State Roundup: Aid To Farmers, Support For Sports Betting

HOUGH SEES BOOST IN GOP IN MARYLAND: Bryan Renbaum of MarylandReporter writes that Sen. Michael Hough, the newly elected No. 2. Republican in the state Senate, says that Republicans may be outnumbered 2-1 in Maryland but the GOP has a good opportunity to boost its standing in the state by focusing on those voters who live outside of the most heavily Democratic jurisdictions and who may be on the fence.

GAMING REFERENDUM GETS WIDE SUPPORT: Two weeks before election day, backers of legalized sports gambling in Maryland appear to be cruising toward an easy victory, Bruce DePuyt writes for Maryland Matters. Their campaign to build public support for Question 2, the latest statewide gaming referendum, is flush with cash and well organized. It is outpolling opposition by almost two-to-one. And, as of Monday, it has the backing of the state’s popular governor.

HOGAN: MORE AID FOR BUSINESSES COMING: Businesses in Maryland can expect another round of state aid, reports Bryan Sears in the Daily Record. Gov. Larry Hogan, speaking at a farm on the Upper Shore, pledged another round of aid for struggling state businesses at the same time he was announcing $10 million in aid for contract chicken farmers in Maryland.

OPINION: DON’T VOTE FOR THE DEAD: The editorial board of the Sun takes Gov. Hogan to the woodshed for voting for Ronald Reagan for president, opining that “What voting for a deceased man principally demonstrates is that Maryland’s governor doesn’t take the obligation of voting seriously. And in an election where the basic values of this democracy are at stake, it is deeply disappointing to hear that someone in such a high-profile position would so thoughtlessly abdicate his responsibility to represent not just the best interests of his state but of his country at such a perilous moment in our history.”

McDANIEL COLLEGE SEES HIGHEST FROSH ENROLLMENT: With the COVID-19 pandemic driving down enrollment at many colleges and universities across the nation, Westminster’s McDaniel College has bucked that trend, welcoming its largest first-year class and seeing enrollment growth of about 5%, Ben Leonard of the Carroll County Times reports.

BOWIE STATE PART OF GOOGLE UPSKILL PROGRAM: Bowie State University, a Maryland HBCU, will be among the inaugural group of Black tertiary education institutions to participate in the Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program, which was announced by the technology giant last week, the Afro is reporting.

COVID UPDATE: New cases of COVID-19 among Carroll County community members dropped by 13% last week based on data announced by the health department Monday, when Carroll public elementary and middle school students and teachers returned to buildings en masse for the first time since being shut down in mid-March by the coronavirus pandemic, Bob Blubaugh writes for the Carroll County Times.

  • A total of four Frederick County Public Schools food and nutrition services employees have now tested positive for COVID-19, according to recent Find Out First emails. Katryna Perera of the Frederick News Post writes that this comes after two Brunswick-area employees who work in that department tested positive last week.
  • The three Lower Eastern Shore counties have gained a combined 209 cases — 127 in Wicomico County, 38 in Worcester County and 44 in Somerset County, reports Rose Velazquez of the Salisbury Daily Times.

RETURN TO SCHOOL ISSUES BUBBLE TO SURFACE: Some Baltimore County parents are speaking out, saying they want their children back in school. And that message has triggered a heated debate, reports Chris Papst of WBFF-TV. “Our kids are struggling,” Sara Russell, a Baltimore County parent, told Project Baltimore. “We’ve got little ones that are in tears. We’ve got older kids that are withdrawing. They’re becoming depressed.”

Adding Resilience to the Energy Equation:The Electric Infrastructure Security Council identifies a “Black Sky Hazard” as a catastrophic event that severely disrupts the normal functioning of critical infrastructures in multiple regions for long durations which occur as a result of climate events, cyber terrorism, EMP, or super-storms. This FREE Webinar on October 22nd will discuss strategies for disaster preparedness to ensure resilience, and focus on energy supply as a critical component of this planning.

PITTMAN RETAINS EMERGENCY POWERS: Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman’s emergency powers remain — a legislative effort to terminate the order and revoke emergency powers failed along party lines Monday night following a lengthy debate, Olivia Sanchez of the Capital Gazette reports. The bill drew 433 submissions of written testimony, many from supporting residents.

ELRICH VETOES TAX METRO-HOUSING BREAK: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D) has issued his first veto since taking office nearly two years ago, rejecting a bill that would provide tax breaks for developers seeking to build high-rise buildings above Metro stations, Rebecca Tan of the Post is reporting.

BETHESDA STUDENT TO SERVE ON NATIONAL GUN BOARD: A Maryland high school student whose family moved to Bethesda after a mass shooting at her father’s former workplace will serve on the national advisory board for a gun violence prevention organization, Elizabeth Shwe reports for Maryland Matters.

WA CO PUBLIC SAFETY TRAINING CENTER A ‘HUGE’ STEP: The recently approved $7.9 million contract for construction of the Washington County Public Safety Training Center is a “huge” step for a longtime goal, the county’s director for emergency service training and quality assurance said Monday. Julie Greene of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail writes that Kevin Lewis said the training center has been a goal for many who work in emergency services.

MAYOR YOUNG SEEKS TO CREATE POSTS FOR ALLY MOSBY: Despite layoffs and no-hiring provisions in other parts of city government, Baltimore’s outgoing mayor Jack Young, is moving to create nine new positions for a political ally, incoming City Council President Nick Mosby, reports Mark Reutter in Baltimore Brew. The new positions – unannounced and closely guarded by members of the administration – were ordered by Young’s chief of staff, who was instrumental in advancing the career of Mosby’s wife.

B’MORE MAY TAX E-CIGARETTES: Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott is proposing a tax on electronic cigarettes as a way to discourage smoking and boost revenue as the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate the city’s economy, Talia Richman of the Sun reports. He introduced a bill Monday night to establish a 30% excise tax on the distribution of electronic smoking devices, including e-cigarettes, e-hookahs and vape pens.

HOWARD SCHOOLS BAN HATE SYMBOLS: The Confederate flag, along with the swastika and other symbols “promoting hatred,” are now banned from Howard County Public School System property, which includes clothing, vehicles and at school-related events, according to an updated policy, Jacob Calvin Meyer of the Howard County Times reports.