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Patrick Semansky / AP

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The University of Maryland Medical System’s board of directors has asked its president and chief executive officer to take a temporary leave of absence and said it will hire an outside firm to conduct an “exhaustive” review of its contractual relationships.

The moves came after an emergency Thursday meeting when the UMMS board asked the president, Robert A. Chrencik, to begin his leave of absence Monday.

The Baltimore Business Journal

Common Cause Maryland says it's launching a probe of Mayor Catherine Pugh's business dealings and campaign contributions after controversy has engulfed the University of Maryland Medical System and City Hall over a $500,000 book deal. 

The Baltimore Business Journal

Common Cause Maryland says it's launching a probe of Mayor Catherine Pugh's business dealings and campaign contributions after controversy has engulfed the University of Maryland Medical System and City Hall over a $500,000 book deal. 

Minimum Wage Bill On Governor's Desk (BBJ Story)

11 hours ago
The Baltimore Business Journal

A bill raising Maryland's minimum wage to $15 per hour will go to Gov. Larry Hogan's desk after the General Assembly passed the measure on Thursday. 

Baltimore County Public Schools

 

 

The Baltimore County School System is breaking the law when it comes to how it is disciplining its students. That’s according to attorneys who say they are monitoring the school system and offering to help it get into  compliance. 

 

The allegation is that too many students are being suspended and expelled for the wrong reasons.

 

 

Rachel Baye

University of Maryland Medical System leaders met Wednesday afternoon with Gov. Larry Hogan and state Senate President Mike Miller to discuss hundreds of thousands of dollars in business deals between the hospital and its board members.

Board Chairman Stephen Burch said a board meeting Thursday will determine next steps and ways to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Nick Wass / AP

In an effort to "preserve" the Preakness Stakes' Baltimore location, Mayor Catherine Pugh filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Stronach Group to seize the track and prevent moving the race from Pimlico to Laurel.

A 1987 Maryland law prohibits moving the middle jewel of the Triple Crown to a different racecourse. The suit alleges that the Stronach Group, which owns both Pimlico and Laurel, is "openly planning to violate" that law by moving the race to a different racetrack "despite the absence of any disaster or emergency, except for the disaster that they are in the process of creating."

Making the Beer Cold in Baltimore

Mar 20, 2019
Tom Flynn

Baltimore has long been a city that loved its beer, from the time John Leonard Barnitz opened the first commercial brewery in the city in 1748 through the heady days of National Bohemian Beer (…brewed on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay!).

But national and international firms bought out the locals and moved them elsewhere. Now, however, brewing beer in Baltimore has become a bit of a trend, starting with Hugh Sisson and his Heavy Seas brand in 1989 through what Kevin Atticks, executive director of the Brewers Association of Maryland, calls an explosion of brewers.

Rachel Baye

Monday was Crossover Day in the State House. Any legislation that had not passed in either the House or the Senate and crossed over to the other chamber by the end of the day faces a tougher road to becoming law. WYPR’s State Politics Reporter Rachel Baye talks with Nathan Sterner about some of the things that made the cut and some that did not.

Wikimedia Commons/Flickr

Legislation requiring Maryland to get half of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2030 gained initial approval in the state Senate on Tuesday. The most recent version of the bill would no longer allow trash incineration to be considered a clean energy source.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan took aim on Monday at the job legislators are doing, focusing in particular on efforts to raise the minimum wage and to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more on schools.

Monday is cross-over day in the General Assembly, the day when bills must cross from one house to the other to be guaranteed full consideration.

In addition, Democratic Party leaders are rushing to get controversial bills, such as the minimum wage increase to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk in time to force an override vote before the end of session, or before Sen. Will Smith, a Montgomery County Democrat who is in the Navy Reserve, leaves for duty in Afghanistan.

Still, there are some things happening in committees this week, and some bills have already made it from one chamber to the other.

Rachel Baye

Members of the Maryland General Assembly are rushing to meet a legislative deadline Monday, which is known as Crossover Day in Annapolis. Any bills that have not passed in one chamber and “crossed over” to the other by the end of the day will face an additional hurdle and are less likely to become law this year.

This is the latest on some of the issues lawmakers are grappling with this year.

Minimum Wage

The Baltimore Business Journal

Southwest Airlines Co. is bringing back a nonstop flight from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to Newark, New Jersey. The twice-daily service begins Nov. 2. 

Rachel Baye

A bill increasing Maryland’s minimum wage passed the state Senate along party lines Thursday with enough Democratic votes to override a potential veto by Gov. Larry Hogan. The legislation would gradually raise the wage to $15 an hour by January 2025 for most businesses.

Rachel Baye

The Maryland General Assembly is on the verge of passing a $15 minimum wage. The House of Delegates approved it two weeks ago, and on Wednesday night, the state Senate gave the bill preliminary approval. WYPR's State Politics Reporter Rachel Baye speaks with Nathan Sterner to take a closer look at the proposal.

Wikimedia Commons

Legislation authorizing Johns Hopkins University to establish its own police force progressed in the state Senate on Wednesday.

Harry Roe Hughes, who won an upset victory in the 1978 Democratic primary for governor after being derisively referred to as “a lost ball in high grass,” died Wednesday, according to his family.

Hughes, who was 92, was elected to the House of Delegates, representing Caroline County, in 1954 and the state Senate in 1958, representing Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties.

