Pamela Wood
Pamela Wood
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Maryland Gov. Hogan draws $250 million from Rainy Day Fund to help businesses struggling due to coronavirus

Maryland Gov. Hogan draws $250 million from Rainy Day Fund to help businesses struggling due to coronavirus

“Our economy is doing better than the rest of the country and most states, but it’s still really bad,” the governor said. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday he’s drawing down the state’s Rainy Day Fund to offer $250 million more in financial relief for businesses struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing recession. The biggest chunk of the money — $100 million — will be used to create an “emergency rapid response fund” for small businesses, so the state can pivot to help hard-hit areas or industries. Advertisement The Republican governor also announced $50 million more...

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Pamela Wood
3d ago
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Maryland plans 2-phase distribution plan for coronavirus vaccine once it’s available

Maryland plans 2-phase distribution plan for coronavirus vaccine once it’s available

Even though no coronavirus vaccine has been approved by regulators and widespread availability is likely months away, health officials are planning for how to vaccinate Marylanders. In a draft plan submitted to the federal government, Maryland health officials envision a two-phase program that would first vaccinate health care workers and some of the most vulnerable state residents, and eventually turn to the general population once a vaccine is widely available. Advertisement The plan, released publicly Tuesday, sets out two phases for distribution. The first phase, when only limited doses...

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Pamela Wood
5d ago
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Maryland lawmakers issue subpoena to Hogan’s former chief of staff over six-figure payout

Maryland lawmakers issue subpoena to Hogan’s former chief of staff over six-figure payout

Maryland state lawmakers issued subpoenas for Gov. Larry Hogan’s former chief of staff and another man to appear in two weeks before a committee investigating his six-figure payout from his prior job at a state agency. The subpoenas were issued Thursday to Roy McGrath, the former chief of staff, and Matthew Sherring, who worked for McGrath at the Maryland Environmental Service. They require both men to appear before the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Fair Practices and Personnel Oversight on Oct. 29. Advertisement The subpoenas also seek numerous documents from McGrath and Sherring....

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Pamela Wood
Oct 15
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Maryland to allow fans at Ravens, Washington stadiums at 10% capacity

Maryland to allow fans at Ravens, Washington stadiums at 10% capacity

Maryland’s college and professional football teams will be allowed to welcome more fans into their stands for future games under an order issued Friday by Gov. Larry Hogan. “Outdoor sporting venues” — including the home stadiums of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and Washington Football Team — will be allowed to host spectators up to 10% of their typical capacity. That opens the door for the teams to potentially allow a few thousand fans to watch the remainder of their home games. Advertisement The order represents the latest easing of restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the...

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Pamela Wood
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Oct 16
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Maryland Gov. Hogan’s vote for president? Ronald Reagan

Maryland Gov. Hogan’s vote for president? Ronald Reagan

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who has demonstrated that he’s no ally of President Donald Trump, cast a write-in vote for the late President Ronald Reagan in this fall’s election. The Republican governor voted last week by sending off his ballot through the U.S. Postal Service, his spokesman, Mike Ricci, said Friday. Advertisement Since Reagan is dead and not recognized as an official write-in candidate in Maryland, Hogan’s vote will be tallied by Anne Arundel County election officials as a vote for “other.” Maryland has two dozen recognized write-in candidates, . Hogan’s vote is not expected...

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Pamela Wood
Oct 16
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Audit: Top manager at Maryland tax department 'improperly’ took leave for months, with $56K in pay

Audit: Top manager at Maryland tax department 'improperly’ took leave for months, with $56K in pay

A top manager at a Maryland state agency was paid nearly $56,000 for almost five months of leave last year with no explanation before being terminated, according to an audit released Thursday. The “senior management employee” at the was not identified in the audit from the Office of Legislative Audits, which routinely reviews the books and operations of state agencies. Advertisement Under state regulations, employees are only allowed 10 days of the type of leave that the manager was granted, known as “administrative leave.” The State Department of Assessments and Taxation, which uses the...

