Rachel Baye | WYPR

Rachel Baye

Reporter

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

She came to WYPR in 2015 from the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization, 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. She also worked on an investigation into political contributions to Washington, D.C. politicians by city contractors through 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 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 / WYPR

Former Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., a potent force in Maryland politics for half a century and the longest serving state senate president in US history, died Friday after a two-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 78.

Miller, who stepped down as Senate President in 2019 because of his failing health and resigned his seat representing parts of Southern Maryland last month, was recognized as a master politician.

Baltimore City Health Department / Wikimedia Commons

The state Senate on Friday voted along party lines to override 16 of Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes. The list of bills includes three intended to reduce crime in Baltimore City that passed last year with bipartisan support.

  

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Maryland officials plan to accelerate the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, making 1.5 million residents eligible for the vaccine by the end of the month.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The Maryland General Assembly convened for its annual 90-day session Wednesday, and it is already unlike any session the state has seen before. Rachel Baye and Nathan Sterner discuss how lawmakers have adjusted their long-held traditions for a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. 

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The Maryland General Assembly returns to Annapolis Wednesday for its annual 90-day legislative session, and it will be unlike any session the state has seen before. The COVID-19 pandemic will shape not just how the laws are made, but is expected to be a focal point of the policies written. 

Governor Larry Hogan/Facebook

Gov. Larry Hogan is calling for President Donald Trump to resign or be removed from office. At a press conference Thursday, he said Vice President Mike Pence should lead until President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20.

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State legislators are trying to make it easier for students at Maryland colleges and universities and members of the military to vote via a bill legislators announced Wednesday and is expected to be introduced after the General Assembly convenes next week.

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Gov. Larry Hogan announced new steps Tuesday designed to speed up the state’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

The latest state data show that just under 77,000 Marylanders have received the vaccine, correlating with about 28% of the doses Hogan said have been distributed to health care providers. 

Rachel Baye

Mike Miller, a powerful figure in Maryland politics for nearly a half century, has resigned from the State Senate he once led, citing health reasons.

Miller, 78, presided over the Senate for 33 years, longer than any other state senate president in the nation and longer than some Senators have been alive. 

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State legislators have proposed a series of changes at the Maryland Environmental Service, including substantial changes to the organization’s board of directors.

The quasi-public state entity has been embroiled in a scandal following the news that former director, Roy McGrath, took a six-figure severance payment when he left to become Gov. Larry Hogan’s top aide.

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Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday told Maryland residents to avoid all non-essential out-of-state travel. He and the state’s top health officials are also urging residents to avoid holiday gatherings with people outside of their immediate households.

 

Under an executive order, anyone who travels out of the state — or anyone who comes to Maryland from out of state — will be required to get a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 10 days.

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Roy McGrath, former chief of staff to Gov. Larry Hogan, appeared Wednesday before a legislative panel that is investigating a six-figure payout McGrath received when he left his job at a state agency to join Hogan’s staff. During the four-hour hearing, McGrath declined to answer many questions. 

 

Rachel Baye and Nathan Sterner discuss what we know about this controversy.

University of Maryland Medical System

All hospitals and nursing homes in Maryland will have initial doses of the new COVID-19 vaccine in the next two weeks, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday.

University of Maryland Medical System

The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines have arrived at hospitals in Maryland and more are expected later this week. Now those hospitals are reckoning with how to dole out the limited numbers of vaccines to tens of thousands of frontline healthcare workers.

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The former director of operations for the Maryland Environmental Service, Matthew Sherring, spent three hours being grilled Thursday by a state legislative panel about his hefty travel and expenses. The hearing is part of an ongoing investigation into a six-figure payout to Roy McGrath, his former boss.

During the hearing, Sherring declined to answer nearly all questions, invoking the 5th Amendment more than 150 times.

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COVID-19-related hospitalizations in Maryland hit a new record Wednesday, and public health officials warn that the trend is likely to continue.

In response, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman said he plans to announce new restrictions on businesses in his county on Thursday.

Marco Verch / Flickr

The new COVID-19 vaccine could begin arriving in Maryland as soon as next week. Gov. Larry Hogan and the state’s top public health official said Tuesday, they expect an initial 155,000 doses, up to a total of 300,000 doses by the end of the month.

Reporter Rachel Baye speaks with Nathan Sterner about what Marylanders should expect in the coming weeks and months.

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Somerset County, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, has a nearly 16% COVID-19 positivity rate, the second highest in the state. According to the governor’s office, the majority of the county’s COVID-19 cases are linked to the prison in Westover, the state’s largest prison.

Cianna Greaves / WYPR

To those families and friends who plan to gather for Thanksgiving, Maryland’s public officials have a plea: Don’t. At a press conference Monday, they pointed to rapidly rising COVID-19 numbers as they warned that Thanksgiving gatherings could be deadly this year.

John Lee

Last week, in response to the alarming rise of COVID-19 cases, Gov. Larry Hogan ordered all state employees who can telework to do so. 

“Effective immediately all state employees who are approved to telework must again begin a period of mandatory telework except for essential direct public facing services and other essential personnel,” Hogan said at a press conference on Nov. 10.

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As COVID-19 case numbers continue to climb in Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday that the state will spend an additional $70 million dollars in federal CARES Act funding on supplies and programs related to the pandemic. 

 

Among that $70 million, Hogan said $20 million will be spent on personal protective equipment, or PPE, $15 million on bolstering the state’s unemployment insurance program, and $10 million on syringes and other vaccine-related supplies.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday, restaurants and bars across Maryland will be required to operate at reduced capacity under a new executive order from Gov. Larry Hogan. The move is a reaction to rapidly rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state and across the country.

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Gov. Larry Hogan is calling on President Donald Trump to acknowledge that he lost the election. He made the comments on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday.

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Annapolis in January is usually buzzing with activity as the Maryland General Assembly meets for its annual 90-day session. Because of the pandemic, the 2021 legislative session is expected to look quite different, with all meetings live-streamed but access to the public restricted.

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Maryland child care providers are pleading with elected officials to loosen COVID-19 safety rules and provide additional financial support. Without those changes, providers warned state lawmakers on Thursday that many will have to permanently close their doors in a matter of months.

Rachel Baye

More than 475,000 Marylanders voted Tuesday, adding to the 2.2 million who voted before Election Day, either in person or via mail-in ballot. As voters waited in line on Election Day, many said they were there seeking an end to the divisiveness felt across the country.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

  

The polling site at Oriole Park at Camden Yards had a growing line by 4 p.m., with voters waiting about an hour to cast their ballots. But voters' energy was high, with a mix of excitement and nerves. 

Melissa Gerr

It's finally Election Day! Get voting information, resources, and reports from the polls from the WYPR News Team, On the Record, and Midday

Rachel Baye / WYPR


  With COVID-19 cases rising, the Maryland State Board of Elections has released instructions on how to vote if you are in the hospital or under quarantine. 

Maryland GovPics / Flickr

The number of COVID-19 cases among employees of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration continues to grow, with more than a dozen workers out across multiple locations as of Thursday. However, the union that represents those workers says the agency is doing little to prevent the virus from continuing to spread. 

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