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Sequestration, Gun Legislation, AA County Exec Laura Neuman, and "Empty Desks: The Effects of Chronic Absenteeism"
March 1, 2013
The across-the-board federal spending cuts known as sequestration go into effect today -- unless some last minute deal is reached. Fourth District Congresswoman Donna Edwards says those cuts will hurt women who rely on government-funded social programs. And House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, who represents Maryland's Fifth District, says that a grand bargain is needed. If sequestration does go into effect, Maryland will likely be hit harder than most states, due to its high population of of federal employees and contractors (via our wire service; more on sequestration here from the Baltimore Sun and here from the Frederick News Post).
On a vote of 28 to 19 yesterday, the State Senate gave the green light to a package of legislation that would give Maryland some of the toughest gun control laws in the country. The measure includes a ban on assault weapons and imposes a licensing requirement for handgun buyers -- including a requirement that they provide their fingerprints to state police. The measure also gives State Police new powers to audit gun dealers and includes restrictions on people with mental illnesses who want to buy guns. The debate moves to a House of Delegates committee today, and the measure could go to the House floor as soon as next week. And the House will likely further amend the bill, so the Senate will probably have to vote on it again (with reporting from WYPR's Karen Hosler and our wire service; more here from the Baltimore Sun, and here from the Gazette, and here from the Washington Post).
State Comptroller Peter Franchot has come out in favor of legislation that would put a School Resource Officer in every public school in Maryland. The bills would require each county superintendent to enter into an agreement with law enforcement to provide a full-time school resource officer to each public elementary and secondary school. Additional funding would be paid from the Education Trust Fund (via our wire service, WJZ, and the Chestertown Spy).
In Maryland, more than 85-thousand students miss a month or more of school annually, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. About 17-thousand of those students live in Baltimore city. Over the course of this year, WYPR will air a series of reports exploring the causes and effects of chronic absenteeism and solutions being explored by city and county officials. WYPR’s Gwendolyn Glenn has this overview in the first report of our series: Empty Desks: The Effects of Chronic Absenteeism.
Maryland educators have been voices in the wilderness on the issue of early childhood education, so they’re happy to have a new ally, the President. WYPR’s Fraser Smith reports.
Laura Neuman, a relative political unknown, is finishing her first week in office today as Anne Arundel County Executive, having replaced John Leopold after his forced resignation. WYPR News Director Joel McCord spoke with her earlier this week.
On today's edition of Inside Maryland Politics, WYPR's Fraser Smith and Aaron Davis of the Washington Post talk about the online component of Governor O'Malley's early voting bill.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says she is not going to sign or veto an ethics bill passed by the City Council. The measure would lift some ethics regulations and allow Council President Jack Young to vote on matters involving city agencies where his family members work. The city ethics board is opposed to the measure, but it stands to become law automatically without action from the mayor (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
Baltimore County Councilman Todd Huff has surrendered an expensive public safety radio given to him by the county fire chief. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz ordered Huff to return the four-thousand-dollar radio following his arrest last weekend on drunk driving charges. No other members of the County Council have similar county-issued radios (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
Delegate Galen Clagett is confirming that he plans to run for Frederick Mayor this year. He joins one other Democrat in the race -- Frederick Alderman Karen Young. Incumbent Frederick Mayor Randy McClement, a Republican, has already announced that he's running for re-election (via the Gazette).
And in sports: the Orioles have lost their first game of the pre-season, falling 7 to 1 to the Minnesota Twins. Today, the O's play a split squad Pirates team.
IN FOCUS TODAY
Friday, May 17, 2013 - 4:41am
More than 17,000 Baltimore students miss 20 or more days of school a year. Many of these...
Friday, May 17, 2013 - 4:37am
WYPR's Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler talk about changes to the horse racing industry in Maryland...
Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 7:00am
Attorney General Doug Gansler may run for governor in 2014, but he's moving toward a decision...