News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngYou can contrast the Moore-Miller administration's wish list -- excuse us, goals list -- with how much they'll be getting from two legislative chambers that may be making a tough transition from the Hogan era -- difficulty taking "yes" for an answer, jealously guarding their prerogatives and inefficient methods.

And we have more from around the states and the DC scene. Read on for News You Can Use.


Some hot topics as the Assembly lurches toward sine die

The Wes Moore/Aruna Miller Administration’s transition report was just released: the wish list that sometimes succeeded and sometimes foundered in the General Assembly: in a forward, Lt. Gov. Miller said “the Transition Team engaged with the public at large and developed recommendations—from immediate operational efficiencies to transformational initiatives that will take longer to fully realize—to aid the
incoming administration in building a Maryland where we leave no one behind.”

Here is the Baltimore Sun’s assessment of how Moore is doing so far

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore — two months into an administration that he promised would move boldly, yet cautiously — is both racking up wins and coming up short. The first-time politician entered office in January with ambitious goals …Now in the homestretch of the annual 90-day lawmaking session in Annapolis, Moore’s first year is likely to show progress in those areas — just not all at the levels he wanted.

States with legal pot consider how to protect cannabis workers

In some states, so-called labor peace agreements have figured prominently in efforts to set up legal marijuana marketplaces.

In Maryland, the debate about what the industry will look like, including labor rights, is ongoing. Maryland Matters

Power for whom?

A proposed law requiring more reporting of shadowy committee votes by a private power conglomerate sounds obscure. “But as oversight of utilities becomes a critical component of the state’s ability to combat climate change — not to mention that they have a profound impact on the pocketbooks of everyday Marylanders — policy debates about electricity generation, transmission and consumption are becoming more commonplace and important in Annapolis.” Maryland Matters

How have school systems in Maryland struggled to hire educators? New Blueprint reports detail difficulties

All 24 Maryland school systems summarize how specific positions such as math and science teachers remain hard to fill. Maryland Matters

State education department issues first school report card since before pandemic

The 2022 Maryland School Report Card provides a comprehensive picture of school performance and is a return to the reporting after a two year pause due to the pandemic. Compared to 2018-2019, the last year school ratings were calculated, more than half (63%) of schools had the same rating in 2022. More than a quarter of schools earned a lower star rating than in 2019, while 11% of schools received a higher star rating. Conduit Street

Community School Model Gains Traction: In Maryland and across the country, one South Baltimore high school is considered a model among community schools, a term gaining more attention around the state as they expand rapidly under the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. The model has been implemented in hundreds of schools across Maryland, a win for education advocates who say the approach can help more children thrive and compensate for wealth and race disparities in the classroom Baltimore Banner. (paywall)

And education writer Jeff Bryant, seen in these pages before, focuses on the community school model in Los Angeles: LA Teachers Make Good Their Promise To Support Community Schools

“We knew the community schools idea would better address what our students need.” Even though implementations are still in their early phases, the schools and the families who attend them are already seeing tangible benefits.”



Education Week frontlines a problem:  This special report addresses the state of the nation’s school buildings and their shortcomings. But it also points to a way forward as educational needs evolve, the nation ages, and the consequences of climate change come into focus.

Medicaid: State-by-state estimates show at least 17 million Americans stand to lose Medicaid coverage beginning next month as Covid-era emergency orders wind down — and that’s counting only 39 states in which we could find official guidance. [Maryland is actually adding to medicaid-eligible procedures; see next item]. It’s the biggest shock to the nation’s health care system since the Affordable Care Act 13 years ago. (Pluribus News) Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) plans to sign legislation requiring the state Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming procedures. (Baltimore Sun) via Pluribus.

California: Gov. Gavin Newson’s (D) administration is asking the federal government for permission to use Medicaid money to pay “transitional rent,” up to six months of rent for low-income enrollees. Medi-Cal would pay for the experimental housing subsidies to keep people off the streets. (Kaiser Health News) via Pluribus


NATIONAL – news from People’s Action’s every-Monday alert for state affiliates

Mainly from Megan Essaheb, federal affairs at PA

House GOP Wasteland

There has been quite a bit moving on climate and environmental justice policy in recent weeks. Many climate and environmental justice supporters (particularly youth!) were angered by the Biden administration’s approval of drilling for oil in the Willow project - a large oil reserve in Arctic Alaska controlled by the oil company ConocoPhillips. The federal land on Alaska’s North Slope is important for wildlife and indigenous groups. Biden had promised there would be no more drilling. He says that ConocoPhillips would sue the administration and win, so instead, his administration was able to negotiate some environmental protections in the permitting deal. Last week, “a coalition of environmental groups — led by Earthjustice, on behalf of Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace USA, with the Natural Resources Defense Council as co-plaintiff — have filed a lawsuit to overturn Biden’s decision. So Biden’s claims of having no legal leeway will be tested in court.”

Meanwhile, House Republicans will bring a bill to the floor this week that would remove protections on our lands and maximize the profits of Big oil, the mining industry and other corporations. House Republicans have named it the “Lower Energy Costs Act” and have numbered it H.R. 1 to signify it as their top priority. 

If you face eviction, how much is your lawmaker likely to understand?

Special federal rental assistance to states during the pandemic has lapsed as the COVID emergency expired, and now local jurisdictions in Maryland are seeking help from the state to keep eviction-threatened people in their homes. Progressive Maryland puts this atop the agenda.  saying "Fully funding ERA will protect the more than 100,000 Maryland families who are behind on rent." But how much do lawmakers here or anywhere get it? PA’s Megan E says “A Mother Jones article notes that “at the congressional level, the numbers [of legislators who probably don't rent their primary home] were particularly stark: ‘[T]here are currently only 17 US representatives and one US senator whom we cannot confidently say own property,’ the authors wrote. Of the 10,000 federal, state, and local officials they analyzed, ‘At least 93% of officeholders in each category either own a home or are likely to do so.’”

woody woodruff


M.A. and Ph.d. from University of Maryland Merrill College of Journalism, would-be radical, sci-fi fan... retired to a life of keyboard radicalism...