State Roundup: Number Of Same-Sex Marriage Rose Sharply In Maryland After Obergefell; Immigration, Crime Likely To Loom Large In Presidential Debate

NUMBER OF SAME SEX MARRIAGES IN MARYLAND ROSE SHARPLY AFTER OBERGEFELL: Same-sex couples could already get married in Maryland before the U.S. Supreme Court extended the right nationwide nine years ago, but the numbers have risen sharply since the ruling was handed down in Obergefell v. Hodges. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

MARYLAND MURDER, IMMIGRATION LOOM OVER TONIGHT’s PRES DEBATE: Border control issues loom over tonight’s presidential debate following the apprehension of a suspect in a Harford County murder case who entered the United States unlawfully. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and former President Donald Trump, the GOP’s presumed nominee at next month’s convention, will meet in Atlanta in the first debate of the campaign. Immigration has become a central issue, with Republicans accusing Biden of not keeping the border secure and Democrats countering that the GOP is playing election-year politics by rejecting border enforcement measures that could have aided Biden politically. Jeff Barker and Matt Hubbard/The Baltimore Sun.

HOGAN CAMPAIGN AGENDA ECHOES POLICIES AS GOVERNOR: Republican U.S Senate nominee Larry Hogan vowed to take his anti-tax, pro-business approach as governor to the Senate, during a campaign stop Wednesday near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Hogan promoted a five-point platform — some of which mimics his policies as governor — including lowering taxes on retirees, increasing access to affordable housing, reducing health care costs and opposing policies that would increase the costs of food, energy, and basic necessities. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

COLUMN: TWO GOVERNORS’ DIFFERENT VISIONS OF THE SOUTH: Last week, Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland, a Democrat, signed an executive order pardoning 175,000 marijuana convictions. Meanwhile, Gov. Jeff Landry of Louisiana, a Republican, has signed several bills that he says are intended to “expand faith in public schools.” The paths taken by these two relatively young governors, one from the Upper South and one from the Deep South state from which I hail, represent opposite visions of what the South stands for and what its future should be. Charles Blow/The New York Times.

WHAT’s NEXT FOR KEY BRIDGE RECONSTRUCTION: What can be expected to happen next with the reconstruction of the Key Bridge, now that the Dali has left for Norfolk? Hayes Gardner/The Baltimore Sun.

WAITING ON THE RED LINE ANNOUNCEMENT: Del. Robbyn Lewis expected the Maryland Department of Transportation to have already unveiled its choice of a mode and route for the new Baltimore Red Line. A year later, no announcement has been made — but MDOT said it plans “a major announcement” Friday on the Red Line. Red Line Project Director Allison Scott would only say this week that the department plans to announce whether light rail or bus rapid transit would be used to construct the east-west line. Details on the specific route, including options for building tunnels downtown, will not be announced until later this year, she said. John Rydell/Maryland Matters.

COMMENTARY: TIME TO COMPLETE THE RED LINE: Last summer, Gov. Wes Moore (D) made the bold decision to revive the Baltimore Red Line project. Opponents of the project have already begun to ramp up attacks on the project’s potential high price tag. However, I think it is important to note that this isn’t 2014. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill has unlocked multiple pathways of federal funding. If these federal funding sources are leveraged together, total state and local costs can be kept to just over $1 billion, substantially reducing the state’s burden of the cost share. Christopher Buckley/Maryland Matters.

HUNDREDS OF APARTMENT ENVISIONED FOR REISTERSTOWN METRO AREA: Hundreds of new apartments, redesigned streetscapes and improved pedestrian and bus access are among the sweeping changes proposed for a nearly 26-acre area surrounding the Reisterstown Plaza Metro Station, according to a conceptual state plan released this week. Daniel Zawodny/The Baltimore Banner.

‘FRAGILE’ COALITION FOR EXPANDING BA CO COUNCIL: The idea of adding two members to the Baltimore County Council could be on the ballot in November, though its success hinges upon a “fragile” coalition, according to Council Chair Izzy Patoka. Lia Russell/The Baltimore Sun.

ACLU JOINS DEFENSE OF NEO-NAZI OVER SURVEILLANCE QUESTIONS: Attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project have joined the defense team for Brandon Clint Russell, the neo-Nazi accused of plotting to attack power substations around Baltimore. Their involvement stems from questions raised in recent weeks by Russell’s attorneys about whether federal authorities used and have failed to disclose the use of a controversial foreign surveillance tool in the investigation that foiled the alleged plot. Justin Fenton/The Baltimore Banner.

MANY MO CO HOURLY WORKERS TO GET WAGE HIKE: An increase in Montgomery County’s minimum wage rate starting Monday means hourly workers at many local businesses are likely to soon receive bigger paychecks. The minimum hourly wage rate for large employers with 51 or more employees will increase by 45 cents to $17.15 per hour, while the rate for mid-sized employers with 11 to 50 employees will increase by 50 cents to $15.50 per hour, according to a county press release. Ginny Bixby/MoCo 360.