As a federal shutdown looms, Maryland's 150,000-plus civil servants face the ultimate bossism -- the need to show up for work without a paycheck while members of the US House fumble a solution repeatedly thanks to the divisions in GOP-majority ranks. Plus -- a ("somewhat sheepish") Jamie Raskin is urged to reconsider his decision not to run for the Senate at Progressive Maryland's annual Gala in Annapolis, Maryland hospitals (which ones?) flunk a safety check and new Maryland laws go into effect Oct. 1 It's News You Can Use...
HERE IN MARYLAND
Impact Of A Federal Shutdown: Maryland Takes It Hard -- Maryland has a disproportionate number of federal employees and contractors because of its proximity to Washington, D.C. Maryland is home to more than 150,000 federal employees, tens of thousands more federal contractors, and many Maryland businesses tied directly to providing services to those workers. Under a shutdown scenario, most federal employees are told not to report for work as all but essential services are suspended. Federal workers are not paid while the government is shut down, even if they are working. Even though they will eventually get paid, many workers cannot afford to go without a paycheck. Conduit Street/MaCo
Jealous Touts Raskin For Senate Race At PM Annual Gala “One of the most intriguing developments in the primary was a de facto endorsement for a candidate who isn’t running.
“At the annual gala for the group Progressive Maryland in Edgewater on Thursday evening, Ben Jealous, the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor, urged U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8th), who was there to deliver the keynote address and earlier this summer said he would not run for Senate, to change his mind.
“ ‘I’ve always been a fan of our congressman and would be a huge supporter of him rethinking his decision not to run,’ said Jealous, who introduced Raskin to the crowd, according to text of the speech provided by Progressive Maryland. Jealous, who is now executive director of the Sierra Club, called Raskin ‘a warrior, the fighter that will turn things around for us, the champion that Maryland needs.’
“As Raskin walked up to the stage at Yellowfin Steak and Fish House, the 150 people in the crowd yelled, ‘Run, Jamie, Run!’
“ ‘That was an unauthorized message,’ a slightly sheepish Raskin joked, according to one attendee.
“ ‘The energy in the room was electric,’ said Larry Stafford, the executive director of Progressive Maryland. ‘The energy’s there and I think the votes are there, too. It’s what the [Democratic] base wants.’
“But for now, Raskin remains on the sidelines, though he’s working hard to elect Democrats to the House and would likely become chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee if his party takes control of the chamber in January 2025.” Maryland Matters.
Dangerous Missteps Triple In Maryland Hospitals Over Three Years: State data shows serious harm inside Maryland’s 62 hospitals more than tripled between 2019 and 2022 to 769 incidents that killed or injured patients, reaching the highest level since the state began collecting patient safety data in 2004. Safety experts say the historic rise of dangerous missteps, probably fueled by staffing shortages and the strain of the pandemic, may signal systemic failures. WaPo
Gun Restrictions Among New Laws Going Into Effect Oct. 1: Beginning Oct. 1, Marylanders will be able to take firearms fewer places than before. The bill restricting where people with concealed-carry permits may bring their weapons is one of more than 300 bills passed during the 2023 legislative session will go into effect Oct. 1. Baltimore Sun.
Cardin Set To Take Over Committee As Sen. Menendez Faces Indictment: With New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez temporarily stepping aside as chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee following a federal indictment for conspiracy to commit bribery and other charges, Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin is next in line to chair the Foreign Relations Committee. Cardin has announced he will not seek re-election to the Senate in 2024. Maryland Matters.
AROUND THE FIFTY STATES
A Group Of US Governors Promises To Install 20 Million Heat Pumps By 2030 -- and they want to put at least 40 percent of them in disadvantaged communities. Maryland’s Gov. Wes Moore is one of 25 state governors in the US Climate Alliance, representing half the US population.. Buildings, particularly older ones and those with poor energy efficiency, account for 31 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Electric heat pumps use much less energy to warm and cool homes and can reduce GHG emissions by an average of 45 percent compared to gas furnaces, making them a major climate solution. Grist via Route Fifty
Mass. Gov Agencies Must Swear Off (Some) Bottles -- Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (D) last week signed an executive order barring state agencies from purchasing single-use plastic bottles under 21 ounces. The order is the first of its kind in the United States; environmental groups welcomed the order as a way to cut waste. (Pluribus News)
Report Highlights State And Local Efforts To Increase Affordable Housing Access. A report from a respected think tank examines eight recently enacted local and state affordable housing policies that were supported by a five-year advocacy effort with the goal of supporting access to affordable homes for 10 million people. The report explores each policy’s theory of change and examines how available evidence may or may not support the expectations for policy impact. Urban Institute
As insulin prices have skyrocketed, states have intervened to lower them with price caps. Now, California’s decision to manufacture its own is leading other states to consider similar steps in an effort to ensure essential medicines are affordable to the public. Route Fifty
FROM THE FEDS
People’s Action Fed Affairs chief Megan Essaheb says that in addition to a huge NYC climate march but limp response to the crisis in the UN’s session opening, “President Biden announced by executive action the American Climate Corps. The program modeled off of legislation introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) (modeled after the New Deal-era civilian conservation corps) plans to train and employ “about 20,000 young adults who will build trails, plant trees, help install solar panels and do other work to boost conservation and help prevent catastrophic wildfires.” This is a victory for the climate movement with the Sunrise Movement leading the advocacy effort. We’re still waiting on details including wage levels for the program. As we noted here last week, Gov. Wes Moore’s Year of Service program fits nicely into this new national initiative.
And in a move that impacts the effect of medical debt, “Last Thursday, President Biden also announced plans to bar credit agencies from including unpaid medical bills in people’s credit scores. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau oversees credit agencies and plans to issue a proposed rule that could benefit around 100 million people with medical debt.
And! We don’t want to see you diverting your attention from the many still-pending progressive goals in Maryland, but your chances of getting fresh, human-created content on your TV and streaming services are improved because, as Megan reports, “The Writers Guild of America came to a tentative agreement with management yesterday on the substantive provisions of a 3 year contract that could lead to the end of a historic 146-day strike. Union leadership is expressing excitement over the deal which will need to be ratified by 11,500 WGA workers.”
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