Rachel Baye | WYPR

Rachel Baye

Reporter

Rachel Baye is a reporter for WYPR covering Maryland state politics and related topics.

She came to WYPR in 2015 from the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization in Washington, D.C., where she covered the influence of money on state politics across the country. Rachel previously covered Washington, D.C.'s Maryland suburbs and education for The Washington Examiner. In 2014, she dug into political contributions to Washington, D.C. politicians by city contractors as part of a project by WAMU and American University's Investigative Reporting Workshop, and she contributed research to the book longtime ABC anchor Ted Koppel published in October 2015.  Her work has also appeared in several national and regional print and web outlets.

Rachel has a master's degree in journalism from American University and a bachelor's from the University of Pennsylvania. While in school, she held internships at Philadelphia’s public radio station, WHYY, on the live talk show Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane, and with CNN’s investigative team.

Rachel Baye

A new poll of likely Maryland voters shows Democrat Ben Jealous lagging behind Republican Gov. Larry Hogan by nine points. Commissioned by Jealous’s campaign, the poll also shows that about a third of voters don’t know who he is.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Former state Sen. Nathaniel Oaks was sentenced Tuesday to three and a half years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He also has to pay a $30,000 fine and perform 80 hours of community service.

Chris Connelly / WYPR

A Russian-backed firm owns the servers where Maryland stores voter registration and other election-related information, officials announced Friday.

State legislative leaders said the FBI warned them and Gov. Larry Hogan about the Russian ties in a meeting earlier in the week.

Rachel Baye

  

State lawmakers and election officials said Thursday that problems with nearly 72,000 voter registrations likely kept people from voting during last month’s primary. But during a rare mid-summer legislative hearing, they also said it’s impossible to know how many people chose not to cast ballots as a result of the errors.

Mary Rose Madden

Several years before Jarrod Ramos allegedly murdered five people in the Capital Gazette’s newsroom in Annapolis, he pled guilty to harassing a woman he went to high school with. Then he spent years filing lawsuits across four different Maryland court systems — sometimes without a lawyer — trying to undo that decision and clear his name.

Rachel Baye

The General Assembly will look quite different in January following Tuesday’s primary, in which several incumbent state legislative leaders lost their seats.

Rachel Baye

As voting got under way Tuesday morning, there were several reports of polling mishaps that caused some voters to leave without casting ballots.

At least three polling places in Baltimore City opened later than the legally required 7 a.m. start due to ballot scanner problems.

Rachel Baye

 

As many as 80,000 voters may have to cast provisional ballots in Tuesday’s primary as a result of a glitch in computer software installed last year by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration.

Rachel Baye

A record 222,000 voters cast ballots during the early voting period that ended Thursday. About six percent of eligible, active voters cast ballots early, a slight increase over early voting during the last gubernatorial primary in 2014, but a slight decrease from the presidential primary in 2016.

About 49,000 Marylanders — one in every five who voted early — cast their ballots on Thursday. About 5 percent of Republican voters and about 8 percent of Democrats cast ballots.

Maryland House of Delegates

The state legislature’s ethics committee is investigating Baltimore City House Delegation Chair Curt Anderson for alleged sexual misconduct.

Rachel Baye

Former Montgomery County Council Member Valerie Ervin is dropping out of the governor’s race and endorsing Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, she announced Wednesday.

Rachel Baye

Four Democratic candidates for governor and three for lieutenant governor discussed education policy at a forum Tuesday night hosted by the Real News Network in Baltimore.

The forum’s focus was the state panel studying how to revise Maryland’s education funding formulas and modernize the state’s approach to education more broadly. The group is known as the Kirwan Commission because it’s led by University System of Maryland Chancellor Emeritus Brit Kirwan. It plans to publish its recommendations at the end of the year, and they are expected to come with a large price tag.

Rachel Baye

Democratic state Sen. Richard Madaleno has known he wanted to run for office since he was 9 years old.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

The nine Democrats running for governor faced off Wednesday in their fourth debate, which was taped and will air on WMAR-2 News on June 13 at 8 p.m. WYPR’s Rachel Baye discusses the debate with Nathan Sterner.

Rachel Baye

Eight Democrats vying for their party’s nomination for governor shared the stage at their first televised debate Monday. The debate was taped Monday morning and aired at 7 p.m. on Maryland Public Television, WBAL-TV, WBAL Radio and WEAA. In addition, it was simulcast online.

