State Roundup: Poll Finds Marylanders Support Police, Reallocating Funds

POLL: MARYLANDERS SUPPORT POLICE, REALLOCATING FUNDS: A new poll finds that Maryland residents strongly support expanding making more information public about police discipline, requiring independent investigations of misconduct and implementing racial bias training for officers, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports.

  • The Goucher College poll found that a majority of Marylanders, regardless of race or party affiliation, have a favorable opinion of police officers, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports. But they also want to see changes in how officers do their jobs, how they are trained and how officers accused of misconduct are investigated.
  • Among key findings of the poll, Bryan Sears of the Daily Record writes, are: 87% support creating a record of police misconduct cases that would be available to the public and other law enforcement agencies; 10% oppose. And 85% support requiring that criminal misconduct charges against police officers be investigated by an independent state prosecutor rather than by internal police affairs; 10% oppose.
  • Just 28% of those surveyed said they support the movement to “defund the police,” while 68% opposed it, Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters writes.
  • However, more than half of those polled said they support reallocating some of police departments’ budgets toward social programs related to mental health, housing and education, Rachel Baye of WYPR-FM reports.

STATE GOP SENATORS PICK MORE CONSERVATIVE LEADERS: Maryland’s Republican state senators elected new, more conservative leadership Saturday as they prepare to debate education funding, policing reforms and how to help the state emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports. Sen. Bryan Simonaire of Anne Arundel County was elected minority leader for the Republicans, while Sen. Mike Hough of Frederick County was elected as minority whip. Both votes were unanimous.

  • The move to replace Jennings and Hershey with Simonaire and Hough was seen as a desire by the 15-member Republican caucus to practice a sharper-edged brand of conservatism in the State House at a time when the Senate Democratic caucus is perceived as moving to the left, especially since the election of new Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) almost a year ago, Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters writes.

ANALYSIS: TRANSIT PROJECTS THREATEN HOGAN LEGACY: In an analysis for the Post, Robert McCartney writes that Gov. Larry Hogan won his office in part by selling himself as an experienced business executive who would run government efficiently and cheaply, applying that approach to his two biggest transportation projects and bringing in private companies to share responsibility with the state. But difficulties with the private companies and the projects threaten to tarnish Hogan’s legacy as he approaches the midpoint of his second and final term as governor.

BALLOT ISSUE WOULD GIVE LAWMAKERS MORE SAY OVER BUDGET: Pamela Wood of the Sun explains Question 1, which is on the statewide ballot. It proposes an amendment to the Maryland Constitution that would allow state senators and delegates to move money around within a governor’s proposed state budget — provided they keep the budget balanced and don’t go over the total amount set by the governor.

Ensuring Building Health: Leveraging Technology for Efficient Operation and Safe Environments: As society transitions to the “new normal,” plans for coming back with confidence are being developed. Cost effective building operation is even more important in light of current economic realities. Those faced with the challenge of safely re-opening shops, offices, and campuses will find this session helpful. Presenters will examine tools, technologies, and strategies for safety in the built environment during this FREE webinar on October 15th.

RASKIN, PELOSI PUSH BILL ON ‘PRESIDENTIAL CAPACITY:’ Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) teamed up with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday to introduce legislation that would establish a commission to determine presidential capacity, writes Bryan Renbaum of MarylandReporter. The legislation comes one week after President Donald Trump announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19.

HATE, BIAS INCIDENTS: Reports of hate crimes and bias incidents in Anne Arundel County increased slightly in 2019. However, Montgomery County surpassed Anne Arundel as the jurisdiction with the highest instance of reports in the state, Olivia Sanchez of the Capital Gazette writes about a new report from the Maryland State Police.

CARROLL USES RED FLAG LAW MOST: About two years after Maryland instituted its extreme risk protective order law, known as a red flag law that can take away guns from those deemed to be a threat to themselves or others, Carroll County has used the law among the most per capita in the state, according to a Carroll County Times data analysis, Ben Leonard writes.

