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Wednesday, 27 January 2016


Center Maryland Exclusive | Maryland Senate President

Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. : Criminal justice reform & the
state's budget
Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. sits down with Damian O'Doherty to
discuss a proposed major criminal justice reform initiative that focuses heavily on
rehabilitation in order to combat recidivism -- which will, in effect, save the state money. It is
shaping up to be a bipartisan effort due to national discontent over broken justice systems and
the positive work of organizations such as the Pew Foundation that offer policy alternatives.
The interview closes with President Miller discussing the real, direct impact the state budget
has on people across the state, deeming it a 'moral document.'
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Donald C. Fry: Rising from the Ashes at Sparrows Point:

Hope and a New Future
In case you missed the news, there was a lot to celebrate last week at Sparrows Point, once
home to one of the mightiest steelmaking operations this country has ever seen - but which
had fallen on hard times with the U.S. industrys demise and then the closure in 2013 of RG
Steel, the last steelmaker to operate there. First, Sparrows Point Terminal, the firm that took over the
sprawling 3,100-acre property in Southeast Baltimore County after it was sold at auction, announced a new name:
TradePoint Atlantic. The new identity is part of a strategy to market the location globally to prospective logistics,
distribution, transportation and manufacturing tenants now that most of the steel operations have been cleared away for
Read Entire Article

Read more in Center Maryland


Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan seeks change to gang laws,

political redistricting
Gov. Larry Hogan began to roll out his legislative priorities on Tuesday, announcing bills to
change political redistricting and to combat heroin addiction. The bills, all of which are
modeled on task force recommendations, are expected to be formally introduced to the
General Assembly on Wednesday. For heroin, Hogan wants to change the state's gang laws to
mirror federal racketeering laws, so they can be used to prosecute drug traffickers. The
governor's office said 33 states have made similar changes. (Balt. Sun)

Miller pushes for Hogan to fill empty Senate seat for

Montgomery County
Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. said Tuesday that Gov. Larry Hogan
should name Del. Craig J. Zucker to fill an empty state Senate seat as soon as possible
because there are 125,000 people that need representation. Miller made the comments on
the Senate floor after senators voted on 15 bills, including ones that dealt with help for foster
children, changes to commercial drivers license requirements and slight revisions to the

states workforce development program. (Wash. Post)

Miller, Busch plan spending mandate for new Prince

George's hospital
Frustrated that Gov. Larry Hogan has yet to provide funding for a new teaching hospital in
Prince George's County, the two top leaders of the General Assembly plan to introduce
legislation requiring the governor to put the money in the budget he introduces next year.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Democrat whose district includes part of Prince
George's, said he's already gathered 30 signatures on legislation that would make the
spending mandatory in the budget that starts in July 2017. That's one more than the number
needed to override a gubernatorial veto. (Balt. Sun)

Rushern Baker to the rescue

Prince Georges County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) had been flying in a police
helicopter for more than an hour Tuesday afternoon, surveying snow-removal efforts, when
he spotted a group of people trying to dig out of a long road in a Temple Hills neighborhood.
He decided they needed some help. Snow plows were summoned. Baker, along with other
county officials, drove to the spot in question, at the intersection of Middlefield Road and
Middlefield Terrace. Reassuring residents that professional-grade help was on the way, Baker
then lent a hand himself, shoveling alongside the neighborhood residents. (Wash. Post)

Repeal urged of lifetime testimony ban for perjurers

The Maryland General Assembly must repeal the states lifetime ban on convicted perjurers
from testifying in court because it enables violent criminals to prey with impunity on victims
who were caught lying in the distant past, the Hogan administration and a Democratic
senator told legislators Tuesday. Marylands scarlet P of perjury means that prosecutors
cannot present and judges and juries can never hear the testimony of some victims of
domestic violence and sexual assault, crimes in which the victim is often the only witness,
said Christopher B. Shank, executive director of Gov. Larry Hogans Office of Crime Control
& Prevention. (Daily Record)
Read more in Politics


Maryland employers add 10,500 jobs in December

Maryland employers added 10,500 jobs in December, pushing the unemployment rate back
down to 5.1 percent as the state's labor market continued to mend, according to estimates the
Labor Department released on Tuesday. The increases represented the fourth largest increase
in the last 12 months, setting the yearly growth rate at about 2 percent, higher than the
national average. Gov. Larry Hogan said the report was further evidence of an economy that
has improved over the last year, with several quarters of growth. (Balt. Sun)

