Fri November 22, 2013
Fighting Crime In Baltimore, 2014 Governor’s Race Updates, and Health Care Costs In Anne Arundel
We look at Baltimore’s new crime fighting strategy. Updates on the 2014 governor’s race. A report on efforts to reduce health care costs in Anne Arundel County. Plus: the minimum wage, new indictments in the Baltimore City Detention Center corruption case, a proposed change to gun laws, and more.
Cornerstone Laid in Baltimore’s Crime Fighting Strategy: Baltimore officials yesterday released a crime fighting strategy that essentially overhauls the city’s police department. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony Batts were surrounded by several police commanders, city agency heads and city residents while discussing the report during a press conference yesterday. WYPR’s Kenneth Burns has a closer look here; there’s more here from the Baltimore Sun.
More Indictments In Baltimore City Detention Center Corruption Case: Another 19 people have been indicted in the corruption case at the Baltimore City Detention Center. 14 corrections officers were among those who were charged yesterday, for allegedly playing a role in a smuggling ring that brought drugs and cell phones into the jail. The scandal broke earlier this year – when 13 corrections officers and 12 others were indicted. 16 of those people have already pledged guilty to racketeering. US Attorney Rod Rosenstein tells the Baltimore Sun that the criminal activity that led to the new indictments occurred before the original indictments were unsealed back in April.
2014 Watch: Brown's Health Care Headache: WYPR's Fraser Smith and John Wagner of the Washington Post talk about how the troubles with Maryland's health insurance marketplace has given gubernatorial rivals to Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown some ammunition. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.
Gansler Criticizes Brown In Video; Brown Calls For “Positive Campaign Pledge”: As you heard on Inside Maryland Politics, gubernatorial hopeful Doug Gansler’s campaign has released a minute-long video criticizing Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown for the rocky rollout of Maryland’s online health exchange. Brown, like Attorney General Gansler, is running for the Democratic nomination for governor in next year’s election. The Baltimore Sun notes that Brown has played a major role in the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act in Maryland; Gansler’s video alleges that Brown doesn’t have a clear plan to fix the problems. Shortly after the ad was unveiled, Brown called on the Democrats facing him in the governor’s race to sign a pledge to run positive campaigns, and not name one another in negative ads. Montgomery County Delegate Heather Mizeur is also running for the Democratic nomination. It’s unclear whether either Gansler or Mizeur will sign the so-called “Positive Campaign Pledge.” Doug Gansler had earlier called on Brown and Mizeur to sign a different pledge – one that would discourage outside groups from spending on campaign ads. The Washington Post notes that questions have arisen about the legality of Gansler’s proposal, due to the intricacies of Maryland’s campaign finance law.
Craig Looks For Support AT RGA; Hogan Announces Plans Tomorrow: Republican gubernatorial candidate David Craig looked to drum up support for his campaign in Arizona yesterday – where the Republican Governors Association is meeting. Craig, who’s currently the Harford County Executive, will make a presentation at the GOP leaders’ retreat. The Republican Governors Association has a goal of expanding the ranks of GOP governors nationwide, and Craig is hoping they’ll be able to help his bid. Also in the race for Governor on the Republican side are Anne Arundel County Delegate Ron George and Charles County businessman Charles Lollar. And the Baltimore Sun reports that another potential contender – former Ehrlich administration appointments secretary Larry Hogan – is expected to announce his plans this weekend.
Saving Health Care Costs With House Calls: In a drive to reduce unnecessary emergency room visits by the elderly poor, Anne Arundel Medical Center has partnered with state and local agencies to bring primary and preventive medical care to patients. WYPR’s Karen Hosler reports.
Minimum Wage Legislation: A bill that would raise the minimum wage in Montgomery County from its current $7.25 an hour to $11.50 an hour by the year 2016 cleared a committee in the Montgomery County Council. The Washington Post reports that the measure could get a final vote before the end of December. The Prince George’s Council is eyeing similar legislation, but earlier this week, lawmakers there opted to postpone a vote until Montgomery County lawmakers finished action on their bill. The General Assembly is likely to take up legislation raising the minimum wage statewide in next year’s session – but even with Governor Martin O’Malley and the three Democrats vying to succeed him in favor of the idea, it’s unclear whether there are enough votes to get such a bill through.
Delegate Cardin Proposes Changes To Gun Laws: A Maryland lawmaker plans to introduce a bill to close a loophole in the state's gun law during next year’s General Assembly session. Delegate Jon Cardin's legislation would ensure that no handgun buyer would get a gun before a background check is completed. Currently, gun dealers are allowed release guns to buyers after eight days whether a background check has been completed or not. State Police tell the Daily Record that more than 100 guns have been released this year to people who were legally prohibited from buying them. The National Rifle Association is vowing to fight the bill if it’s introduced.
Baltimore Football: The Ravens have lost four of their last five games… including last week’s against the Chicago Bears. This weekend, they look to turn it around when they take on the New York Jets. It’s a home game, and starts Sunday afternoon at 1.