GAMBLING FIRMS SPENT $2M+ TO SWAY VOTERS: Pamela Wood of the Sun reports that gambling companies have spent more than $2 million trying to persuade Maryland voters to approve sports betting as they vote this fall, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

WHO’S ON BI-PARTISAN BOARD OF ELECTIONS: The panel of Republicans and Democrats reached many of its decisions unanimously, a feat in an era when bipartisanship is rare. And the group worked amid increasing rhetoric against alternative methods of voting, flames fanned most notably by Republican President Donald Trump. Emily Opilo introduces readers to the five people on the state Board of Elections who have had to make tough decisions on voting during a pandemic.

10 TIMES USUAL MAIL-IN BALLOT REQUESTS IN FREDERICK: The Frederick County Board of Elections received 61,129 requests for mail-in ballots as of Friday. By comparison, the average number of requests for mail-in ballots in a presidential election year is 6,000, Erika Riley of the Frederick News-Post reports.

OPINION: POST ENDORSES SITTING JUDGES: The Post editorial board endorses the sitting judges in Montgomery and Prince George’s County, where they are also facing challengers, and urges that politics be taken out of the process. “They completed a detailed application and then were interviewed and evaluated by up to 14 bar associations, investigated by a nominating commission, put on a list of qualified candidates and selected for appointment by the governor,” the board writes.

562 NEW COVID CASES ON SUNDAY, 4 DEATHS: Maryland officials reported Sunday 562 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus and four new deaths. Sunday’s additions bring the state’s total to 131,357 cases of COVID-19 caused by the virus since officials began tracking the disease in mid-March. In total, 3,854 people have died in Maryland due to the disease or complications from it, Phil Davis reports in the Sun.

  • A Baltimore City Health Department employee has died of the coronavirus, officials said Friday, marking the first death of a health department worker due to the virus since the pandemic reached the city in March, Hallie Miller of the Sun reports.

CARROLL COMMISH DECRIES COVID RESTRICTIONS: In a debate about whether to extend Carroll County’s state of emergency, one commissioner said Thursday he believes that restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic are doing more harm than good to the community, Mary Grace Keller of the Carroll County Times reports.

VIDEO: OLSZEWSKI ON LEADING DURING PANDEMIC: In this special video report for the Daily Record, Sloane Brown speaks with Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. about the challenges of serving the public and leading government during the pandemic.

GUZZONE: STATE SHOULD REVIEW SCHOOL FOR DEAF: An independent review of the Maryland School for the Deaf appears to be necessary, a high-ranking state senator said this week, Katryna Perera of the Frederick News-Post reports. Sen. Guy Guzzone (D-Howard), chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, said there needs to be continued follow up after a hearing Thursday in response to concerns raised about the school, which has campuses in Frederick and Columbia.

B’MORE UNCERTAIN: COLUMBUS DAY OR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY: There’s a holiday on Monday, but it’s unclear how it will be officially recognized in Baltimore, Talia Richman of the Sun reports. The City Council pushed through a bill earlier this week to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a move members called an important step in recognizing Native American history and reckoning with the famous explorer’s controversial legacy.

WHO WILL YOU VOTE FOR? Who will you vote for and why? It’s a question reporters from Maryland’s USA Today Network, which includes The Herald-Mail, asked 10 voters across the state as they prepare to cast their votes, either by mail or in person for president on Election Day, Nov. 3, Alexis Fitzpatrick of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail and other reporters write.

PANEL OPPOSING MO CO BALLOT QUESTIONS LISTS SUPPORTERS: A committee opposed to two Montgomery County ballot questions that residents will vote on Nov. 3 has released a list of people who agree with their cause, Dan Schere of Bethesda Beat reports. The committee aims to convince voters to reject county ballot Question B, proposed by Robin Ficker, which would prohibit the council from increasing property tax revenue above a percentage equal to the Consumer Price Index in the Washington region.

TRUMP TWEET-ATTACKS B’MORE, AGAIN: President Donald Trump took aim at Baltimore calling it a “total disaster” in a tweet on Sunday afternoon. The tweet, which blamed former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for the state of Baltimore and other cities including St. Louis and Oakland, McKenna Oxenden of the Sun writes.