State Roundup: Sun to be sold to nonprofit; Van Hollen, state lawmakers urge action on housing crisis

SUN SET TO RETURN TO LOCAL HANDS: Returning The Baltimore Solar to Maryland arms, the state’s largest newspaper and its associates are poised to be acquired by a nonprofit formed by businessman and philanthropist Stewart Bainum Jr. that will function the media group for the good thing about the group. The sale could be a part of a $630 million deal introduced late Tuesday for Alden International Capital to amass full management of Tribune Publishing, Christopher Dinsmore of the Solar studies.

WHO IS STEWART BAINUM? The Baltimore Solar is poised to be acquired by a nonprofit based final month by Stewart Bainum Jr., a Montgomery County-raised business owner who has additionally been energetic in Maryland politics and philanthropy, John O’Connor of the Solar studies. The acquisition would come with The Solar, The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, the Carroll County Occasions and different group newspapers within the Baltimore metro area.

OPINION: GOOD NEWS FOR THE SUN, BAD NEWS FOR TRIBUNE: Information media watcher Dan Kennedy writes that whereas the sale is sweet for the Solar group, it’s bad news for the Tribune et al. Tribune purchaser Alden Capital is essentially the most avaricious of the chain newspaper homeowners, squeezing the life (and the journalism) out of its properties, he writes.

VAN HOLLEN, STATE LAWMAKERS URGE ACTION ON HOUSING CRISIS: U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen teamed up with Maryland’s state lawmakers on Tuesday to emphasise the necessity for legislative motion to help avert an eviction crisis spurned by the coronavirus pandemic, Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter writes. The federal moratorium on evictions expires on March 31. Maryland has suspended evictions through the state emergency however tenants should show that their incapability to pay is immediately attributable to the pandemic.

FRANCHOT: MANY RELIEF CHECKS TO ARRIVE FRIDAY: Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot expects 98% of all aid funds to be processed and in individuals’s financial institution accounts as early as Friday, studies Catherine Scott of Capital Information Service in a narrative that seems in Maryland Reporter. He stated 266,985 electronic payments totaling $113.6 million and 148,972 paper checks totaling $61.7 million shall be processed and despatched to eligible recipients beginning Tuesday as a part of the not too long ago handed RELIEF Act.

  • The state’s prime tax collector fired one other volley of criticism at Gov. Larry Hogan and lawmakers for not serving to extra individuals and for not increasing the size of the payments. Franchot vowed that his workplace would challenge the checks shortly with as much as 98% of particular person stimulus funds paid out no later than Monday, studies Bryan Sears for the Each day File.
  • The RELIEF Act is Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature effort of the present Common Meeting session. It’s a greater than $1 billion combination of direct payments, tax breaks and enterprise help aimed toward serving to these taking the worst monetary hit from the coronavirus pandemic, Pamela Wooden of the Solar studies. Lawmakers expanded on the governor’s proposal and the invoice gained bipartisan help.

CENSUS DELAY MEANS STATE WON’T REDISTRICT TIL 2022: The U.S. Census Bureau’s resolution to delay releasing inhabitants information till fall nearly actually ensures that Maryland lawmakers won’t redraw the state’s political boundaries earlier than subsequent 12 months, political analysts stated on Tuesday, Bruce DePuyt studies for Maryland Issues. The bureau initially deliberate to get outcomes of the 2020 Census to states by March 31. However officers introduced on Friday that they may present it by Sept. 30 as a substitute.

MOST DOSES HEAD TO PG MASS VAXX SITE: Maryland officers have been allocating most COVID-19 vaccine doses designated for the state’s two mass vaccination websites to Six Flags America in Prince George’s County quite than the Baltimore Conference Middle, the state well being division confirmed Tuesday. The Solar’s Hallie Miller, Jean Marbella and Meredith Cohn report the story.

MEDICAL DEBT GROWING: Medical debt was a significant downside for a lot of Maryland households even previous to COVID-19, advocates say, with hospitals submitting almost 150,000 lawsuits against patients with excellent money owed over the previous decade. Nevertheless it’s turn into a good graver challenge within the final 12 months, when many have misplaced their employment-based medical health insurance and had been hospitalized with the illness, Johanna Alonso studies for the Each day File.