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Pamela Wood
Oct 8
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Maryland picks more companies to grow, process medical cannabis

Maryland picks more companies to grow, process medical cannabis

After more than a year of delays due to logistical errors and allegations of impropriety, the state has picked 11 companies to expand and diversify Maryland’s medical cannabis industry. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission on Thursday selected three companies to grow medical cannabis and eight companies to process the plant into products to be sold at retail dispensaries. The companies were awarded “pre-approval” for licenses. Advertisement The growers will be Viola Maryland, Herbiculture Cultivation and MAS Alliance. The companies selected for processing are Herbiculture Manufacturing,...

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Pamela Wood
Oct 2
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Maryland to remove child care capacity limits, allow indoor visitation at nursing homes

Maryland to remove child care capacity limits, allow indoor visitation at nursing homes

Child care centers can increase the number of children they serve. Providers will now be able to operate at full capacity. As coronavirus infections and deaths continue at a low, steady pace in Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan relaxed more pandemic-induced restrictions Thursday — and encouraged residents to prepare for the upcoming flu season. Nursing homes that have limited visitors to outdoor meetings now will be able to offer indoor visits if the facility hasn’t had any new cases in 14 days and isn’t testing for a possible outbreak, Hogan said. If the local jurisdiction’s positivity rate rises...

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Pamela Wood
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Oct 1
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Maryland Gov. Hogan further relaxes coronavirus restrictions on indoor dining; Baltimore City and Arundel will hold back

Maryland Gov. Hogan further relaxes coronavirus restrictions on indoor dining; Baltimore City and Arundel will hold back

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued Friday allowing restaurants to offer expanded indoor dining starting Monday, but not all local governments in the Baltimore region intend to go along with it. Hogan announced his decision to increase capacity limits to 75% after visiting bars and restaurants in downtown Annapolis, where many have expanded onto the sidewalks and streets to accommodate diners while their indoor operations are limited due to the coronavirus pandemic. Advertisement He made no mention in his announcement of what were considered in making the decision. The state calculates its...

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Pamela Wood
Sep 18
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Maryland lab stops use of much-touted coronavirus tests from South Korea after spate of false positive results

Maryland lab stops use of much-touted coronavirus tests from South Korea after spate of false positive results

Hundreds of thousands of coronavirus tests that Gov. Larry Hogan bought from South Korea in April to much fanfare appear to be showing reliability problems, returning a spate of false positive results to nursing homes around the state. The Republican governor has already drawn sharp questions from Democrats about the value of the tests from LabGenomics, , but records show cost the state another $2.5 million for an “upgrade” that has not been fully explained. Advertisement The University of Maryland lab in Baltimore that had been processing thousands of the tests has stopped using the...

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Pamela Wood
Sep 18
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Maryland agency, Gov. Hogan’s new chief of staff defend payout he received from previous state job

Maryland agency, Gov. Hogan’s new chief of staff defend payout he received from previous state job

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s new chief of staff and the Maryland Environmental Service are for the first time publicly defending the six-figure payout he received when he left the independent state agency, after he and agency officials had refused since Wednesday to comment on the severance. Amid the backdrop of General Assembly plans for an oversight hearing, Roy McGrath is calling the severance “a standard business practice” and the agency said such payments fit “a private sector like pay structure.” Advertisement In a post on his Facebook page on Friday, McGrath said no tax dollars were...

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Pamela Wood
Aug 15
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Maryland Gov. Hogan’s new chief of staff resigns after six-figure severance from previous state post revealed

Maryland Gov. Hogan’s new chief of staff resigns after six-figure severance from previous state post revealed

Roy McGrath, the new chief of staff for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan who has been criticized for receiving a year’s salary as severance from his previous state job, resigned Monday. McGrath became the Republican governor’s chief of staff on June 1 after 3½ years as head of the Maryland Environmental Service, an independent state agency that does environmental and public works projects, primarily for local governments and the state. Advertisement The Baltimore Sun reported last week that as part of his voluntary departure from MES,, including the equivalent of one year’s salary of about...

