News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngA Montgomery County circuit court judge sided with the state Board of Elections on Friday, ruling that Maryland elections officials may process and count mail-in ballots as they come in. In granting the election board’s petition, Chief Administrative Judge James Bonifant accepted their argument that the expected deluge of mail-in ballots would result in a weeks-long delay before results could be tabulated." GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox had filed in opposition to the B of E's plea.

And early hints of the next General Assembly -- During a Greater Washington Board of Trade forum recently, Senate President Bill Ferguson identified mental health, transportation and workforce development as likely priorities for the legislature. He also said the new wave of state leaders need to pay careful attention to the learning and social deficits created by the pandemic [as recovery from the pandemic stays on the front burner]. Obstacles children faced during the pandemic are part of a broader set of mental health challenges families encountered, the lawmaker said. He expressed optimism that “high-value tutoring” and other elements of the state’s new educational “Blueprint” initiative will help overcome them. Ferguson also noted that efforts to close the digital divide have been slow to bear fruit. Most funds allocated to expand high-speed internet to underserved communities have not been spent, he noted. Assembly House Speaker Adrienne  Jones said the crisis highlighted the need to expand access to care. She also called for more coordination between state and local governments. “Right at the beginning, sometimes, the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing,” she said.

Read about these and other bits of News You Can Use for this week...



 

Mail Ballots Won’t Have To Delay Count
A Montgomery County circuit court judge sided with the state Board of Elections on Friday, ruling that Maryland elections officials may process and count mail-in ballots as they come in.

In granting the election board’s petition, Chief Administrative Judge James Bonifant accepted their argument that the expected deluge of mail-in ballots would result in a weeks-long delay before results could be tabulated. Maryland Matters

Early Read on the Next Assembly Session

During a Greater Washington Board of Trade forum ercently, Senate President Bill Ferguson identified mental health, transportation and workforce development as likely priorities for the legislature. He also said the new wave of state leaders need to pay careful attention to the learning and social deficits created by the pandemic [as recovery from the pandemic stays on the front burner]. Obstacles children faced during the pandemic are part of a broader set of mental health challenges families encountered, the lawmaker said. He expressed optimism that “high-value tutoring” and other elements of the state’s new educational “Blueprint” initiative will help overcome them. Ferguson also noted that efforts to close the digital divide have been slow to bear fruit. Most funds allocated to expand high-speed internet to underserved communities have not been spent, he noted.

Assembly House Speaker Adrienne  Jones said the crisis highlighted the need to expand access to care. She also called for more coordination between state and local governments. “Right at the beginning, sometimes, the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing,” she said. Maryland Matters

Kushner property firm settles on charges of excessive fees, poor maintenance – A New Jersey-based company owned by Kushner family interests, and several other corporate entities that own or owned 17 residential communities managed by Westminster Management, will pay a $3.25 million civil penalty and restitution. The companies, said state AG Brian Frosh, “knew the condition of its properties, and it charged tenants illegal fees to live in those miserable conditions” in Baltimore City as well as Baltimore and Prince George’s counties. Maryland Matters (Friday)

 

College Funds Frozen As A Result Of Audit Findings: Parents are complaining that the Maryland Prepaid College Trust has frozen their funds just as they need to make fall tuition payments, as the trust looks into a glitch related to interest calculations revealed in an audit. Maryland Matters (Friday)

 

Bay water quality declines for third straight year, reports the Bay Journal. Toxic runoff just keeps getting worse in MD and the Susquehanna watershed

 

The Md-Mal Pipeline
From POLITICO Playbook (Friday)  Trump will host a fundraiser for Maryland GOP gubernatorial candidate DAN COX at his Mar-a-Lago estate on Oct. 17, The Hill’s Julia Manchester reports. “A photo with Trump and Cox will cost $25,000.” That’s the luxury box, though; Manchester’s The Hill article indicates fans can sneak in for cheap: “Tickets for the event’s private cocktail reception are going for $1,776 per person.”

Maryland among havens for abortion seekersas many states, including border-sharing West Virginia, go full “Handmaid’s Tale,” Maryland has become a haven for women suddenly losing control of their reproductive health. Reported by Capital News Service (UMCP J-school)

Poll Finds Much Support For Teaching About Racism In Schools: Maryland residents remains staunchly in favor of public schools’ playing a role in informing students about the profound effects of racism in American society, according to new statewide polling, even as Republicans across the nation have railed against teaching about structural racism in public schools. The poll found that 64% of respondents believe schools should teach about how racism exists in society and its institutions but 41% disagreed. While a larger percentage of Black respondents, 83%, agreed with the statement, a majority of the white respondents, 60%, also expressed support. Baltimore Banner (Tuesday)

We're Number 14! Get to Work!
A survey and analysis by OxFam, the care organization, counts Maryland the 14th-best state to work in, way behind DC (4th) but well ahead of Virginia at 22nd. The state’s worst score (after 8 years of a GOP governor) is in worker protection.
Overall, “the past few years have brought daunting challenges to workers: real wages declining in the face of historic inflation; COVID-19 and climate hazards making conditions more perilous; women losing fundamental rights to make decisions about their lives. Even as the situation grows more dire, the hope for federal action fades, as Congress remains deadlocked. However, a bright spot has emerged on the horizon, as workers are demanding, and winning, change.”

 Find the whole story, and more, here.

 

 

AT THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LEVEL

The race to the CR

People’s Action reports “The Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday at 5:30pm on a Continuing Resolution to extend government funding to December 15th with Sen. Joe Manchin’s dirty permitting deal attached to it. It remains unclear whether Majority Leader Schumer has the votes to pass Manchin’s permitting deal that he insists on attaching to the continuing resolution.

After constituents and advocacy groups pressured Senators to oppose the deal, Senator Jeff Merkley led a letter to Schumer in opposition to the permitting deal that seven Democratic Senators signed on to. Senator Kaine (D-VA) , a moderate, issued this statement in opposition to the Mountain Valley Pipeline. However, Senator Moore Capito (R-WV) has come around to supporting Manchin’s legislative text and both she and Manchin have been whipping Republican votes over the weekend.”

 

A US Census report shows huge drop in poverty due to pandemic boost in federal support and has many, many numbers to back it up.

 

World Bank Boss in Rapidly Warming Water Over Climate Denial

From the Guardian (a Brit newspaper) Monday morning: “David Malpass, president of the World Bank, faces an uncertain future this week, after the White House joined a chorus of influential figures in condemning his apparent climate denialism. Malpass remains in post for now but under severe pressure, despite issuing an apology and trying to explain his refusal last week to publicly acknowledge the human role in the climate crisis. The Biden administration stepped into the row on Friday evening and such strong words from the White House come as a significant blow to Malpass.”

Malpass was appointed by Trump. A UN deputy secretary-general said “The Bank is being far too conservative in its approach to financing, and far too unambitious in its leadership in addressing this existential [climate] crisis.” Malpass worked in the Bush 41, Reagan and Trump administrations and the private sector. Wikipedia says, deadpan, Malpass “served as Chief Economist at Bear Stearns for the six years preceding its collapse.

woody woodruff

About

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...