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.

Maryland Health Connection

If Congress repeals or stops enforcing the individual mandate and Maryland doesn’t change anything about the way its insurance market works, state residents will feel the effects quickly, health care experts warned a state commission Tuesday.

“If we don’t act next year, it’s very likely we won’t have an individual market in 2019 in Maryland,” said Deb Rivkin, Vice President of Government Affairs for Maryland at Carefirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state’s largest health insurer.

Rachel Baye

Thirty-seven-year-old Tara Herbert entered a classroom at the Little Flowers Early Childhood and Development Center in West Baltimore, where she’s a teacher.

Five one-year-olds sat around a small table while a movie played nearby. Another teacher was spoon feeding one of the toddlers.

WYPR

The agency in charge of Maryland’s juvenile justice system dodged the state’s competitive bidding process by artificially dividing contracts into smaller dollar amounts, according to a state audit released Wednesday. The findings were referred to the state attorney general for investigation.

Rachel Baye

When Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed a bill requiring businesses to offer paid leave in May, he also signed an executive order creating a commission to study the issue and recommend a revised paid leave law.

Now the state Democratic Party is accusing the commission of keeping its meetings secret, violating state law and preventing the public from weighing in. On Thursday, party Chair Kathleen Matthews filed a complaint with the Maryland Open Meeting Compliance Board about the commission’s lack of publicized meeting dates and agendas.

The number of people in Maryland who died after taking the narcotic Fentanyl increased by more than 70 percent in the first half of 2017, compared with the first half of last year, according to preliminary data the state Department of Health released Tuesday. 

Deaths related to heroin and prescription opioids were relatively flat across the state, the data show.

Rachel Baye

Maryland’s government won’t contract with any company that boycotts Israeli products or services over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The change is the result of a new executive order Gov. Larry Hogan signed Monday opposing the BDS — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions — movement.

DOMINIQUE MARIA BONESSI

Hundreds of teachers, parents, elected officials, and other community members filled the auditorium at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute Thursday night to advocate for a more equitable approach to funding Maryland’s public schools. On the other side of their pleas was a state commission tasked with overhauling the current funding model. WYPR’s Rachel Baye was at the public hearing and joins Nathan Sterner to discuss it.

WYPR

A new state law that took effect this week makes major changes to criminal justice policies. The law is intended to save the state money by reducing prison populations, then invest the savings in crime prevention efforts.

But one provision in the new law that is designed to send offenders to treatment for drug and alcohol addiction may not work as planned.

Rachel Baye

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Environmental Protection Agency. State officials say the EPA is not enforcing the Clean Air Act in five upwind states, and that creates an unhealthy level of smog in Maryland, particularly in the Washington and Baltimore metro areas.

Rachel Baye

About 62 percent of registered voters in Maryland say they approve of the way Gov. Larry Hogan is doing his job, a decline from Hogan’s 70-percent approval rating last September, according to Goucher poll data released Monday.

Rachel Baye

Krishanti Vignarajah formally launched her campaign for governor on Tuesday after announcing her intent to run online last month.

Rachel Baye

  

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced that he is running for governor in a speech in front of the Baltimore County government offices in Towson Monday morning.

Kamenetz has been expected to make the announcement for months.

Rachel Baye

By Monday, the State Board of Education must submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Education outlining how Maryland’s schools will abide by the Every Student Succeeds Act, the successor to No Child Left Behind. The federal law governs how states monitor schools’ performance.

Maryland’s plan will be submitted without Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature.

WYPR

The state Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee convened a meeting Tuesday to examine record levels of violence in Baltimore — what’s causing it and how it can be stopped. WYPR's Rachel Baye spoke with Nathan Sterner about the discussion and the conclusions drawn.

Sen. Ben Cardin said he is optimistic about a possible bipartisan health care bill. He made the comments on Friday while speaking with WYPR’s Tom Hall on Midday.

Rachel Baye

The state Board of Public Works voted Wednesday to cut more than $60 million from the state’s $43 billion budget. However, the body did not touch $6 million slated for local school systems that was initially on the chopping block.

Rachel Baye

The meeting of the Baltimore City Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Tuesday morning was closed to the public and to the press, but the city and state officials who attended said tougher sentencing practices was a major focus of the discussion.

Rachel Baye

Following a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning with city and state officials to discuss rising levels of violent crime in Baltimore, Gov. Larry Hogan said his biggest concern is the number of people who are committing multiple violent crimes without serving time.

Rachel Baye

State lawmakers plan to introduce legislation requiring the state to get all of its electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, by the year 2035. The bill is expected to be introduced when the General Assembly returns to Annapolis in January.

Who was Roger Taney?

Aug 23, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Any discussion of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney inevitably begins with the opinion he published in 1857 in Dred Scott v. Sanford.

A statue of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney was removed from the State House grounds early Friday morning, following a key state committee vote, cast by email earlier this week. Taney is best known for writing the 1857 Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery by ruling that black people could not be US citizens.

But a day after the State House Trust voted, Senate President Mike Miller jumped to Taney’s defense.

Mary Rose Madden

Baltimore quietly removed four Confederate monuments Tuesday night, responding to activists who called for them to be taken down after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend turned deadly.

P. Kenneth Burns

Earlier this year, Baltimore entered into a consent decree with the Department of Justice to reform the city police department. As part of the agreement, an independent monitor will keep track of the changes made and report publicly on the progress.

Tuesday night, the city hosted the first of two forums where community members could hear from the four finalists considered for monitors.

WYPR's Matt Tacka and Rachel Baye discuss what happened at the forum and the process for selecting the monitor.

Rachel Baye

Two Maryland doctors have been charged with illegally selling prescriptions for opioid painkillers at so-called “pill mills.” State Attorney General Brian Frosh announced the indictments Thursday together with local and federal officials following an investigation spanning multiple agencies and jurisdictions.

Rachel Baye

Maryland Secretary of Health Dennis Schrader and Secretary of Planning Wendi Peters are suing state Treasurer Nancy Kopp after she refused to sign their paychecks. The lawsuit filed Thursday is the latest development in an ongoing dispute between Gov. Larry Hogan and the General Assembly.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Odell Jones describes himself as a “working addict.” For decades, he maintained a career in social work and politics, as well as a family — four children and a wife — while using and selling heroin.

”An individual would not know that I was a drug user, or a drug dealer, for that matter, unless I were to tell you,” he said.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The General Assembly created a commission in the spring to protect Marylanders’ health insurance coverage from changes to the Affordable Care Act or Medicaid funding. The commission met for the first time Tuesday, and even though Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed in Congress last week, state lawmakers were far from relieved.

TEDxBaltimore / Flickr / Creative Commons

Evergreen Health is no longer allowed to sell insurance on Maryland’s individual health insurance market as a result of the insurer’s "financially hazardous condition," state Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer said in an administrative order Thursday.

Justice for Tyrone West Facebook Page

The city and state reached a settlement Wednesday in the lawsuit over the death of Tyrone West during a traffic stop in 2013. West’s children are expected to receive $1 million.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration warned the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday that it will sue if the federal agency does not stop coal-fired power plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia from contributing pollution to Maryland’s air.

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