Tom Pelton

It’s a warm, spring afternoon in Baltimore. And in Druid Hill Park, on the east end of the park’s shimmering lake rises a 150-year-old, Moorish-style stone tower. It’s 30 feet tall, octagonal, with cloverleaf windows and a sweeping view of the rooftops and steeples of the city.

The tower stands at the top of a rolling hillside of grass that, every spring, is the scene of one of Baltimore’s most beautiful shows. Thousands of daffodils erupt into blossoms, creating waves of yellow that cascade down the green all the way to where trucks rumble past on the Jones Falls Expressway.

Today, the flowers are just green nubs trying to push their way up through the grass. But near the base of the hill, even the grass is having trouble fighting its way up into the light – because of what, at first glance, looks like a heavy, dirty snowfall.

It’s a blizzard of trash that has been thrown out of the windows of passing cars. Styrofoam cups and fast-food containers; liquor bottles and Monster energy drink cans; white grocery bags fluttering in the briars; even a broken fishing rod.

Local journalist and author Alec MacGillis has come here this Sunday afternoon to do something about it. It’s become an odd hobby of his: selecting a different trashed city corner every week or two and setting about to personally clean it all up.

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski got blowback from members of the County Council Tuesday over his proposal for an election fund for candidates, paid for by taxpayers.

Council members questioned its cost and the details.

 

 

The Baltimore Business Journal

Jon Weaks, president of the powerful Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA), has sent a detailed memo to thousands of Southwest pilots affirming his belief that the Boeing 737 MAX 8 is safe to fly.

The MAX 8 has been at the center of a growing debate about the plane’s airworthiness after an Ethiopian Airlines MAX 8 crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, killing all onboard this past weekend.

Rachel Baye

Thousands of teachers, parents and students marched in Annapolis Monday night, seeking more funding for public schools. The march, which was organized by the Maryland State Education Association teachers union, culminated in the largest rally at the State House in recent memory. 

Organizers say 200 buses carried teachers from across the state, as far as Garrett County in Western Maryland, about three hours away. They estimate that there were about 8,500 people filling the streets, many of them wearing red beanies and carrying red cowbells and signs.

Baltimore County

 

 

When Larry Hogan ran for governor the first time in 2014, he financed it by tapping a state public campaign fund. 

 

The Baltimore County Council Tuesday will consider a similar fund for county candidates. It will also debate whether to establish an Office of Ethics and Accountability.

 

 

The Baltimore Business Journal

Maryland gained 3,100 jobs in January and saw its unemployment rate fall to its lowest level since 2008.

The state started off 2019 with an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent, down from 3.9 percent in December. Maryland's unemployment rate is now below the national average, which edged up to 4 percent, according to preliminary data released Monday by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Maryland's unemployment rate is at its lowest point since April 2008 before the Great Recession.

January was the seventh consecutive month of job growth for Maryland. Education and health services led the way with the addition of 3,100 jobs.

READ THE FULL STORY ON THE BBJ WEBSITE.

Much like last week, the bulk of the action in Annapolis remains on the floors of both chambers where agendas are frequently determined on a day to day basis.

Lawmakers are working to beat the deadline known as cross-over day—March 18 this year--when bills must cross from one house to the other to be guaranteed full consideration. In fact, Senate President Mike Miller has suggested he might schedule two floor sessions a day in order to get bills through.

But that doesn’t mean nothing’s happening in the committees. Legislative leaders have scheduled hearings on bills involving medical marijuana, sports betting, voter registration and abortion, among other issues.

At the Mouth of the Bay, a City Seeks Resilience

Mar 11, 2019
Pamela D'Angelo

Newmarket Creek flows from Newport News, Va., through nearby Hampton where nuisance flooding caused by rising tides and sinking lands has created problems for more than one homeowner.

Since 2008, the city of Hampton has been looking at ways to live with water. City officials recently brought experts together for a week-long workshop and a community meeting at the Hampton Coliseum to look at innovative ways individuals, neighborhoods and the city can manage flood risk during storms and adapt to become more resilient to rising waters and sinking lands.

Twenty-four years ago, a judge ordered fundamental changes to the way Baltimore City Public Schools are managed and funded. The ruling, the result of a 1994 lawsuit, led to Maryland’s current public school funding formula.

Then over the next decade, the court issued more opinions, saying that Baltimore students continued to be shortchanged.

On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a motion in Baltimore City Circuit Court to reopen that 1994 lawsuit. In the filing, they accuse Maryland of violating the state constitution by underfunding Baltimore City schools.

The Baltimore Business Journal

Baillie & Gifford, the biggest institutional shareholder of Under Armour Inc. stock, has completely divested its stake in the sportswear maker.

Scotland-based Baillie & Gifford disclosed that it sold its stake in a filing Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company owned no shares of Baltimore-based Under Armour as of Feb. 28, according to the filing.

Rachel Baye

Anne Rowe was diagnosed in 2001 with Von Willebrand disease. It’s a genetic bleeding disorder, meaning her blood doesn’t clot well. The Prince George’s County resident told the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday afternoon that, fortunately, there is a treatment.

“For us to be treated prophylactically only, it could cost us $288,000 annually with no insurance or medications,” she said.

The Baltimore Business Journal

Greater Baltimore Medical Center is plotting a nearly $80 million expansion to its Towson complex, joining dozens of other hospitals across Maryland planning major facelifts. 

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