all schools

    Anne Arundel County Sheriff Ron Bateman called Thursday for metal detectors, bulletproof doors and X-ray machines at all county schools, suggesting the measures as a response to the shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people last week. Bateman, whose agency has no role in providing security for county schools, used social media to outline five changes he wants to see implemented as soon as possible. (Capital) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • MTA administrator asks for peer review of agency's handling of Baltimore Metro track issues

    Maryland transportation officials, facing criticism of the state’s handling of track problems that have shut down Baltimore’s Metro for repairs, requested an outside review on Thursday of the Maryland Transit Administration’s handling of maintenance issues on the subway. The review request comes as the Federal Transit Administration is conducting its own review of the problems with Metro SubwayLink, said Erin Henson, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Transportation. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Federal authorities sharing evidence from Baltimore police corruption investigation with local authorities

    The federal authorities who prosecuted Baltimore’s corrupt police Gun Trace Task Force say they are now sharing evidence with local authorities for charges that could be filed on the local level. A Baltimore police spokesman said Commissioner Darryl De Sousa is working with the head of the FBI field office to do an “after-action review” of the case. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • U.S. Surgeon General talks tobacco and cigarette smoking in Baltimore

    U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams has a complicated relationship with tobacco. He grew up working on his grandfather’s tobacco farm in St. Mary’s County, where he made money to buy sneakers and a prom suit. But his grandfather was also a life-long smoker who died from complications of lung cancer surgery when Adams was in high school. And Adams suffered from asthma so severe as a child he once had to be airlifted to a children’s hospital in Washington, D.C. The tobacco industry “paid for the clothes on my back as a youth and also prematurely ended my grandfather’s life,” Adams told a crowd at the annual convention of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco at the Baltimore Hilton. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • A group is trying to get the grounded Baltimore police surveillance airplane flying again. The pitch: It can catch corrupt cops

    When Archie Williams first heard the pitch about what he calls the “eye in the sky” — the privately funded surveillance plane that flew over Baltimore in 2016 collecting video for police — he leaned back in his chair defiantly with his arms crossed. The West Baltimore man spent more than a decade in prison on drug charges and was homeless for years. He wanted nothing to do with the secretive airplane he saw as just another tool to arrest more black men like him. But then he heard the surveillance company’s president say something that made his ears perk up: The plane’s cameras could be used to watch the police. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Sharon D. Allison-Ottey: A well-intended bill but a bad one

    Last month, the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative Coalition held a press conference in Annapolis calling on the General Assembly to pass so-called “transparency” legislation, HB 1194/SB 1023, to address the cost of prescription medicine Maryland’s citizens pay at the pharmacy counter. We recognize MCHI’s efforts to bring down the out-of-pocket cost for patients. (Daily Record)Read Full Article

  • Robbyn Lewis: Here's why Maryland needs a basic health plan

    Health care is a human right. Without universal access to quality, affordable health care, nothing else matters. Children need good health to learn and grow, and working adults need it to be engaged, creative and productive citizens. Unfortunately, Republicans are using their control of the federal government to rip health coverage away from the American people. Their efforts to destroy the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, threaten hard-won gains for health coverage and drive up costs. The first line of defense to protect health care for millions of Americans falls on the states. We have the power and opportunity in Maryland to defeat destructive efforts emanating from Congress and the White House. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article

  • Vandana Sinha: Here's how a regional HQ2 bid could work

    Now that the Washington region crows three spots on Amazon’s 20-city short list for its supernatural HQ2, I suppose we can say the me-first approach won us the first round. But joining together could make us the last bidder standing. And that will take beating Amazon at its own game of bureaucratic bling. (Wash. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Cheryl C. Kagan: 911 texting a good start, but Md. system needs more to protect lives

    Every child knows what to do in an emergency: They dial 911. But when 911 fails, people die. On April 19, 2006, Kaafee Billah called 911 from his office at MedImmune/AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg. He thought he might be having a heart attack. Emergency responders searched from office to office, looking for him. Ten hours later, he was found dead in a different company building that shared the same “trunk” phone line. On July 25, 2010, Rockville resident and environmental activist Carl Henn was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm; 911 was overwhelmed by calls, so his friends’ efforts were met with busy signals. Carl later died. The common thread in all these tragedies was the failure of 911 to get help to where it was needed. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article