Lawmaker Reimbursements, An AA County Executive Debate, Baltimore’s Curfew, & Preakness Week
A look at lawmaker reimbursements during the 2014 General Assembly sessions. Republicans running for Anne Arundel County Executive are set to debate tonight. Campaign signs taken down in the 42nd District State Senate race. Proposed changes to Baltimore’s curfew. The winner of the Kentucky Derby heads to Baltimore, in advance of Saturday’s Preakness Stakes. And more.
Spending Totals In 2014 General Assembly Session: Maryland lawmakers spent nearly $2-million on meals, lodging and mileage during the 2014 legislative session. The Department of Legislative Services also found that Democrats outspent their Republican counterparts two-and-a-half-to-one during the 90-day session, with the bulk of the disparity coming from lodging expenses. The Annapolis Capital reports that, overall, legislators spent about a half-million-dollars more this year than they did in 2013.
Anne Arundel County Executive Candidates To Debate Tonight: The two Republican candidates for Anne Arundel County Executive will face off tonight for their first debate. Incumbent County Executive Laura Neuman will debate Delegate Steve Schuh at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, starting at 8pm. The primary election is set for June 24th. There’s more here from the Annapolis Capital.
Campaign Signs Taken Down In 42nd District State Senate Race: The race for the 42nd District State Senate seat got nastier over the weekend… when the husband of one candidate was caught taking down campaign signs that supported another candidate. The Democratic primary in the 42nd District is between incumbent Senator Jim Brochin and former Delegate Connie DeJuliis. On Saturday, DeJuliis’ husband and two other men were spotted removing four of Brochin’s campaign signs. J. Ronald DeJuliis is facing a misdemeanor theft charge in connection with the incident, and the Baltimore Sun reports that the Brochin campaign is planning to pursue charges against the other two men involved. J. Ronald DeJuliis is the Maryland Commissioner of Labor and Industry; he was appointed to the post by Governor Martin O’Malley 7 years ago. There’s more here from marylandreporter.com.
Changes To Baltimore’s Curfew Up For Preliminary Vote At Tonight’s City Council Meeting: The Baltimore City Council is considering a bill aimed at reforming the city’s curfew law. The bill’s up for a preliminary vote tonight. WYPR’s Kenneth Burns talks with Nathan Sterner about the legislation – and opposition to it. Tonight’s city council meeting starts at 5pm.
Rawlings-Blake Names New Chief Of Staff: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has naming Kaliope Parthemos as new chief of staff. Until Friday, Parthemos was the deputy mayor for economic development. She takes over the chief of staff job from Alexander Sanchez, who held the post for the last 2 years. A spokesman for the mayor tells the Baltimore Sun that all parties agreed to the change. Parthemos is the fourth person to be Rawlings-Blake’s chief of staff.
MoCo Politics Not Genteel This Year: WYPR's Fraser Smith and Lou Peck of Bethesda Magazine talk about a hard-fought State Senate Democratic primary in Montgomery County and why the era of gentile politics there might be over. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.
Hopkins Workers March To Highlight Contract Talks: Thousands of service workers marched on downtown Baltimore over the weekend, to call attention to the ongoing contract negotiations between Johns Hopkins Hospital and the approximately 2-thousand workers represented by 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. The union wants to see all service employees making $14 an hour by the end of a four-year deal. Hopkins has countered with a minimum wage of $12.25 an hour, with annual raises capped at two-percent. Little progress has been made on contract talks since workers staged a three-day strike last month. The Baltimore Sun has more.
Developers Sue Feds Over Alleged Groundwater Contamination Near Fort Detrick: The federal government is facing a lawsuit over alleged groundwater contamination from Frederick’s Fort Detrick. The Baltimore Sun reports that the suit’s been filed by developers looking to build more than 700 homes on land near the military installation. They argue that the US Army’s practices in handling and disposing of chemicals was negligent, and that it’s led to significant contamination in the area’s groundwater, contamination they say has prevented the development plans from moving forward. The developers are looking for more than $37-million. A spokesperson for Fort Detrick declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Cardin Calls For Higher Minimum Wage For Tipped Workers: US Senator Ben Cardin is holding a roundtable discussion this morning at Silver Spring's iconic Tastee Diner. The Democrat will highlight the need to raise the federal sub-minimum wage for tipped workers, which has been frozen at $2.13 an hour for more than 20 years. Senator Cardin is a co-sponsor of the Minimum Wage Fairness Act, which would raise the tipped minimum wage to 70-percent of the federal minimum wage. It’s part of a bill that would increase the federal minimum to $10.10 per hour. Maryland lawmakers recently approved a bill that would raise the state minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2018. That legislation freezes the rate for Maryland tipped workers at $3.63 an hour, which is $1.50 higher than the federal rate for tipped workers.
Work Underway On Bike Access To State Road In Anne Arundel: The first project in Anne Arundel County dedicated exclusively to improving bike access on a state road is now underway. The $1.3-million effort will also add safety improvements for cyclists over a mile-and-a-half stretch of Camp Meade Road, linking Linthicum with the popular BWI Trail. State Highway officials hope the project will be done by spring 2015. The Annapolis Capital has more.
Penalties For AA County High School Seniors Caught Using Drugs Or Alcohol: Administrators at Anne Arundel County are telling high school seniors that they’d better not use drugs and alcohol – and that if they do, they’ll face penalties at graduation day. Anyone arrested will be placed on the sidelines and not receive their diploma with other graduates. Offenders will be able to get their diploma after graduation ceremonies. Officials say the warning comes well in advance for seniors to be aware of the consequences. WBAL has more here.
Commencement Speakers: Several Maryland universities have released the names of the upcoming commencement speakers. The Baltimore Sun reports that US Labor Secretary Tom Perez will address the University of Baltimore's graduates, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki will speak at Johns Hopkins, Governor Martin O'Malley will send off students at the University of Maryland College Park and newswomen Glen Ifill and Claire Shipman will do the honors at St. Mary's College and Hood College, respectively.
Health Department Warns About Decorative Contact Lenses: The Maryland Department of Health is warning residents about the danger of using decorative contact lenses. They’re very popular among teens and young adults, but can pose threats of bacterial infections, scratches, and ulcers to the cornea. The lenses are also illegal to buy without a prescription. Last week, Governor Martin O’Malley signed a bill that gives the state’s Board of Examiners in Optometry the ability to stop the illegal sales of such lenses.
Baltimore Baseball: the Orioles lost yesterday’s game against the Houston Astros; the score was 5 to 2. Tonight, the O’s host the Detroit Tigers for the first of a three-game series. The game starts at 7:05pm at Camden Yards.
Washington Baseball: the Washington Nationals lost yesterday’s game against the Oakland As; the score was 9 to 1.
Preakness Week: It's Preakness Week in Baltimore. Kentucky Derby winner “California Chrome” is expected to arrive at Pimlico Race Course today ahead of Saturday's 139th running of the Preakness Stakes. The colt will attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. The last horse to win both the Derby and Preakness was “I'll Have Another” in 2012. “I'll Have Another” did not run in the Belmont Stakes after an injury. Starting post positions for the Preakness will be selected on Wednesday. There’s more here from the Baltimore Sun.