NUCU_logo_new.pngHere in Maryland, the container ship Dali has been refloated and moved from its blocking position in the ship channel in Baltimore, raising hopes that near-normal shipping traffic can be envisioned as debris from the Key Bridge is removed or pushed aside. Video is offered, below. Meanwhile, the gaudy low unemployment numbers here bring a Maryland labor shortage that is now strapping public jobs including law enforcement. The state is showing up badly on inspection of nursing homes and getting a slow start on replanting trees in our treeless urban spaces. Plus news from other states facing and dealing with problems similar to ours, and People's Action's weekly report on the nonperformance of the US legislative branch.


Dali Back In Baltimore Port, Freed 55 Days After Striking And Collapsing The Key Bridge: Tugboats pushed the container ship Dali into the Port of Baltimore on Monday morning after crews refloated the vessel that had been stranded in the Patapsco River since it struck and collapsed the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26. Around 8:40 a.m., the damaged vessel, with a chunk of pavement from the bridge still on its bow, entered the Seagirt Marine Terminal. It had been refloated about 2 hours earlier and had started moving slowly — almost imperceptibly —  around 7 a.m. Baltimore Sun [updated Monday @10am] Maryland Reporter offers 6-1/2 hours of  browse-able YouTube video of the move from start to finish here.


Maryland Legislative Coalition Scorecards for 2024 Assembly Session posted

Our allies at the Maryland Legislative Coalition have released their scorecard for how legislators did during the 2024 General Assembly session. Included in the analysis are not only individual scores for legislators across a string of issue areas, but accounts of the efficiency (or lack thereof) of House and Senate committees at the job of moving legislation on to a floor vote.


State's Low Unemployment Rate Hits Law Enforcement: Maryland has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, which would typically be considered a bright spot for the state’s economy. But for companies and government agencies searching for workers, Maryland’s low unemployment is a problem that’s leading to labor shortages. One of the hardest-hit industries is law enforcement. Capital News Service/


Will Maryland’s ‘Uncommitted’ Primary Voters Sway Biden Administration On Gaza Cease-Fire?  A coalition of progressive voters is celebrating the “historic impact” of its efforts to pressure President  Biden to call for a cease-fire in Gaza, by getting 10% of Democrats to buck the president and vote “uncommitted” in Tuesday’s primary. But analysts said that the 47,587 “uncommitted” votes cast Tuesday are likely “not fatal” to Biden’s general election campaign. Maryland Matters


Lack Of Nursing Home Inspections Brings Lawsuit to MD Dept. Of Health: The Maryland Department of Health is failing in its duty to regularly inspect nursing facilities in the state and investigate complaints from residents, allowing dangerously poor quality care to go undetected, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Baltimore. The complaint, filed Wednesday by five anonymous nursing home residents with mobility impairments and complex health needs, accuses the state health department of discriminating against residents with disabilities, who are particularly vulnerable to neglect and mistreatment when a facility’s poor performance isn’t corrected.  Baltimore Sun 


New Rape Law to Ditch "Good Time" Credits: Marylanders incarcerated for the crime of first-degree rape will no longer be able to get out of prison early on automatic “good time” credits. Democratic Gov. Wes Moore signed SB 1098 or the Pava LaPere Act into law during a bill signing in Annapolis on Thursday. WYPR-FM


After Slow Start, Urban Tree Planting in Maryland Picks Up Steam All across Maryland, community groups, nonprofits, government contractors and countless volunteers are turning out this spring to plant thousands of trees in treeless urban neighborhoods. They’re working to fulfill Maryland’s Tree Solutions Now Act passed in 2021, which calls for planting 5 million trees statewide by 2031. It’s a massive undertaking, but one aimed at helping the state deal with a changing climate. As trees and the canopy they provide grow, they absorb climate-warming carbon dioxide, provide cooling shade from extreme heat and soak up potential floodwaters. Bay Journal


Drug Overdose Rates Down In MD, CDC Says in Report

Overdose deaths in Maryland decreased by 1.5 percent from 2022 to 2023, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationally, overdose deaths were down by about 3 percent, according to the provisional data released Wednesday. Bowie Patch





GUN POLITICS: Training First? Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) has signed legislation requiring purchasers of firearms to undergo training first. Concealed carry permit holders and law enforcement officers are exempt from the requirement. A state sportsman’s group immediately sued to block the law. (Delaware Public Media) via Pluribus


HOUSING: Landlords May Get Win in MO -- Missouri lawmakers have approved legislation to block local governments from issuing eviction moratoriums. Local governments and courts in Kansas City and St. Louis had issued moratoriums during the pandemic. (Kansas City Star) via Pluribus