Some question Maryland layoffs given budget surplus

The jobs of dozens of low-level state workers at the Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville
are on the chopping block in Gov. Larry Hogan's $42 billion proposed state budget. Manisha
Patel and Debra Zeitler, who provide food services to patients at the hospital, are wondering
why. Patel, 50, and Zeitler, 52, are among 57 workers who are expected to be laid off at
Sykesville as part of a privatization effort at the institution for the mentally ill, according to
their union. They said they were recently notified by management at the Department of
Health and Mental Hygiene that their jobs would be abolished with the end of the fiscal year
June 30. And they're upset. (Balt. Sun)

Lockheed to separate IT services business and combine it

with Leidos
Lockheed Martin has agreed to separate its Information Systems and Global Solutions
division and combine it with Leidos Holdings in a $5 billion deal, the Bethesda-based
company announced Tuesday. The long-anticipated transaction comes as Lockheed, the
nations biggest defense contractor, is focusing more on building hardware, such as the F-35
Joint Strike Fighter, and moving away from government services. Last year, for instance,
Lockheed acquired Sikorsky, the helicopter manufacturer. (Wash. Post)

British Airways could get nearly $6M per year to stay at

British Airways could receive subsidies of nearly $6 million per year for making direct
flights between London's Heathrow Airport and Baltimore/Washington International
Thurgood Marshall Airport under a new deal going before the state's Board of Public Works
Wednesday. The deal, a memorandum of understanding replacing an expiring agreement
between Maryland and the British airline, would have the state making payments if British
Airways does not meet certain return on sales requirements. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

Md. paid sick leave proponents call poll fear-mongering

A poll released Tuesday showing conditional support for the effort to mandate paid sick days
in Maryland is being decried as a scare tactic by supporters of the proposed law. The poll by
Annapolis-based Gonzales Research and Marketing Strategies found strong support for the
issue but also appears to show that the support for mandatory sick leave benefits is
conditional and drops precipitously when coupled with questions about potential negative
effects on businesses and employees. Supporters say the claims of negative effects are
nothing more than scare tactics. (Daily Record)
Read more in Business


Maryland lawmakers push for free community college

Maryland hopes to be the fourth state to offer free community college to recent high school
graduates, but the effort to do so faces an uphill challenge because legislators cannot agree on
how to spend the states surplus money. Delegate Keith E. Haynes introduced a bill that
would offer free community college for holders of high school diplomas or GEDs and reduce

their tuition if they are searching for jobs. He also introduced two other bills to offer families
tax credits for any money used for community college and to split the cost of community
college between the state and local governments. (Wash. Times)

City Council votes to create $30 million 'Youth Fund' in

Over the objections of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the city Finance Department,
the Baltimore City Council voted Tuesday to approve a charter amendment that would lock
city government into spending millions more annually on programs that benefit children and
teens. The legislation sponsored by Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young would direct
3 percent of the city's discretionary spending to youth initiatives. The council's budget
analysts say it would produce about $30 million more annually for programs such as
privately run recreation centers and fitness activities. (Balt. Sun)

Bill would ensure Morgan State stays out of USM

Although a public institution, Morgan State University in Baltimore isnt a part of the
University System of Maryland and has its own governing board. Lawmakers from the city
want to make sure it stays that way, despite a proposal arising from an ongoing civil suit
for the institution to absorb the University of Baltimore. Baltimore Sen. Joan Carter
Conway, a Democrat, is sponsoring a bill in Annapolis that would prohibit the historically
black Morgan State from being included in the university system. (Daily Record)

County school board member files legal request

Baltimore County school board member Ann Miller filed a formal request last week under
public records law for detailed information about the school system's performance. She wants
the information before she takes a vote on whether to renew the superintendent's contract.
Miller said she took the unusual step of filing the request under the Freedom of Information
Act because the school system has failed to provide her the information in a timely manner.
She said she had made requests beginning in September and that the school district has not
provided any answers. (Balt. Sun)

Schools to remain closed, dozens still not cleared of snow

Baltimore City and Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Harford, Howard and Carroll county schools
will be closed again Wednesday. Officials said they are experiencing multiple problems
getting students back to school. Baltimore City Schools chief operating officer Keith
Scroggins said there are 40 schools that employees still havent gotten full access to because
the roads leading up to them have not yet been plowed. We have a lot of schools that are
embedded in communities, Scroggins said. (Balt. Sun)
Read more in Education


Best and worst in people comes out in storms, Harford's

Glassman says
Three days out from the biggest snowstorm on record and Harford County Executive Barry
Glassman is beginning to wind down. Glassman has spent most of his time at the Harford
County Emergency Operations Center, which was activated Friday, but he did get home to
Darlington Tuesday morning to deliver a lamb, which he appropriately named Blizzard.
Over the course of the blizzard and Harfords recovery, Glassman said hes seen quite a bit.
Storms bring out the best and the worst in people, he said. (Balt. Sun)

