News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngNew Governor Wes Moore swore in a remarkably diverse cabinet last week. What's really remarkable, observers say, is he has not picked people who are experts on navigating Annapolis. This could be interesting.

"Crossover Day" is a sorta-deadline for bills to get out of at least one Assembly chamber by March 20 to stay alive (unless the leadership is totally down for the bills, in which case anything can happen). So progressives who need to nurse these bills across the finish line are nervously pushing the noodle. What bills are teetering? We have some info.

It's News You Can Use for the all of us. Read on.


Larry Hogan Said He Won’t Run for President.

The former Maryland governor released a statement and went on TV yesterday to say he wouldn’t seek the 2024 Republican nomination, which avoids a showdown with former president Donald Trump, whom Hogan has criticized. Hogan has pitched himself as a centrist, but he feared splitting the vote with multiple candidates. That scenario could help Trump, who has led nearly every major poll. WaPo



It’s Mostly About the General Assembly

You’ve heard of Crossover Day, right? To refresh your memory, it is looming on the horizon, March 20. By that day, bills should have received a vote in at least one of the chambers in the General Assembly to be considered for passage by the other chamber and therefore by the Assembly. Sounds easy, right? But the Senate President laments it’s a “logistical impossibility to pass every bill that either could be passed or should be passed.” Our allies in the Maryland Legislative Coalition, who focus on bills with progressive impact, tell us “164 of the 258 bills we’re following have had hearings, but no committee votes! Our Ask for the Week focuses on important immigration and criminal justice bills that need votes.” You can see their whole update here.

A group of state lawmakers wants to make equity a required part of any transit project or program decision. The Transit Caucus members said more focus is needed on those who use public transportation — specifically low-income workers and minorities. Sen. Jill Carter (D-Baltimore City) said some Marylanders live in a system of “transportation apartheid” and called for all transit projects to be reviewed through a lens of equity before implementing or canceling them. Maryland Matters

Current Service Year Programs Provide Model For Moore’s Proposal: While details of Gov. Wes Moore’s service year option for high school graduates are still being worked out, many other existing service year programs in the state, nationally and worldwide allow people to gain the experience and give back to the community in the way Moore wants. The governor has signed an executive order creating the Maryland Department of Civic and Service Innovation on his first full day in office. Moore’s proposed plan for Maryland so far is a unique combination of the service year programs that have come before it.  Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter  and… Year Of Service Would Start With 200 People: Under the current version of Gov. Wes Moore's SERVE plan, up to 200 people would go to organizations for a year of service starting this fall. The capacity would increase to 500 in mid-to-late 2024, 1,200 people in 2025, and 2,000 people in 2026.  Baltimore Sun.

'Community School' Model To Expand Under Blueprint: The community school model is based on schools partnering with local organizations to provide support services to students and the surrounding community, ranging from tutoring, food pantries, transportation, school supplies giveaways, and social services. The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future will invest $3.8 billion in public schools each year for the next 10 years and plans to expand the model statewide. WYPR-FM.

Who Are Those Within Moore's Atypical Cabinet? Political newcomer Wes Moore's pledge to transform Annapolis with an unconventional approach to the state's systemic problems began with building an atypical Cabinet that didn't rely on relationships to Maryland’s political establishment. Who are the members of that Cabinet? WaPo

Texas Judge Could Impact Maryland's Abortion Access: Several anti-abortion groups and doctors are suing in a Texas court the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to revoke its 22-year-old approval of the drug mifepristone, which is used in combination with the drug misoprostol in 98% of medication abortions in the U.S. The decision is due any day and that could have sweeping repercussions on abortion access across the country — including in states, like Maryland, where the procedure is protected. Baltimore Sun.


To Index or not to Index?  Tyler Jones of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus argues that the Assembly should index the minimum wage to inflation instead of holding on to the power to raise the level, which we would add is otherwise known as hostage-taking and bargaining chip management. (Jones was politer and more positive). Maryland Matters

ICYMI Maryland Matters founding editor Josh Kurtz had a deeply reported piece last week on the obvious: all those huge, flat school roofs are an ideal place for solar panels. We reposted it on our blog over the weekend.



People’s Action, our national affiliate, keeps an eye on the federal branches for us. Megan Essaheb, their federal affairs chief, reports “We celebrated some wins last week!

“The first was on Medicare Advantage (MA) (privatized Medicare) -- the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a 1% rate increase for MA plans and also makes some changes to rein in MA overpayments, which have driven profits, while ripping off taxpayers by draining the Medicare Trust fund. People’s Action submitted a comment in support of the rate increase.

“The win comes after the Health Care for All cohort supported Reps Jayapal, Schakowsky and Delauro’s effort in organizing Members of Congress on a letter to CMS urging more regulation of MA. Through the advocacy of the HC4A members and our partners, the letter received 70 signatures by Members of Congress.” PA and HC4A’s boost of the progressives’ letter appears to have quashed a Medicare Advantage lobby’s effort to get House members to sign on to their own letter urging the opposite and cut back on Senate sign-ons to a similar letter.

Another win: “In a win on prescription drug costs, Eli Lilly announced that it would lower the cost of two types of insulin, including setting one generic product at $25 for anyone, including the uninsured. This announcement is long overdue and an organizing win. Our Health Care for All members have supported organizing efforts led by our partners on lowering the cost of insulin. But there is more to do! Here is a blog and messaging on the win from T1 International who held a direct action at Eli Lilly last fall. 


Punchbowl News says this is the first really big week for both the fed chambers, House and Senate, and they have a not so little list of the week’s hearings at their free site today (“What We’re Watching” etc.)

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...