State Roundup: Moore Urges Congress To Aid Bridge Rebuilding, Port As State Lawmakers Work On Local Funding Package; Financial Challenges Continue For Education Blueprint

STATE, FEDERAL BILLS COULD EASE IMPACT TO PORT WORKERS, BUSINESSES NATIONWIDE: House and Senate leaders Friday introduced bills that authorize the governor to ease the financial impact to workers at the Port of Baltimore and related businesses following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

  • Less than a week has elapsed since a mammoth ocean freighter struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge, marooning the Port of Baltimore behind a barricade of crooked steel and shattered concrete. With the shipping channel clogged with debris, the people and businesses who depend on the port for their living are in limbo. The docks will soon be clear of cargo, and no more will be arriving anytime soon. David Lynch/The Washington Post.
  • Gov. Wes Moore urges Congress to pass legislation to support the Port of Baltimore and the rebuilding of the Key Bridge to benefit the small businesses throughout the country that depend on products that come through the port for their livelihoods. The Weekend/MSNBC.
  • Officials are planning to resume limited maritime traffic around the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. The captain of the port is preparing to establish a temporary alternate channel on the northeast side of the main channel for commercially essential vessels. Dillon Mullan/The Baltimore Sun.

ONGOING FUNDING CHALLENGES FOR EDUCATION BLUEPRINT: In a second set of Blueprint documents submitted in March, officials of each school system provide an overview of the challenges they face in carrying out the education reform plan for the next year. This comes as General Assembly leaders continue work on the $63 billion state budget. Legislative budget analysts have warned a budget deficit is looming starting in fiscal 2026 at $1 billion and that, two years after that, it could increase to $3 billion. Part of the reason for the anticipated deficit is fulfilling the requirements in the 10-year, $3.8 billion Blueprint plan. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

STATE SENATE CONFIRMS CONTROVERSIAL NOMINEE TO ELECTIONS BOARD: The Maryland Senate voted to confirm a Republican nominee to the State Board of Elections despite objections from a dozen lawmakers who said she was unfit to serve on the panel. The 32-12 vote clears the way for Diane Butler to serve on the board. The Ellicott City resident faced additional scrutiny because of a social media post and emails attributed to the former Howard County elections official. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

ADVOCATES SEEK END TO INCINERATION SUBSIDY: The state classes trash-to-energy plants, like Wheelabrator’s BRESCO incinerator in South Baltimore, as a form of renewable energy – making them eligible for millions of dollars in subsidies despite the carbon emissions and air pollution they release. Asking why the latest bill to end this practice has not received a vote in either house of the General Assembly, advocates last week pressed legislative leaders, including Gov. Wes Moore who has taken no position on the bill. Fern Shen/Baltimore Brew.

COMMUNITIES RALLY AROUND ROAD CREW IMMIGRANT FAMILIES: Immigrant construction workers in Maryland are calling for stronger protections from the federal government in the wake of the Key Bridge collapse. They do dangerous jobs and say that an expansion of the Temporary Protected Status program, which gives some migrants the right to live and work in the country, could help protect them from exploitation. The calls came during a Friday afternoon solidarity rally hosted by CASA, a Maryland Latino immigration and advocacy group. Emily Hofstaedter/WYPR-FM.

  • In the days since the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, government agencies, community allies and religious groups have mobilized people to support the families of the six construction workers who perished when a nearly 1,000-foot cargo ship lost power and struck the bridge early Tuesday. Two bodies have been recovered so far; four other people remain missing and are presumed dead. Daniel Zawodny/The Baltimore Banner.
  • This photo package is of volunteers gathered to erect a memorial to the Key Bridge workers who perished. Amy Davis/The Baltimore Sun.

CREWS ONSITE TO REMOVE KEY BRIDGE FROM PATAPSCO: Crews worked through the day to remove the first section of the Francis Scott Key Bridge from the Patapsco River in hopes of clearing channels to resume traffic at one of the nation’s busiest ports. Rona Kobel/The Baltimore Banner.

  • Heavy equipment including cranes, tugboats and Coast Guard vessels were to be arriving all weekend in Baltimore to help clean up the wreckage of the Frederick Scott Key Bridge, which collapsed Tuesday morning after it was struck by a cargo container ship. Matt Bush/WYPR-FM.

OPINION: THE BUTTERFLY AFFECT ON MARYLAND: What if the massive job of cleaning up the collapse debris, reopening the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore and constructing a new crossing of the outer harbor delays planning for a new Bay Bridge? Worse, what if a container ship were to hit the twin spans crossing between Sandy Point and Kent Island? Rick Hutzell/The Baltimore Banner.

KEY BRIDGE WAS FIRST PROPOSED AS A TUNNEL: The Francis Scott Key Bridge wasn’t supposed to be a bridge at all. In the mid-1960s, with the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel regularly clogged with traffic, the state highway agency recommended completing the Baltimore Beltway’s loop by connecting Sollers Point and Fort Armistead with a second, two-lane tunnel underneath the Patapsco. But, when the tunnel costs ballooned, a four-lane bridge reemerged as a cheaper alternative and the project changed course in 1971. Justin Fenton/The Baltimore Banner.

ALSOBROOKS, TRONE VIE FOR VOTERS AT FORUM: With little more than a month before early voting centers open in Maryland, the leading Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate – Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) and U.S. Rep. David Trone (D-6th) – made their pitches to residents at LeisureWorld, the vote-rich senior living community in Montgomery County on Thursday evening. Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.

COMMENTARY: AS CHURCH ATTENDANCE DROPS, DOES MORAL COMPASS? Over the past three decades, church attendance has been on a steady decline. The Methodist, Lutheran and Protestant church attendance has dropped by 30%, according to a Gallup Poll released this week The Catholic Church scandal also has contributed to the decline in religious attendance. As church attendance drops, society has witnessed a rise in transgenderism, drag queen shows for children, crime, and government corruption. Chris Anderson/

WHO EARNS THE MOST IN ARUNDEL COUNTY? The Anne Arundel County police chief, fire chief and chief administrative officer were the three highest-paid county employees this fiscal year,  according to data from the county Office of Personnel. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.

4 MO CO ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS LOSE TITLE 1 FUNDING: Four elementary schools in Montgomery County are losing their federal Title I grant that’s key in paying for the enrichment teacher and other positions. Nicole Asbury/The Washington Post.