Mon July 7, 2014
Police No Longer Required To Report Certain Data, Election Results, & MD’s Medicaid Rolls
The expiration of two laws mean Maryland law enforcement agencies are no longer required to report the activities of SWAT teams or the race of drivers pulled over for traffic stops. Primary election results will be finalized today. A review of MD’s Medicaid rolls. Baltimore’s homicide total for 2014 passes the 100 mark. The Maryland Zoo asks for help in naming a bald eagle. And more.
Police No Longer Required To Report Data: Maryland law enforcement agencies are no longer required to collect and report information about the race of drivers pulled over in traffic stops. Law enforcement agencies no longer have to provide the state with information about their SWAT team deployments, either. The changes are because a pair of laws expired at the beginning of this month. The Baltimore Sun reports that lawmakers simply forgot about the expiration date of the first law during this year’s General Assembly session… and that an attempt to extend the second died in committee. State lawmakers have vowed to re-introduce the measures as soon as next year’s session begins. Meanwhile, the director of Maryland’s statistical center is urging law enforcement agencies to keep on collecting the data in question – even though doing so is no longer required. The Maryland State Police say they plan to maintain their current data-collection practices, and are informing other agencies of that decision.
Primary Election Results: The results of Maryland’s primary election will be finalized today. The winners and losers of most races were known nearly two weeks ago, shortly after the vote took place… but there are some contests that haven’t yet been determined. One is a Democratic primary for a Prince George’s County Council seat… where just 10 votes separated Deni Taveras and Delegate Doyle Neimann at last count. Another undecided race is a Republican primary for an Anne Arundel County Council seat, where Michael Peroutka and Maureen Carr-York are just 16 votes apart. Today’s the deadline for local boards of election to receive absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day. After all the outstanding votes are tallied and the vote counts verified today, local boards of elections will certify the results. Later this week, the state Board of Elections will certify the results, and petitions for recounts in local races are due on Thursday.
Frederick Primed For Competitive State Senate Race: WYPR's Nathan Sterner and Jeremy Bauer-Wolf of MarylandReporter.com talk about Sen. David Brinkley's loss to Del. Michael Hough in the primaries, and how that upset teed up a general election race with Democrat Dan Rupli. It’s this morning’s look Inside Maryland Politics.
Review Of Medicaid Rolls: State officials are getting ready to review Maryland’s Medicaid rolls. Regular review of the rolls were put on hold six months ago, as the state worked to adjust to new rules related to the rollout of the state’s online health insurance exchange. There are now more than a million Marylanders in Medicaid… but typically, thousands of recipients are removed from the rolls every year, because their rising incomes make them ineligible for the program. The Baltimore Sun reports that officials expect a higher percentage of people will remain in Medicaid this time around, because the eligibility threshold has been increased under the Affordable Care Act.
Smooth Operator Enforcement Effort Continues: Maryland Transportation Authority police are continuing their Smooth Operator program this week. The second wave of an enforcement effort targeting aggressive drivers officially got underway yesterday. Officers are trying to reduce the number of accidents caused by aggressive driving. The weeklong effort will see officers keeping a close eye on I-95 between the beltway exits, the Harbor Tunnel Thruway and I-195.
Baltimore Homicide Total For 2014 Now Exceeds 100: Baltimore City saw its 100th homicide of the year over the Independence Day weekend. The city’s reached that grim milestone late on Friday night… and it came about half a month later this year than it did last year… in 2013, the 100th murder took place on June 15th. The Baltimore Sun has more.
Cardin, Mikulski To Visit Lake Montebello: Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin will be in Baltimore today, touring one of the city's three major water filtration plants. They’ll be stopping by the Lake Montebello Treatment Plant this morning at 10. The Northeast Baltimore facility is capable of treating 128 million gallons of water a day, water drawn from the Loch Raven Reservoir and the Susquehanna River. Senators Cardin and Mikulski say they’re visiting the 99-year-old facility to draw attention to the need to invest in upgrades to the nation's water infrastructure… which they say is a vital part of keeping cities like Baltimore humming for decades to come.
Gas Prices At 6-Year Summertime High: Gas prices are at a six-year high for this time of year. AAA Mid-Atlantic says the average price for a gallon of gas is $3.67. Summer drivers haven’t seen gas prices this high since 2008, when a gallon of gas averaged more than $4.
Smokers Need Not Apply To Anne Arundel Medical Center: Anne Arundel Medical Center is one of a growing number of Maryland employers who will soon require job applicants to prove they don't smoke or use tobacco products. The new job screening protocol goes into effect next year; it’ll apply to everyone ranging from surgeons to security guards. The prohibition on smoking will not apply to current workers. Officials say making the change to hiring policy is an effort to improve the health status of the hospital community. The Baltimore Sun has more here.
Zoo Needs Help In Naming Bald Eagle: The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is asking for the public's help in naming a new bald eagle that's set to make her public debut later this month. Zoo administrators tell the Baltimore Sun that the female eagle was deemed unable to survive in the wild after being found in North Carolina three years ago. Online voting continues through July 14th… and you can cast your vote here.
Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles won yesterday’s 12-inning game against the Boston Red Sox. The score was 7 to 6.
Washington Baseball: The Washington Nationals won yesterday’s game against the Chicago Cubs; the score there, 2 to 1.
“Battle Of The Beltways”: The Os and the Nats are set to begin a four-game series tonight in Washington… the final two games in that series will be played here in Baltimore later this week.