Maryland Roundup: News About Social and Economic Justice

Maryland roundup – here’s what happened in Maryland this week, with a focus on progressive issues and economic and social justice.

Maryland roundup – here’s what happened in Maryland this week, with a focus on progressive issues and economic and social justice.

  • Baltimore public health chief Dr. Leana Wen has a rundown on how the healthcare (or is it wealthcare) bill in the Senate would hurt everyday Marylanders.
  • Last session the General Assembly passed a bill attacking price-gouging by pharmaceutical companies by enabling the state Attorney General to sue them when appropriate. The companies, of course, didn’t like that at all and, through their trade association, are pre-emptively suing back.
  • Frosh is also in the news because he has joined other state attorneys general in suing the US Education Department and Secretary Betsy DeVos for failing to enforce a current law requiring loan forgiveness for students who were defrauded by for-profit colleges.
  • Andy Harris, our state’s only GOP Congressperson, is threatening to file a bill to cut off federal funding to states that won’t comply with the Trump administration’s intrusive and possibly illegal request for voter data from all 50 states. That’s according to a state blogger. About 40 of those states have now told Trump’s invent-some-voter-fraud commission that they will not comply, in part or whole, including Maryland.
  • The grad student journalists at the Capital News Service, news service run by the Merrill College of Journalism at UMCP, have done a must-read series on the different non-urban areas within our state that make it interesting -- and difficult for local and state governments to grapple with. Read the last of five parts, with links to the previous ones, in the series “Divided Maryland.”
  • Montgomery County pulled the switch on the latest, and largest, solar array on a county facility in a long program of creating energy self-sufficiency in public space, as is reported here in Bethesda Magazine. It’s at a correctional center in Boyds.
  • New rules on cash bail have had a mixed effect on who gets detained and who gets released, according to a first roundup on the hotly contested law, which was bitterly fought by lobbyists for the bail bond industry and was a cliffhanger in this year’s General Assembly session.
  • The big battle to ban fracking, a disruptive method of extracting natural gas, from Maryland was pretty expensive, at least for big-oil lobbyists. Josh Kurtz of the blog site Maryland Matters reports they were the biggest spenders during this year’s General Assembly session. And, they lost.
  • Progressives in Maryland are as disorganized as they are fast-growing, says the WaPo reporter here, whose “progressive” sources are perhaps a little scattered and incomplete. Kathleen Matthews?
  • The state will get a $2.2 billion federal grant that will go to identifying and reducing the plague of lead poisoning and asthma, mostly in poorer communities.

You can read articles like this every day at Center Maryland and Maryland Reporter, two news aggregators, for information of statewide interest – more than your local news offers. You can drop in when you think of it, or subscribe to their free daily emails.