SOUTH DAKOTA: Add Another Abortion Rights Refereendum A proposed constitutional amendment that would protect reproductive rights will appear on November’s ballot after Secretary of State Monae Johnson (R) certified that supporters had submitted 46,000 valid signatures, 11,000 more than required. (South Dakota Public Broadcasting) via Pluribus




As A Key Labor Union Pushes into the South, Red States Push Back

Republican lawmakers in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee have passed new laws to claw back incentives from companies that voluntarily recognize labor unions. The moves are meant to keep unions from gaining more traction as they aim to organize more auto plants in the South. Stateline Daily


19.8: A Resegregation Number Over the past three decades, the share of US public schools where 90% of the students are non-white has nearly tripled to 19.8%, according to a UCLA report. Experts say the rise of charter schools and expansion of school choice is partly to blame for this de facto segregation. The data, crunched by the UCLA Civil Rights Project, come on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education case in which the US Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation at schools. (GZERO Daily)


More than 1.5 million: The number of new housing units the United States added between 2022 and 2023. More than a third of the total new homes were built in just three states — Texas, Florida and California. (Pluribus News) but read it without a paywall at Stateline Daily


A few more – relevant? -- numbers from Pluribus News: 109,098: The number of criminal convictions Colorado will wipe from the public record this year under the state’s Clean Slate Act. The law, passed in 2022, automatically seals records for low-level crimes. (Denver Post)

38.5%: The share of Utah lawmakers who make money from the housing industry, either as developers or landlords. (Salt Lake Tribune)



>>>People’s Action Report: Outrages and Activist Opportunities

Our weekly dispatch from People's Action federal affairs director Megan E


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced plans to bring the terrible Border Act for a vote again this week. The bill negotiated by Sen. James Lankford, (R-OK), Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) is not likely to pass but is being voted on to allow Senators Brown (D-OH) and Tester (D-MO) to record their vote in favor of the bill as a talking point for red-state senators. The political game sets a bad precedent for asylum rights and due process. Senators Rosen (D-NV), Casey (D-PA) and Baldwin (D-WI) are in close races and may also feel pressure to vote for the bill. SCHUMER is trying to make this border security week. In a letter to senators yesterday the majority leader noted that he knows that not every Democrat will support the legislation.


From Politico: “The International Criminal Court is seeking arrest warrants against both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in connection with the October 7 attacks and the Gaza war. ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan filed applications for the arrests on Monday against the two leaders, as well as the commander of Hamas’s military wing, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri, and Israel’s defense minister, citing allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Israel and the State of Palestine.”


From the AP: Democrats are talking about filibuster carveouts: “Sen. Tammy Baldwin, facing a tough reelection fight in one of the races that will determine control of Congress, has made protecting reproductive rights a cornerstone of her campaign, and she’s willing to back that up by pledging to change the Senate filibuster rules if Democrats retain control of the chamber.”


Issue Update: Elections

Check out Bernie Sanders’ op-ed in the Guardian: We’re in a pivotal moment in American history. We cannot retreat. Clearly, our job is not just to re-elect Biden. It’s much more than that.


Issue Update: Climate

New Rules to Overhaul Electric Grids Could Boost Wind and Solar Power

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the biggest changes in more than a decade to the way U.S. power lines are planned and funded.


Gas Stove Pollution Harms Poor And Minority Americans the most, due in part to different home sizes, study says. The researchers estimated that gas and propane stoves contribute to as many as 19,000 adult deaths annually in the US.


Green New Deal For DC (@GND4DC) on X

Last week! DC Council passed the Healthy Homes Act which will help 30,000 low income homes in DC to electrify at no cost, save residents money on utility bills and create green jobs. Shout out to groups like @BeyondGasDC and @sierraclubdc for leading this work.


Climate Power sent this joint analysis with 20 other partner groups who work in environmental justice, latino engagement, youth spaces, climate, extreme weather, etc. highlighting the 320+ Climate & Environmental Actions President Biden and Vice President Harris have taken since taking office --- more than any executive branch in history.


Issue Update: Healthcare

Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter Announces Task Force on Health Care Monopolies and Collusion. The Justice Department today announced the formation of the Antitrust Division’s Task Force on Health Care Monopolies and Collusion (HCMC). The HCMC will guide the division’s enforcement strategy and policy approach in health care, including by facilitating policy advocacy, investigations and, where warranted, civil and criminal enforcement in health care markets.


Minnesota legislation targets health insurers' power to block medical care, medications

House bill would prevent redundant insurance red-tape for treatment of chronic diseases. The fate of prior authorization will be decided in the session's final days.


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...