State Roundup, August 9, 2017

HOGAN TO ‘TEST DREDGE’ CONOWINGO: Gov. Larry Hogan announced plans Tuesday to dredge a small amount of the sediment trapped behind the Conowingo Dam, a test project to determine whether doing so on a larger scale would help improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

PIPELINE PROTEST: The pipeline that TransCanada wants to build is short, 3.5 miles, cutting through the narrowest part of Maryland. It would duck briefly under the Potomac River at this 1,500-resident town of Hancock, bringing what business leaders say is much-needed natural gas to the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. But environmentalists say that brief stretch could jeopardize the water supply for about 6 million people, including most of the Washington-metropolitan area.

BODY CAM POLICY: Baltimore County policies guiding police-officer use of their body-worn cameras while working second jobs need to change, says state Sen. Jim Brochin of Baltimore County. The policy says an officer working a second job while in uniform must carry his or her department-issued gun, but wearing a body camera is optional, according to WBFF-TV. Brochin says that if an officer is in uniform even on a second job, his body cam needs to be on and, if the policy isn’t changed, he can introduce legislation to do so.

FROSH LEADS OPPOSITION: Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is leading a group of 18 attorneys general opposing a federal agency plan to revise a rule prohibiting pre-dispute binding arbitration clauses in long-term care contracts. The revisions would allow such arbitration requirements, Tim Curtis of the Daily Record reports.

FROSH SLAMS SESSIONS: Dominique Maria Bonessi of WYPR reports that Maryland’s Attorney General Brian Frosh had some sharp words for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions after Sessions threatened to withhold federal crime fighting money from Baltimore and three other cities struggling with gun violence to punish them for not giving federal immigration agents access to local jails. Frosh pointed out that the prison system is under state jurisdiction, not the city. “It shows a level of ignorance and demagoguery I think that is unprecedented in my professional life,” said Frosh.

BEATING HOGAN: In an op-ed in the Sun, Goucher Professor Mileah Kromer writes about what it would take to defeat Gov. Larry Hogan in his re-election bid. Hogan had built a bi-partisan coalition and distanced himself enough from President Donald Trump.Can that be overcome by progressives looking to take his place?

WELCOME TO ‘SMITHBORO:’ A gaffe made by candidate David Trone as he kicked off a five-county swing through the 6th Congressional District this past weekend, has given rise to a satirical website for the fantasy town of Smithboro, according to Ryan Miner, who blogs about it in his Miner Detail website.

DELANEY’s RUN FOR PRESIDENT: David Catanese of U.S. News and World Report writes about U.S. Rep. John Delaney’s run for the democratic nomination for president, saying there’s something refreshing about his audacity and sincerity in admitting his political ambition so early on instead of acting coyly about it the way many politicians do.

  • As Delaney sees it, politicians in Washington, D.C., are too focused on partisan debates and are failing to address the major issue of our time—a changing economy, spurred by technological innovations, that is displacing traditional jobs. Delaney said Monday he plans to address the issue during his 2020 presidential campaign by focusing on retraining workers to align with growing fields that new technology is creating, writes Andrew Metcalf for Bethesda Beat.

DREAMS SHATTERED: Hoan Dang, a candidate for Montgomery County Council, writes in a commentary for Maryland Matters about the two brothers who fled violence in their home country of El Salvador. They graduated from Montgomery County public schools, have never been in trouble with law enforcement and volunteered in their community to better the lives of youth their own age. But, the unconscionable acts of ICE and the policies of the current administration, have shattered their dreams.

NON-CITIZENS’ VOTE IN COLLEGE PARK: College Park, the Washington suburb that is home to the University of Maryland’s flagship campus, is weighing whether to extend municipal voting rights to non-citizens, after the City Council postponed a vote on the issue Tuesday night. The council will vote Sept. 12 on whether to include a proposal to allow non-citizen voting on the ballot in the next city election, or to adopt or reject the voting proposal themselves, Rachel Chason of the Post reports.

ASTLE CRITICIZES PANTELIDES: Annapolis mayoral candidate John Astle is condemning Mayor Mike Pantelides’ policy of prohibiting city employees posting about national issues on social media accounts. Chase Cook of the Annapolis Capital reports that the Democratic state senator called the mayor’s policy “taking his support for (President) Donald Trump too far.” Astle’s comments are focused on the mayor’s policy that his department and office leaders not post about national issues on city Facebook and Twitter accounts. That policy covers both negative and positive posts about the president or national issues.

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