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On the docket for this week in the Maryland General Assembly: bills about increasing the number of early voting centers, expanding food stamp eligibility, penalties for online harassment of minors, raising the minimum wage, and more. Here's a partial listing of committee hearings and other items of interest for Feb. 4--8, 2019.

Vision Technologies Seeks New HQ (BBJ Story)

Feb 1, 2019
The Baltimore Business Journal

Vision Technologies Inc., a local IT company with revenue over $120 million, is looking for a new headquarters after a deal to move to Hanover fell apart. 

The Baltimore Business Journal

The partners behind a popular Washington, D.C.-based cannabis brand are now working to build up a new cultivation facility in Hagerstown.

As Nazi power spread in the 1930’s and Jews in Europe struggled to escape, many countries closed their borders to Jewish refugees. An exception was the international city of Shanghai, China, which required no visa. Thousands of Jews made their way across continents to shelter in Shanghai. Marvin Pinkert, director of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, explains how the early welcome the refugees received … withers after Japan, a Nazi ally, occupies Shanghai. And we meet Jack Jacob, a Pikesville resident who was born in Shanghai--and is now a world ping-pong champion.

The Baltimore Business Journal

With speculation of a possible presidential run continuing to mount, Gov. Larry Hogan again preached bipartisanship during his fifth "State of the State" address. 

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

In the first State of the State address after winning reelection, Gov. Larry Hogan highlighted several of his priorities for the legislative session, including tax cuts and tougher sentences for violent crimes. His agenda was met with both praise and criticism from both sides of the political aisle.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan is expected to deliver his annual State of the State address on Wednesday, highlighting some of his priorities for the General Assembly’s current legislative session. On Tuesday, Democratic leaders in the legislature announced their major priorities.

Hogan Promising Tax Cut In Speech (BBJ Story)

Jan 29, 2019
The Baltimore Business Journal

Gov. Larry Hogan promised a "major tax cut" when he delivers the first "State of the State" address of his second term on Wednesday. 

Rachel Baye

Now that the federal government has reopened, state lawmakers have turned their attention toward protecting Maryland residents from the economic effects of the next shutdown, and they warn that the next shutdown could be just around the corner.

The state’s Joint Committee on Federal Relations met Monday to consider the various impacts of any federal shutdown — the 35-day one that just passed, or the one that could come when the current federal funding agreement expires in three weeks.

The Baltimore Business Journal

XPO Logistics Inc. plans to close its warehouse at the Perryman Logistics Center in Aberdeen in March less than three years after it opened. 

Mary Rose Madden

As the partial federal government shutdown grinds into its second month, food banks have been cropping up to help federal workers—and contractors--who just missed their second paycheck.

The Maryland Food Bank, for example, has been setting up “Pantries on the Go” throughout the region to help, like the one this week in a parking lot just off Interstate 95 in Arbutus. There, workers set up tables covered with cans of soup, baskets of produce, and boxes of granola bars.

John Lee

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski is telling his department heads not to expect any more money in the next fiscal year than they got this year. That’s because the county has a projected $81 million shortfall this coming year.

 

Meanwhile, constituents are giving the county executive a long list of things they say they need.

 

 

Rachel Baye

Audio coming soon.   

The Maryland Transit Administration is offering federal workers who are working without pay free rides on MARC trains, MTA commuter buses, and Baltimore buses, subways and light rail, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday.

The state will also be collecting canned food to support area food banks.

Rachel Baye

Audio coming soon.   

The leaders of five Baltimore-area jurisdictions said Wednesday that the ongoing federal government shutdown is straining local resources, including food assistance programs. At a press conference in Annapolis, they urged Congress and President Donald Trump to end the shutdown immediately.

John Lee

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski last night appeared before the school board to give them a sobering presentation on the county budget. And part of his message to the board was that it will be years before three new high schools can be built in Baltimore County.

 

WYPR’s John Lee was there and spoke with Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner about what happened.

 

 

Economic Outlook For Maryland (BBJ Story)

Jan 22, 2019
The Baltimore Business Journal

An economist had a stark warning for Maryland lawmakers: Expect a recession in mid-2020. Moody's Analytics economist Dan White told members of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee that because the federal government accounts for a large part of Maryland's economy, the state is in better position than most others to withstand the impact of a recession. 

A Shark that Smells Blood, Episode 5

Jan 21, 2019

A community organizer who was deceived by Kahan speaks out; meanwhile, Kahan's influence among the power players in the city starts to wane.

Season 1, Episode 5.

Don't Play Chess Against a Pigeon, Episode 4

Jan 21, 2019

As a political scandal - potentially influenced by Kahan - comes to a close, he doubles down on his efforts to make a name for himself in the city.

Season 1, Episode 4.

Oyster Restoration: It's Easier Said Than Done

Jan 21, 2019
Pamela D'Angelo

  

Ten years ago, President Obama issued an executive order requiring Maryland and Virginia to restore oyster populations, decimated by disease, over-harvesting and pollution, to tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay by 2025.

But that has been easier said than done, according to state and federal scientists meeting in Newport News, Va.

Mary Rose Madden / wypr

The Baltimore City Police Department is in a state of disrepair - worse than people originally thought, and it will take millions of dollars and years longer than anticipated to fix it, according to the monitor overseeing the reforms.

The department “is a dysfunctional organization, a highly dysfunctional organization,” Kenneth Thompson, the monitor, told the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee Thursday. “Its policies were poor, its staffing is poor, its technology is poor.”

The system for keeping track of simple things like how often officers stop and frisk people is so outdated that it’s backed up for years, he said.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan previewed his $46-billion fiscal 2020 budget Thursday, and education appears to be his top priority.

The Baltimore Business Journal

Maryland is making it easier for drivers of electric vehicles to charge up at their homes or on the go with the approval this week of a new pilot program. 

The Baltimore Business Journal

Larry Hogan called on Democrats and Republicans to work together and not go down the same path as their counterparts in Washington, D.C. after taking the oath of office for his second term as governor of Maryland.

Photo courtesy BCPS

The Baltimore County School Board is about to try again to find a permanent school superintendent.

 

This comes as the interim superintendent, Verletta White, said she still wants the job.

 

 

Governor's Office

Gov. Larry Hogan is the second Republican in Maryland history to be sworn into a second term. The first was Theodore McKeldin, whose second inauguration occurred in 1955.

When he took his oath during his inauguration ceremony Wednesday, Hogan placed his hand on the same Bible McKeldin used in that 1955 inauguration.

The Baltimore Business Journal

Two Frederick-based companies are hoping to break new ground with Maryland's first medical cannabis-infused beer. 

Chris Connelly / WYPR

A proposal before state lawmakers would expand Maryland’s hate crime law to include displaying a noose or swastika on someone else’s property without permission.

The Baltimore Business Journal

A new lacrosse league being launched this year by native Marylanders will have yet another connection to the Old Line State. 

 

 At 10 o'clock in the morning, Austin Lanham should be working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center routing satellite communication.

But with the partial federal government shutdown, he's not working, deadlines are slipping, he's not getting paid and the preschool his two sons go to is shut down because it's on NASA's property. "Now I'm just a full-time stay at home dad," he says.

The Baltimore Business Journal

Billy Joel will play Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 26, marking the first concert in the 27-year history of one of baseball’s most famed stadiums. 

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