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State Politics

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.

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.

Karen Hosler / WYPR

Despite a chilly, rainy election day, following an eleventh hour barrage of negative ads, Democratic challenger Gavin Buckley has won the Annapolis mayoral race, handily defeating incumbent Republican Mike Pantelides.  WYPR's Karen Hosler has been following the race and talks with Nathan Sterner about what happened.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan joined 10 other governors from around the country on Tuesday in opposing the Senate’s latest proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act without immediately replacing it.

Rachel Baye

State Sen. Richard Madaleno formally announced on Monday that he is running for governor in next year’s election.

The Montgomery County Democrat enters an already crowded field of Democrats vying to unseat Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. 

Rachel Baye

Facing record levels of violence, Baltimore officials are grappling with the best way to curb the violence, Mayor Catherine Pugh met with Governor Larry Hogan Monday afternoon to strategize.

At the top of her list, Pugh said she plans to bring in a team from the U.S. Department of Justice next month to help the city strategize.

Creative Commons

Last year, 157 people in Maryland died from overdoses of Oxycodone, a prescription narcotic.

Rachel Baye

Sixty-four-year old Johnnie Davis has been treating his heroin addiction at the Bon Secours New Hope Treatment Center in West Baltimore for nearly 20 years.

“When I came here, I didn’t have no insurance,” he said. “And if I wasn’t here, I could imagine where my life would have turned because I was known for drugs — selling drugs.”

Rachel Baye

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget eliminates all of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s $73 million and reduces or eliminates several other funds used to clean up the Bay and its watershed.

On Thursday, leaders from the six states in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed — who together form the Chesapeake Executive Council — signed a resolution calling on Trump and Congress to replace that money in the budget and urging federal agencies to remain active participants in Bay restoration efforts.

Rachel Baye

Former NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous has formally announced his plans to run for governor next year.

The 44-year-old Democrat and California native made the announcement Wednesday morning at a rally outside his cousin’s West Baltimore flower shop. His 24-minute speech highlighted his ties to Baltimore and a family legacy of civil rights activism, including his mother’s efforts to desegregate Western High School as a young teen.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed on Friday legislation removing questions about criminal history from applications for admission to public colleges.

In a letter to House and Senate leaders, Hogan expressed alarm that the bill “tips the scales to the detriment of public safety.”

“We should not encourage schools to turn a blind eye to a prospective student’s potentially violent criminal background,” he wrote.

But those fears are misguided, said Caryn York, who fought for the measure as the director of policy and strategic partnerships at the Baltimore-based advocacy group Job Opportunities Task Force.


Rachel Baye

Advocates have pushed state lawmakers for five years to pass a bill requiring businesses to offer paid sick leave. Earlier this year, they finally passed it. But Thursday afternoon, Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed the bill and urged lawmakers to develop a new, compromise bill.

Governor's Office

The buzzword at the first-ever state business summit Thursday morning was “customer service.”

The phrase was a key component of the sales pitch Gov. Larry Hogan and state Commerce Secretary R. Michael Gill made to the hundreds of business and other community leaders who paid to attend the day-long conference in Baltimore.

Rachel Baye

  

Redistricting reform is among Gov. Larry Hogan’s priority issues. On numerous occasions, he has called for a nonpartisan process for redrawing the state’s congressional districts, which he says are some of the most gerrymandered in the country.

But at a press conference Monday afternoon, he said the bill the General Assembly passed this year is not what he had in mind.

Rachel Baye

Last month, state legislators passed a bill requiring businesses to offer paid sick leave to employees. But more than three weeks after the General Assembly’s 90-day session ended, it’s still not clear whether Gov. Larry Hogan plans to veto the bill or to allow it to become law.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan signed more than 100 bills into law Tuesday morning at a ceremony with House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Mike Miller.

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