At the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History & Culture in Baltimore, the large group of candidates struggled to distinguish themselves in just one hour of debate.

Rachel Baye

Thirty-five-year-old Cory McCray checked his list of registered Democratic voters before climbing each set of porch steps and knocking on each door in a Northeast Baltimore neighborhood on a recent afternoon.

“I’m Cory McCray, your state delegate,” he told a resident who answered her door. “I’m in a very contentious race, so when you go to the ballot in June, I’ll be trying to elevate from delegate to senator, and I’m just hoping and praying to get your consideration.”

McCray said it was his third time knocking on doors in the neighborhood, so he hoped most people there knew who he is.

Rachel Baye

When Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz died suddenly Thursday morning, the 60-year-old was competing in a crowded field for the Democratic nomination for Maryland governor. With the primary election just six and a half weeks away, Kamenetz’s death could dramatically alter the dynamics of the race.

Rachel Baye

A new poll released Tuesday shows that Gov. Larry Hogan is as popular as ever. With the election a little more than six months away, 70 percent of the Maryland residents polled by Goucher College approve of the way he is doing his job.

But the poll also shows that Hogan’s re-election is far from a sure thing. Less than half of likely voters said they would pick Hogan over one of seven Democrats vying to unseat him, and about a quarter said they were undecided.

Rachel Baye

The Maryland General Assembly ended on Monday night after legislators waded through more than 2,500 bills in the 90-day session. 

Here are some of the most notable bills to pass in the session, along with links to the legislation and WYPR's coverage. 

Joel McCord

The General Assembly wrapped up its 90-day session in Annapolis Monday night with a flurry of activity, passing bills to increase minimum sentences for some repeat offenders, tightening school safety measures and diversifying the medical marijuana industry.

Many lawmakers, including Gov. Larry Hogan, began the legislative session seeking an answer to the recent spike in violent crime in Baltimore. On Monday, the legislature passed what some lawmakers said is part of the solution:  mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders caught illegally carrying a gun.

Rachel Baye

The General Assembly voted Monday morning to pass a bill designed to open medical marijuana growing to minority-owned businesses, and specifically to African-Americans. The bill was the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus’s top priority in Annapolis this year.

Rachel Baye

The General Assembly voted Thursday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of two school-focused bills. One of these takes oversight of school construction projects away from the Board of Public Works, which Hogan presides over.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday morning vetoed a bill taking the Board of Public Works out of the school construction approval process.

The Interagency Committee on School Construction, or IAC, makes recommendations to the Board of Public Works on school construction projects. The bill instead makes the IAC independent and gives it final approval of those projects.

Rachel Baye

With less than a week to go before the General Assembly’s 90-day session ends, legislators are racing to pass the bills that remain unsettled. On Tuesday, legislators considered measures dealing with topics such as guns, medical marijuana and net neutrality.

Rachel Baye

A bill intended to diversify Maryland’s medical marijuana industry gained initial approval in the state Senate Monday night. The legislation is the state Legislative Black Caucus’s top priority in Annapolis this year.

Rachel Baye

Former State Sen. Nathaniel Oaks pleaded guilty to two wire fraud charges Thursday morning, two hours after resigning his seat representing West Baltimore. The 71-year-old Democrat had been scheduled to stand trial in about two weeks.

Wikimedia Commons

  

It is illegal for a correctional officer to engage in sexual acts with people in their custody, but most law enforcement officials don’t face the same restriction. State lawmakers are considering legislation that would close that loophole.

Rachel Baye

State lawmakers are considering something billed as the “Comprehensive Crime Bill of 2018.” The legislation was developed in large part as a response to the record levels of violent crime in Baltimore last year, and one of its biggest impacts would be tougher sentences for repeat violent offenders.

Chris Connelly / WYPR

State lawmakers are considering a bipartisan package of bills aimed at making public schools better equipped to handle shootings.

On Thursday, the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee considered a bill establishing what the sponsor called a “last line of defense,” should a shooter get inside the building.

Wikimedia Commons

The Maryland Legislative Black Caucus has for more than a year been fighting to bring more African American-owned businesses into the state’s fledgling medical marijuana industry. Legislation aimed at doing that has passed the House of Delegates and was considered Tuesday by the Senate Finance Committee. But the hearing raised questions about the effects the proposed changes would have on the price of the drug.

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