SEN. KELLEY PUSHES JUVENILE JUSTICE BILL: Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Delores G. Kelley (D-Baltimore County) introduced a invoice Tuesday that will prohibit judges from sentencing juvenile offenders to life without the possibility of parole, Hannah Gaskill of Maryland Issues studies. Iterations of this laws that will put Maryland in step with U.S. Supreme Court docket precedent have cycled via the Common Meeting for years.

REFORMING PROCESS OF FILLING STATEHOUSE VACANCIES: Maryland lawmakers advanced legislation Tuesday that would reform the method for filling legislative vacancies, Danielle Gaines studies for Maryland Issues.

BILL WOULD ALLOW PARENTS TO MOVE ED FUNDING: After Maryland Democrats efficiently pushed via a multi-billion greenback training reform invoice final week, one Republican lawmaker has proposed pandemic-related education legislation of her personal. HB939, launched by Del. Lauren Arikan would permit, if a faculty district fails to open in-person instruction by the autumn, mother and father to reallocate the general public faculty funds of their little one towards an alternate faculty, Patrick Hauf of CNS studies. The article seems in Maryland Reporter.

TRANSPORTATION ELECTRIFICATION: The Transportation & Local weather Initiative (TCI) is a regional collaboration of 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia that seeks to enhance transportation, develop the clear power economic system, and cut back carbon emissions from the transportation sector. Be taught extra concerning the group’s priorities and plans through the Maryland Clean Energy Center’s 2021 Policy Watch Series on February 22, from 1:00 – 2:00 PM. Advance registration is required.

BILL ALLOWS FOR MORE LOCAL CURBS ON TOBACCO: Maryland legislators launched a invoice that will permit localities all through the state to position extra stringent restrictions on the sale and distribution of cigarettes and different tobacco merchandise, CNS’s Jacob Steinberg studies in Maryland Reporter.

STATE MILITARY ORDERED TO DISCUSS EXTREMISM: Maryland navy installations are ready for particulars on the Department of Defense stand-down order. Secretary of Protection Lloyd J. Austin licensed each commander and supervisor within the Division of Protection to take at some point from regular operations earlier than April 6 with a view to lead dialogue on extremism within the navy, based on the order signed Feb. 5.

FAILING GRADES INCREASE FOR CARROLL STUDENTS: Kristen Grifffith of the Carroll County Occasions studies that the variety of Carroll County Public Faculties college students who obtained not less than one failing grade within the second quarter elevated by almost 400 in contrast with the primary quarter and greater than tripled compared with the second quarter of final 12 months. Jason Anderson, the college system’s chief tutorial, fairness and accountability officer, stated the problem is disengagement and college students not attending their on-line lessons.

ARUNDEL WANTS MORE TEACHERS VAXXED: As faculty districts close to the return to in-person instruction on March 1, there may be push to ensure lecturers and school staff are vaccinated before returning to the classroom. “Effectively I’m not happy with the tempo of getting lecturers vaccinated,” stated Anne Arundel County Govt Steuart Pittman. He says that getting all lecturers within the county vaccinated by March 1 shall be a problem, however he stresses colleges have to open, Joseph Ojo studies for WBFF.

MO CO TEACHERS UNION VOTE ‘NO CONFIDENCE’ IN REOPENING PLAN: The Montgomery County lecturers union took a vote of “no confidence” in the Montgomery County Public Faculties reopening plan, formally solidifying its stance that the plan is “irresponsible.” Caitlynn Peetz studies in Bethesda Beat.

‘SEISMIC SHIFT’ FOR MARYLAND’s CAPITOL HILL STAFFERS: Once they pull again the blinds, employees members within the workplace of U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger can look throughout Independence Avenue on the U.S. Capitol, which appears to glow at night time. The view, as soon as stirring, now – after the riot of Jan. 6 – unleashes extra difficult feelings. “There was a seismic shift in how these staffers look at the sanctity and security of Congress,” stated U.S. Rep. David Trone. “It’s by no means going to the identical once more.”

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