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WYPR News

News coverage, Series and Commentary from WYPR's award winning news staff.Series from WYPR Newsroom.

Lawmakers and prescription drug prices

Feb 23, 2017
Brendan Reynolds

Prescription drug prices have gone up sharply in recent years, angering consumers and their advocates. And now Annapolis lawmakers are trying to stem the tide in Maryland.

Both houses of the General Assembly are considering bills that would prohibit price gouging and require drug companies to file documents with state health officials when planning to increase drug prices. 

USDA

The Delmarva Peninsula lies under the Atlantic Migratory flyway, a path waterfowl migrate through. As Europe deals with recent outbreaks of a severe strain of Avian Influenza, some local poultry growers worry that just one infected bird passing through the region could contaminate and kill whole flocks of chickens.

Maryland's freshman senator has a tough job

Feb 22, 2017

Maryland’s junior senator may be in his first year in that body, but he isn’t exactly the new kid on the block. Chris Van Hollen served seven terms in the House of Representatives, where he was picked by party leaders to run the Democratic election arm of the House. Now he has the same job in the Senate, which is unheard of for a freshman, in what looks to be a rough cycle for the party.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan frequently offers a similar complaint about bills Democratic legislators introduce in the Maryland General Assembly — that the bills take away his power as governor. Hogan says this year’s legislative session features more than 30 such measures.

Karen Hosler

Ben Cardin and Steny Hoyer have been close friends and allies since they were boy wonders of Maryland politics a half century ago. But now they may be facing their greatest challenge ever: protecting the country from what they call the missteps--or worse—of President Trump. 

Joel McCord and John Lee, of the WYPR news team, discuss a measure making its way through the General Assembly that would keep landlords from automatically turning down renters with housing vouchers.

John Lee

More than 23,000 families in Baltimore County are on a waiting list for housing vouchers once known as Section 8. And while they're waiting, the long running debate over where to put affordable housing in the   county rolls on.

The next generation of the apprentice

Feb 16, 2017
P. Kenneth Burns

Apprenticeships have always been a way to provide on-the-job training for people who want to work in the skilled trades; like a carpenter or electrician.

Not so much for IT, until now.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The Maryland House of Delegates voted along party lines Wednesday to make it easier for the state attorney general to sue the federal government.

A Chesapeake Valentine

Feb 14, 2017
Pamela D'Angelo

In honor of Valentine’s Day WYPR’s news department skipped the usual politics and mayhem to introduce you to William and Bessie Hudnall, who have been married for 79 years. They’ve lived in Baltimore and New York, but spent most of their lives—he’s 102, she’ll be 98 next month—near the Chesapeake Bay in Northumberland County, Virginia.

Joel McCord

The Maryland Senate adopted a measure Friday that would expand the state attorney general’s power to sue the federal government on an almost party line vote.

Three Democrats, James Brochin and Katherine Klausmeier of Baltimore County and James Mathias, of Worcester County, voted with all 14 Republicans against the measure. It allows the state attorney general to sue the federal government without getting approval of the governor or the General Assembly, as the law now requires.

WYPR's State House Reporter Rachel Baye joins News Director Joel McCord to explain a fast moving bill to allow state Attorney General Brian Frosh to sue the federal government without buy in from the governor or general assembly.

Rachel Baye

Legislation expanding the state attorney general’s powers to sue the federal government advanced in the state Senate Thursday. But nine of the Senate’s 14 Republicans walked out before the vote to protest the Democratic majority rushing the measure through the body.

The real question about crime in Baltimore

Feb 9, 2017
P. Kenneth Burns

A group of central West Baltimore residents gathered near Triangle Park Wednesday night to march against the surge of violence in their neighborhood and the city at large.

“Our deal is to show that we are the majority of this community and we won’t let a small percentage of violent individuals define what we are in Central West Baltimore,” said Ray Kelly with the No Boundaries Coalition; one of the march organizers.

Rachel Baye

An initiative to give the Maryland attorney general the freedom to challenge federal policy in court earned initial approval by a state Senate committee on Wednesday. The legislation, expected to come up for a vote in the full Senate Thursday, is driven by concern about the policies likely to come from President Donald Trump's new administration.

