LAWMAKERS SKEPTICAL AS MOORE PUSHES FOR ACCELERATED MINIMUM WAGE: Gov. Wes Moore, pushing to follow through on one of his top campaign pledges, told a panel of lawmakers Monday that Maryland urgently must increase its minimum wage ahead of schedule and enact yearly increases that tie it to inflation. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
- It appears to be a tough sell, even to fellow Democrats. Key leaders said they are skeptical of putting wage policy on autopilot and of stripping the Democratic-dominated General Assembly of the power to set all future hikes, even as they may support accelerating a planned $15 minimum-wage hike by two years. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
- Part of the measure that would tie future increases to the Consumer Price Index beginning in 2025 is coming under particular scrutiny. During a panel discussion with some business leaders who support the Democratic governor’s proposal, Moore acknowledged the challenge of persuading lawmakers to support it. Brian Witte/The Associated Press.
- “I think it’s a conversation, said House Economic Matters Chair C.T. Wilson (D-Charles). “I think delegates are generally concerned. We’re here to make the tough decisions. Putting on CPI takes that decision away from us.” Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
HOW WOULD MOORE’s MINIMUM WAGE PLAN WORK? One of Gov. Wes Moore’s top priorities is to speed up increases in the state’s minimum wage, bringing it to $15 by October. Moore made his pitch to state delegates on Monday, and he will make a presentation to state senators on Thursday. How would the governor’s proposal work? Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
FERGUSON CONCERNED OVER FUNDING CUT FOR PRIVATE SCHOOL PROGRAM: Senate President Bill Ferguson indicated that he has struggled with Democratic Gov. Wes Moore’s proposal to reduce funding for a scholarship program that sends students from families with low incomes to private and parochial schools. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
BILL TO TARGET FIRE SAFETY MEASURE IN APARTMENT BUILDINGS: In the wake of a fire in a Silver Spring apartment building that killed a young woman, Del. Lorig Charkoudian, who represents Silver Spring and Takoma Park, is taking the lead in drafting legislation to create more fire safety measures in apartment buildings statewide. Steve Bohnel/MoCo360.
ANTI-ABORTION PROTESTS RALLY AGAINST LEGISLATION: More than a thousand anti-abortion advocates flooded downtown Annapolis on Monday evening to rally against legislation poised to broaden access to and increase protections for abortion care in Maryland. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
POLITICAL NOTES: KELLY IN THE SENATE; STADIUM AUTHORITY PICK: Ariana Kelly was back in Annapolis on Monday, but in a different seat in the State House. Kelly (D), who served more than 12 years in the House of Delegates, was sworn in Monday evening to the Maryland Senate, replacing Secretary of State Susan Lee, who left the Senate to join the Moore administration. Craig Thompson, a top adviser and mentor to Gov. Wes Moore (D), appears to be on a glide path to confirmation to lead the powerful Maryland Stadium Authority. Danielle Gaines, Bryan Sears and Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
MOVING 2024 PRIMARY GAINS MOMENTUM: The idea of moving the date of Maryland’s 2024 primary to avoid a conflict with Passover is gaining momentum. On Monday, state Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones said in a joint statement that they would work with those in charge of scheduling elections to have the primary shifted, this after Del. Dalya Attar submitted a bill Friday that would allow a primary date other than April 23, 2024, which is currently both the scheduled date of the primary and the first day of the eight-day Jewish holiday. Jonathan Pitts/The Baltimore Sun.
LIERMAN EYES IMPROVEMENTS TO COMPTROLLER’s OFFICE: Comptroller Brooke Lierman (D) released a report Monday with dozens of recommendations to improve the state agency of more than 1,000 employees, focusing on six topics: data and innovation, tax administration and customer engagement, pensions and investment, procurement and the Board of Public Works, local government engagement and public engagement. William Ford/Maryland Matters.
COMMENTARY: A PRIVATE PARTY AT HOWARD LIBRARY CAUSES CONTROVERSY: Since last week, emotions have been high and sadly, facts have been minimal over a controversy surrounding the unethical closure of the Howard County Central Library for a private sorority event. Here’s what happened and why it matters. Sheila Jennifer/MarylandReporter.com.
STATE SEES SHORTAGE OF BLACK MALE TEACHERS: Research shows that Black students are more likely to graduate and attend college when they are instructed by educators who look like them. In Maryland, Black men account for 4% of the public schoolteacher workforce, though 17% of students are Black, according to the state Department of Education. Sabrina LeBeouf/The Baltimore Sun.
MO CO SCHOOL BATHROOMS BECOMING LESS SAFE: Since Montgomery County’s school year began, students have found shooting threats written on bathroom walls, Percocet residue beside toilets and swastikas drawn in stalls. The bathroom has become one of the least safe places on campus, students in the county say. Some parents say their children now avoid the bathroom altogether, choosing instead to wait until they’re home. Nicole Asbury/The Washington Post.
BIDEN IN B’MORE FOR DEM HOUSE CONFERENCE: President Joe Biden, a frequent Baltimore visitor, is scheduled to return to the city Wednesday to address U.S. House Democrats at their annual policy conference “on his administration and Congress’ historic investments in America,” according to the White House. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.
JOSEPH KAREY, FORMER SECRETARY OF BA CO ELECTIONS BOARD, DIES AT 90: Joseph N. Karey, a retired attorney who was a past secretary of the Baltimore County Board of Elections and president of the fan group Oriole Advocates, died of respiratory failure Saturday at Brightview Towson, an assisted living facility. He was 90. Jacques Kelly/The Baltimore Sun.