New year, rather similar mix of good and bad news -- Maryland news you can use

movement_politics_sig.pngThe portal of 2022 brings the expectable array of good news (minimum wage increase!), sordid news (Larry Hogan’s messaging stays undercover while his admin’s Covid response and miserable unemployment comp process (don’t trust the process!) get eyeballed unfavorably—plus unpleasant vibes around rising Covid numbers statewide reflecting national trends. Here’s what we’ve got, progressive Marylanders…

 

Find out more about what you can do in today's Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo.

The portal of 2022 brings the expectable array of good news (minimum wage increase!), sordid news (Larry Hogan’s messaging stays undercover while his admin’s Covid response and miserable unemployment comp process (don’t trust the process!) get eyeballed unfavorably—plus unpleasant vibes around rising Covid numbers statewide reflecting national trends. Here’s what we’ve got, progressive Marylanders…

MINIMUM WAGE HIKE AMONG NEW LAWS: Maryland’s minimum wage rate will increase to $12.50 at employers with 15 or more employees. The Maryland Board of Physicians will require a license for genetic counselors and establish a committee for professionals. Staff/WTOP-FM.

Also, predominantly Black and Latino sections of Montgomery County will gain a stronger voice in local government, part of a host of new laws that take effect when 2022 begins. Laura Vozzella, Julie Zauzmer Weil, Rebecca Tan and Antonio Olivo/The Washington Post.

Some laws are being scoffed, by the enforcers. Cops, prosecutors and flacks combine to stall disclosures required by Anton’s Law.

As Maryland tries to meet its own goals for marijuana decriminalization and legalization, federal drug policy puts a crimp in many states’ plans to do the same.

Larry Hogan and his minions appear to have not only botched the administration of unemployment insurance as the feds tried to make it more helpful, and the purchasing of goods and services for fighting Covid in the state – but to have cleverly figured out a way to hide the evidence of their bad behavior.  Not our idea of a trifecta.

So Larry Hogan is being assailed or investigated at home, as we see; meanwhile Politico reports he is swanning around the country building up IOUs from other GOPers who are in his current “I’m not Trump” camp.

Speaking of Hogan’s horribles, this article seems to be blaming his slow-walked and delayed transit innovation, the Purple Line, for bad consequences in housing – instead of wondering if anybody is actually thinking about housing policy

The state Covid numbers are going up disturbingly and the snow is closing schools that weren’t already in remote mode, at least for this Monday.

Maryland Matters has a look back at many of the things you remember about 2021 (or are trying to forget).

 

On the National Scenecongress_bigger_bolder_nyt_ad_may_21.png

Axios says Sen. Joe Manchin is back at the table on some form of Build Back Better.  Maybe he has discovered that his hot-dogging has been rolling snake eyes for his constituents back in W Va.

Politico Playbook says Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will bring up the voting rights act and if it goes down will open debate on a filibuster exception for voting rights. “Today, the U.S. Conference of Mayors will release a letter signed by more than 140 Republican and Democratic mayors calling for the Senate to pass the two voting rights bills.

 

A New Ban on Surprise Medical Bills Starts Today, the NYT reminds us: “If you have a medical emergency, you will no longer need to worry about a large bill from a doctor you did not choose.”

BUT Covid numbers soar nationwide, just as the child tax credit booster ends (another giveaway to poutin' Joe Manchin) NYT: “The payments, which started in July and amounted to hundreds of dollars a month for most families, have helped millions of American families pay for food, rent and child care; kept millions of children out of poverty; and injected billions of dollars into the U.S. economy, according to government data and independent research.

"Now, the benefit — an expansion of the existing child tax credit — is ending, just as the latest wave of coronavirus cases is keeping people home from work and threatening to set off a new round of furloughs.”

And as the anniversary of the January 6 insurrection comes around,,,

Overall, “the percentage of Americans who say violent action against the government is justified at times stands at 34 percent, which is considerably higher than in past polls by The Post or other major news organizations dating back more than two decades,” write WaPo’s Dan Balz, Scott Clement and Emily Guskin. “Again, the view is partisan: The new survey finds 40 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats saying violence is sometimes justified.”

Want to get REALLY nervous? Canadian scholars are asking: if the US has a violent civil war, what should Canada do? 

Stay safe and wait for the all-clear.