Joel McCord and WYPR's John Lee talk about some apparent friction between Baltimore County's House delegation and the county's executive.

Rachel Baye

  

Just before the U.S. Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos Tuesday, Democrats in Annapolis held a press conference tying Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to the controversial new education secretary.

Clarke optimistic about minimum wage bill

Feb 7, 2017
P. Kenneth Burns

Baltimore Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke said Monday that the city is in a good position to raise the minimum wage to $15 in five years.

“We’re in about the best position we can be in,” Clarke said.  “Sure, we’re coming from a setback, but we’ve surged; we’ve grown [economically] as twice the rate of the state itself.”

John Lee

Plans to put a Guinness brewery in Baltimore County will fall flat unless the Maryland General Assembly takes action. It’s all about how much beer Guinness would be allowed to pour.

Joel McCord

Crisfield, on Maryland’s lower Eastern Shore, is probably best known for the annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake, a political schmooze fest of legendary proportions. But the town soon will have another claim to fame. It’s about to be the first municipality in the Delmarva region powered by a windmill.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The state Senate voted Thursday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill requiring the state to increase the portion of its electricity that comes from renewable sources. The House voted to overturn the veto on Tuesday, so the bill now becomes law.

The bill requires Maryland to get 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2020, increasing existing requirements.

The measure passed on party lines.

Democrats say the measure helps the environment while creating jobs.

The Governor's Office

Gov. Larry Hogan’s State of the State address Wednesday marked the halfway point in Hogan’s term.

The 25-minute speech focused heavily on Hogan’s legislative agenda, from expanding charter schools to tax breaks for public safety officials and military veterans. As Hogan named each of his priorities, he took a moment to reflect on what he has already accomplished before outlining what’s still left to do.

Jonna McKone

For the fifth time in ten years, a Maryland teacher is one of four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year award.  Athanasia Kyriakakos is the first Baltimore City teacher to reach those heights.

Kyriakakos, the only visual arts teacher at Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School, or Mervo, was chosen for her dedication to her students and her commitment to teaching art as a critical thinking skill.

She started at Mervo, the biggest high school in Baltimore, four years ago and found the school didn’t do much in the way of proudly showcasing its students’ work in the glass display cases that line the halls.

Pugh on consent decree: We can pay for it

Feb 1, 2017
P. Kenneth Burns

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh told a federal judge Monday morning the city can afford to implement a consent decree aimed at reforming the city police department.

U.S. District Judge James Bredar asked Pugh to attend the first hearing on the decree filed in the court in January.  The decree was the result of an investigation that found Baltimore Police regularly violated the civil rights of citizens.

Rachel Baye

Democrats in Annapolis are preparing a slew of legislation and other initiatives that they say are direct responses to President Donald Trump and anticipated changes in federal policy. Among them is a bill that would make Maryland a sanctuary state for immigrants without legal status.

Rachel Baye

Roughly 2,000 people packed BWI Airport’s international terminal Sunday night to protest President Donald Trump’s recent executive order restricting immigration.

People came from across the Washington and Baltimore metro areas. There were families with young children, and people of all races and religions.

Flickr-Creative Commons

Baltimore County’s eight-member state senate delegation met today in what’s called the Red Room at the State House. And they heard from county residents who were seeing red over the influence developers have in the county. The residents were there to back legislation that would ban the county executive and council members from taking money from developers.

News Director Joel McCord and Karen Hosler, of the WYPR news team, examine Maryland Congressman John Delaney's plan to cut corporate taxes and raise trillions for repairs to the national infrastructure.

Rachel Baye

If Maryland lawmakers want to pass a fracking ban during the General Assembly’s current session, they need to get it past Baltimore Sen. Joan Carter Conway, chairman of the Senate committee that oversees environmental legislation. And as Conway told a room full of environmental activists in Annapolis on Thursday, that that’s not likely.

Brendan Reynolds

Advocates for death with dignity bills—one in the House and one in the Senate--launched a renewed drive in Annapolis Wednesday, optimistic their bills will pass this year.

The bills, which would allow physicians to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients, died in the face of stiff opposition during the last two General Assembly sessions. But Kim Callinan, chief program officer for Compassion and Choices, the group backing the bills, said polls show that a majority of Marylanders favor the bill.

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