Expansion plans for National Aquarium to be unveiled

With its dolphins and other aquatic exhibits, the National Aquarium has been a mainstay of
Baltimores Inner Harbor tourist scene. Two years after the National Aquarium announced a
master planning effort to create the aquarium of the future, officials are about to share their
plans with the public. (Brew)

Baltimore police union official reassigned to 'building

security' after activists assail 'offensive tweets'
A high-ranking Baltimore police union official was reassigned from patrol work to building

security after a coalition of city activists demanded his firing for what they considered
"offensive" tweets posted to his personal Twitter account. The activists said Lt. Victor
Gearhart's tweets "prove embedded racism" within the police department, and both
department and union officials were quick to disavow his comments. Police Commissioner
Kevin Davis, who has said improving police-community relations is one of his top priorities,
took to Twitter himself Monday to say the comments "do not reflect the values" of the
department or "our great City." On Tuesday, Davis ordered Gearhart's reassignment, effective
Wednesday, according to a document obtained by The Baltimore Sun. (Balt. Sun)

Residents on unplowed streets go from frustrated to angry

It's not that Grace Mudrick hasn't seen any plows since the snow stopped falling Saturday
night. She's seen them, repeatedly scraping Northern Parkway clean. But her street,
Woodcrest Avenue, just blocks to the north of that Baltimore thoroughfare, remains snowedin and unplowed. "What's the point of going up and down Northern Parkway?" the Mount
Washington woman asked. "I would literally have to push my car through 30 inches of snow
three and a half blocks to get there." What began as annoyance over streets going unplowed
after the weekend's record-breaking snowfall is increasingly turning into anger and even fear.
(Balt. Sun)

Two Md. counties agree to investigate each other's officer

The Washington County Board of Commissioners has approved a mutual-aid agreement with
Frederick County, Md., that allows law-enforcement agencies on either side of South
Mountain to investigate each other's officer-involved incidents. Washington County Sheriff
Douglas W. Mullendore told the five-member board Tuesday that the agreement, which
already has been approved by Frederick County officials, would ensure increased
transparency for both agencies. (Herald-Mail)
Read more in Around Maryland


E.R. Shipp: Ex-offenders and the right to vote in Md.

These are probably frightening words to anyone who wants to maintain the political status
quo: "I have a criminal record. I pledge to vote in 2016 elections because I care about my
neighborhood and want to add my voice to improve everyone's quality of life." Let's just
suppose that a significant barrier to voting in Maryland is removed Feb. 5th and residents
with felony convictions are allowed to vote as soon as they leave prison, rather than having
to wait until they complete community supervision requirements. (Balt. Sun)

Invitation to recovery
What if instead of arresting heroin addicts and throwing them in the clink, police offered
them a bed in a treatment center where they could begin the long road to recovery as soon as
they walked through the door? It's an idea once considered unthinkable by law enforcement
officials, who traditionally haven't thought of themselves as social service-providing
members of the helping professions. (Balt. Sun)

Epic snowstorm's bill won't melt away

White, green and red are not just the national colors of Mexico, Italy and Hungary. They are
as far as governments are concerned the inevitable progression of a big snowstorm like
the 29-inch whopper that hit this area over the weekend. First, of course, white for the
countless tons of stuff sitting on roads and streets. Then green the money spent on
overtime, contractors and a 24/7 emergency response. Then the red in government budgets,
as well as, frequently, in the faces of constituents talking about how long it took to get their
streets plowed. (Capital)

Dan Morgan: The myth of more medicine and better

Maryland is the only state testing an "all payer" model for Medicare insurance payments.
This model pays hospitals a fixed amount for each patient, in contrast to standard fee-for-

service payments for each test or doctor's visit. A recent report in the New England Journal of
Medicine showed Maryland's experiment has resulted in a 26 percent drop in infections,
surgical errors and other preventable conditions. The model's success is counter-intuitive and
throws into question our belief that more medicine means better health. (Balt. Sun)

Dan Rodricks: Baltimore region's reaction to snow isn't

amusing anymore
The first time I experienced Central Maryland's reaction to snow preemptive school
closings, alarmist television and radio reports, panic buying of milk and bread, dogs curling
up with cats I was shocked and amused. I had moved here from a place that had lots of
snow. Life did not stop there. People did not panic. Schools rarely closed. When an overnight
storm left a foot of snow, the town plowed the roads and even opened the sidewalks by
breakfast. So you can imagine what I thought when I experienced the Baltimore area's
response: government offices, schools and businesses shuttered for a day or two, many roads
never plowed, an atmosphere of tension, helplessness and anger. (Balt. Sun)
Read more in Commentary