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 state legislative committee voted Thursday in favor of changes to how and when the Department of Juvenile Services strip searches children and adolescents in its custody. However, the group delayed decisions about new regulations for when and how to shackle youth.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

A legislative committee is expected to vote Thursday to limit shackling and strip searching children. The proposals will likely lead to new Department of Juvenile Services policies almost immediately.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The state agency that oversees services for people with disabilities has for years directed health care providers to overcharge patients, according to a state audit released Tuesday. Residents may have lost millions to the error, and they may not be able to get the money back. 

Rachel Baye

The Maryland Department of Transportation plans to replace the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge that crosses the Potomac River from Charles County in southern Maryland to King George County, Virginia, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday.

The announcement comes roughly six months after Hogan vetoed a bill the Democrat-controlled legislature passed to set aside money to replace the bridge.

Rachel Baye

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake promised on Thursday that immigrants will continue to be welcome in Charm City, and that the city police will not be actively checking immigration status.

The promises were a reaction to President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed immigration policies and could cost Baltimore some of its federal funding.

Rachel Baye

The Baltimore City Council gave initial approval Monday to a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The move coincided with a resolution pushing for a statewide ban and is largely symbolic. The ban will effectively be repealed when the state’s drilling moratorium ends next year.

Rachel Baye

When it comes to women in politics, Maryland has been a national leader for decades. It was the first state to have a bipartisan women’s legislative caucus, and it ranks seventh nationwide in terms of the portion of women in the state legislature.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski is a large part of the reason for Maryland’s legacy of woman leadership, said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. A 30-year Senate veteran, Mikulski is known as the “dean” of women in the chamber and a leader on women’s rights.

Mikulski is retiring when her term ends in January, and on Tuesday, Maryland voters elected Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen to fill her seat. The result is Maryland’s first all-male congressional delegation since 1971.

Rachel Baye

Despite the grim returns in national races, Maryland Democrats celebrated victories in House and Senate races.

Congressman Chris Van Hollen defeated Republican Kathy Szeliga for the open Senate seat vacated by retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski. State Senator Jamie Raskin won his race to replace Van Hollen in congress and former Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown won his race for Congress.

Rachel Baye

This post was updated at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 4.

Early voting ended Thursday, and record numbers of Maryland residents cast ballots before Election Day this year. Here is a look at the numbers:

Rachel Baye

With Election Day less than a week away, Sen. Ben Cardin and Rep. Chris Van Hollen visited Baltimore's Lexington Market on Wednesday to remind voters to go to the polls.

Rachel Baye

In addition to the candidates on the ballot this year, Maryland has one statewide ballot measure. A “yes” vote on the measure, Question 1, would change what happens when the state attorney general or comptroller leaves office between normal election cycles.

Rachel Baye

  

In Western Maryland, politics can be a sensitive subject.

Rachel Baye

State officials are reapplying for a federal grant to expand Baltimore’s 121-year-old Howard Street Tunnel, which CSX Transportation uses for its freight trains, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday during a news conference at the Port of Baltimore.

Fraser Smith and Rachel Baye, of the WYPR reporting team, talk about how a group of Democrats want to use a wide-ranging mass transit proposal to create a wedge issue for the 2018 governor's race.

Maryland Transit Opportunities Coalition

State and local elected officials from the Baltimore and Washington metro areas are calling for a transit network that would connect their respective regions. The policy makers joined activists at a press conference Tuesday morning in front of Baltimore’s Penn Station, gearing up for a political fight that could last through the spring's General Assembly session.

The transit system the group envisions would build off MARC and the D.C. Metrorail. It would extend from Martinsburg, West Virginia to the west, to Waldorf, Maryland, to the south, all the way up Elkton, on Maryland’s Delaware line.

YouTube

Repealing Obamacare has become a litmus test for many Republicans seeking federal office. But Republican Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga said Friday she wouldn’t vote to repeal the federal healthcare law.

John Lee

Republican Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga said Tuesday that her top priority if she is elected would be to fix management problems at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The delegate from Baltimore County made the comments while speaking with WYPR’s Tom Hall on Midday.

Rachel Baye

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga makes no secret of the fact that she has been endorsed by Gov. Larry Hogan in her bid to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski.

Rachel Baye

A poll released Monday by Goucher College found that Marylanders are increasingly divided over whether the state should ban hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.

The state’s moratorium on the practice is set to end in October 2017, when the Department of the Environment plans to begin issuing drilling licenses.

Rachel Baye

On sunny days, you might have to look a little harder to find evidence of sewage overflows on the Jones Falls Trail. But it’s there.

Rachel Baye

In a speech in Baltimore Monday afternoon, Donald Trump promised the National Guard Association of the United States that he would support military growth and defeat ISIS if elected president.

    

News Director Joel McCord and Rachel Baye, of the WYPR reporting team, take on the latest chapter in the feud between Gov. Larry Hogan and the General Assembly over transportation funding.

Arash Azizzada

The Maryland Legislative Black Caucus and the NAACP announced a new legislative agenda last week, following the release of a U.S. Department of Justice report chronicling a system of discrimination in the Baltimore Police Department. Changing police recruitment practices was on the list.

“We will mandate and oversee the recruitment of officers by the Baltimore Police Department and require Baltimore residents, particularly African Americans and women, to be recruited and hired to fill the more than 3,000 officer positions comprising the agency,” state Del. Jill Carter, a Democrat who represents northwest Baltimore, said at the Black Caucus’ press conference.

But even before the report’s release, the Baltimore Police had begun building efforts to recruit from communities that haven’t historically attracted many applicants.

Rachel Baye

Representatives of Maryland’s Legislative Black Caucus and the NAACP announced Friday a set of policy proposals in response to the scathing Justice Department report on discriminatory practices by the Baltimore Police Department.

Among the legislators’ proposals are hiring practices that bring in more African American and women city residents, protections for police whistle-blowers and opportunities for civilians to review police actions.

Rachel Baye

  The governor’s office said Wednesday it will not release nearly $80 million the legislature had set aside to pay for a range of items including teacher pensions, the rehabilitation of aging schools, the demolition of the Baltimore City Detention Center and Baltimore’s Safe Streets initiative.

Blue Water Baltimore

Baltimore City asked the U.S. District Court last month to extend its deadline for making critical improvements to the city sewer system by 17 years, from January 2016 to the year 2033.

The deadline stems from a 2002 lawsuit the U.S. Department of Justice filed against the city for allowing raw sewage to leak into public waterways, in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

Rachel Baye

The company behind the planned Port Covington development announced Thursday a multi-million-dollar arrangement with six nearby neighborhoods in South Baltimore.

Flickr, via Creative Commons

A state commission charged with determining whether Maryland students spend too much time taking standardized tests issued a final report today. Among the recommendations was a suggestion that local jurisdictions examine their own required tests.

Rachel Baye

Maryland’s prison system is short several hundred correctional officers.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union called on the state to fix the problem at a news conference Thursday morning at the Dorsey Run Correctional Facility in Jessup. Union leaders say the shortage endangers correctional officers.

Rachel Baye

The Maryland Department of the Environment is in the process of drafting new regulations that would govern hydraulic fracturing, a drilling process better known as fracking, in western Maryland. Monday night, the agency held a public meeting in Baltimore to discuss the proposed new rules. WYPR's Rachel Baye joined Nathan Sterner to talk about the debate over the issue.

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