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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

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.

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

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.

Wikimedia Commons

  

The state Senate voted Tuesday to ban the sale of foam food and beverage containers. If the measure passes the House, Maryland would be the first state to pass a statewide ban on the products.

The ban covers expanded polystyrene cups, plates, takeout containers and egg cartons.

Rachel Baye

Legislators in Annapolis will have their first chance to weigh in on recommendations by the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education — better known as the "Kirwan Commission" — which is studying ways to improve K-12 education in Maryland. A bill reflecting many of those recommendations is to go before a Senate committee Wednesday afternoon.

John Lee

When you first see Perry Hall Mansion, you notice something odd. Sean Kief, who is on the board of Historic Perry Hall Mansion, points it out.

 

“You’re looking at basically half a house,” Kief said.

 

More than 200 years after the founding of a new American church within its halls, the bare bones of the Baltimore County mansion remains. 

 

But there are questions about its future

 

 

Much of the action in Annapolis this week moves to 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 addition, legislative leaders are trying to get some of the more controversial bills, like the minimum wage increase, to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk in time for a potential veto override vote before March 29. That’s the date Sen. Will Smith, a Montgomery County Democrat and Naval Reserve officer, leaves to deploy to Afghanistan.

Rachel Baye

The Maryland House of Delegates voted Friday to gradually increase the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by January 2025.

The vote came down largely along party lines, with two Baltimore County Democrats opposing the bill.

Brian Witte/AP

The House of Delegates voted Thursday to censure Del. Mary Ann Lisanti, whose district is in Harford County, for her use of the n-word. The Democrat was heard using the slur to describe a district in Prince George’s County during an event at a cigar bar in Annapolis in January.

Rachel Baye

Calls for state Del. Mary Ann Lisanti to resign are growing after it was revealed this week that she used a racial slur to refer to residents of Prince George’s County. The Democrat from Harford County has already been stripped of her leadership position, but the state Legislative Black Caucus and other groups say that’s not enough.

Seth Sawyers/flickr

Republican Governor Larry Hogan has asked the General Assembly to approve a plan to spend nearly $2 billion in additional school construction money statewide over the next four years. 

 

And Baltimore County’s Executive, Democrat Johnny Olszewski, agrees. 

 

Olszewski painted a dire picture before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee Wednesday of what might happen without the money.

 

 

John Lee

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski is remaining mum about whether he will call for tax hikes to deal with a projected $81 million shortfall. But others in county government are making the case that now may be the time to do so.

 

Let’s start with the county’s income tax rate.

 

Currently it’s at just over 2.8 percent. A report by the county council’s spending affordability committee lays out the possibility of raising that to 3.2 percent, which is the highest allowed under state law.

 

Rachel Baye

During government shutdowns like the one that ended last month, federal employees who are considered “essential” and have to report to work without pay are not eligible for federal unemployment benefits. So Maryland lawmakers have devised a way to provide some help during the next shutdown.

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