State Roundup: 1 In 8 Gun Violence Victims Are Children; ‘Historic’ Vacancies Hit State Agencies; Taxing Cannabis Now An Issue

MORE THAN 1 IN 8 VICTIMS OF GUN VIOLENCE ARE CHILDREN: More than 1 in 8 victims of gun violence taken to hospitals in Baltimore and surrounding counties involved children ages 10 to 19, an analysis of five years of hospital data found. The injuries and deaths are taking an immeasurable emotional toll on families and communities, and are also a major public health concern. Meredith Cohn, Jessica Anderson and Steve Earley/The Baltimore Sun.

VACANCIES AT STATE AGENCIES AT ‘HISTORICAL HIGH:’ The Spending Affordability Committee of the Maryland General Assembly looked ahead at the state’s budget over the next several years during a virtual meeting Tuesday, and while a surplus is projected, many state agencies have hundreds of positions unfilled. Tonya Zimmerman, a senior policy analyst at the state’s Department of Legislative Services, called the vacancy rates “historically high” when asked to compare the rates over time. Dwight Weingarten/The Hagerstown Herald-Mail.

MAJOR RIDDICK OWNED FIRM TO GET LUCRATIVE BWI CONTRACT: The Maryland Aviation Administration has recommended that a new, politically-connected company be awarded a lucrative, 20-year contract to run the concessions operations at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. That company, New Market Development Joint Venture LLC, is owned and operated by Major Riddick, a former chief of staff to former Gov. Parris Glendening (D), who formed the company in 2021 specifically to win the contract to operate the concessions at the busy state-owned airport. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

AT ISSUE: HOW TO TAX LEGAL CANNABIS: Although Maryland voters last week overwhelmingly approved allowing adults 21 and older to use marijuana for recreational use, state lawmakers must still put measures in place for cannabis to become officially legal in July. That’s why the House of Delegates’ Cannabis Referendum and Legalization work group held a briefing Tuesday night to review how other states tax cannabis. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

NEW BALTIMORE CO. POLICE POLICY CONCERNS ANTON’S LAW ADVOCATES: Baltimore County Police have adopted a new policy concerning Maryland Public Information Act requests of officer disciplinary records that is similar to Montgomery County’s that has been the subject of ongoing litigation. Anton’s Law advocates have serious concerns about Baltimore County’s policy. Anton’s Law is a provision of the Maryland Police Accountability Act that allows for public access to police disciplinary files that previously had been shielded from public view because they were classified as personnel matters. Darcy Costello/The Baltimore Sun.

10 SPORTS GAMING LICENSES ISSUED: A state commission has awarded the first 10 sports gaming licenses, clearing the way for the first online wagers to be taken, possibly by the end of the month. The approvals issued by Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Commission represent just under half of the total number of applications submitted for mobile licenses. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.

  • The move sets the stage for Marylanders to place legal bets on their phones for the first time, perhaps as early as next week. The applications represented an interesting mix of the industry’s big-name players and locally-based firms. The commission approved all 10 unanimously, with virtually no public discussion. Applicants were the subject of rigorous examination prior to the vote, officials said. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.

ATTY GEN REPORT ON CLERGY ABUSE NEARS COMPLETION: The Maryland Attorney General’s Office said recently a multiyear investigation into sex abuse by Catholic clergy in the state is nearly complete. A report detailing the investigation could be released soon. This article contains answers to frequently asked questions about the situation. Liz Bowie/The Baltimore Banner.

HOUGH LEAD OVER FITZWATER NARROWS: Republican Michael Hough’s lead over Democrat Jessica Fitzwater in the race for Frederick County executive shrank to about 1,500 votes Wednesday after officials counted roughly 2,100 provisional ballots. Canvassers at the Frederick County Board of Elections got through 2,090 provisional ballots — which voters cast when there is a question at the polling place about someone’s registration or eligibility — during Wednesday’s count, which lasted until about 10:30 p.m. Jillian Atelsek/The Frederick News Post.

5,000 CARROLL BALLOTS STILL TO BE COUNTED: About 5,000 ballots from Carroll County voters remain to be counted in this year’s general election. The county’s Board of Elections began another canvass today in the Robert Moton Gym in Westminster, and will hold its final count Friday before certifying the election that day. Sherry Greenfield and Thomas Goodwin Smith/The Carroll County Times.

1,000 HOWARD BALLOTS TO BE COUNTED FRIDAY: More than 3,000 provisional ballots and 5,200 mail-in ballots from Howard County voters were to be counted Wednesday, according to Board of Elections Director Guy Mickley, leaving about 1,000 ballots for a final canvassing session Friday, the same day local election results are certified by the state board and posted online. Ethan Ehrehaft/Baltimore Sun Media.