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Pamela Wood
Aug 17
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Maryland Gov. Hogan demands update on election plans, asks why absentee ballot applications have not been mailed

Maryland Gov. Hogan demands update on election plans, asks why absentee ballot applications have not been mailed

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is pressing elections officials for information about how they’re going to carry out , as well as encouraging people to vote by mail during the pandemic. In a sharply-worded letter sent Monday afternoon to the state elections administrator, Linda Lamone, Hogan demanded an update on elections logistics within 48 hours. He said he’s been asking for information since the June 2 primary. Advertisement “More than two months have passed, and you still have not provided a plan for how you are going to conduct an election,” the Republican governor wrote to Lamone. “This is...

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Pamela Wood
Aug 3
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New order by Maryland Gov. Hogan says county officials can’t stop schools from reopening

New order by Maryland Gov. Hogan says county officials can’t stop schools from reopening

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday stripped local governments of their authority to prohibit schools from opening amid the coronavirus pandemic. His order overturned a decision by Montgomery County officials to shutter private as well as public schools for the start of the school year. issued by the Republican governor on Monday continues to allow counties to order closures or modifications at businesses and organizations. But it now excludes schools from that authority. Advertisement Hogan said in a statement that schools themselves should have the primary authority to determine whether...

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Pamela Wood
Aug 3
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Maryland Sen. Serafini, budget expert, resigning from office

Maryland Sen. Serafini, budget expert, resigning from office

Maryland state Sen. Andrew Serafini, a Western Maryland Republican with expertise in the state budget, announced Thursday that he’s resigning from his position. His resignation is effective Saturday. Advertisement In a letter sent to fellow senators, Serafini said that his 12 years in Annapolis — first as a state delegate, later as a senator — has been enough. The long hours and stress of the job have taken a toll, he wrote. “I must admit that leaving my family on a Monday and not returning home until Friday late afternoon has worn on me,” Serafini, 58, wrote. “Frankly, being a Republican...

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Pamela Wood
Jul 30
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We’ve examined 5 chapters of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s book. We have questions.

We’ve examined 5 chapters of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s book. We have questions.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s forthcoming political memoir has a hefty chunk that describes his recollection of the 2015 death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore and the days of demonstrations and unrest that followed. But some of Hogan’s accounts aren’t backed up by evidence in those five chapters or don’t correlate with what’s publicly known about the events. Advertisement In response Wednesday to written questions, David Weinman of Hogan’s political organization, , wrote that: “The book is based on the governor’s observations and discussions with law enforcement officials as he worked to keep...

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Pamela Wood
Jul 16
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Maryland uncovers identity theft scheme involving $501M in fraudulent unemployment claims, Hogan says

Maryland uncovers identity theft scheme involving $501M in fraudulent unemployment claims, Hogan says

Maryland uncovered a “massive identity theft” scheme leading to more than 47,500 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims totaling more than $501 million, Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday. “This criminal enterprise seeking to take advantage of a global pandemic to steal hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of dollars from taxpayers is despicable,” Hogan said. Advertisement Maryland Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson, appearing with the Republican governor at a State House news conference, said the division handling unemployment became suspicious when it noticed a surge in out-of-state...

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Pamela Wood
Jul 15
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From horror to glee, demise of Baltimore’s Christopher Columbus statue stirs emotions

From horror to glee, demise of Baltimore’s Christopher Columbus statue stirs emotions

Italian-American community reacts to protesters dumping the Columbua statue in the Inner Harbor after pulling it down from its base at Columbus Piazza. After protesters heaved a marble statue of Christopher Columbus into Baltimore’s Jones Falls Saturday night, consigning it to a resting place amid polluted muck and trash, the reactions ranged from horror to glee. “Bye,” was the one-word tweet from Baltimore City Councilman Ryan Dorsey, who has been calling to . Advertisement Some joked online that Columbus finally discovered a new place. But others were dismayed with the toppling of the...

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Pamela Wood
Jul 5
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Unions: Hogan administration seeking layoffs, pay cuts for state workers to address economic impact of COVID-19

Unions: Hogan administration seeking layoffs, pay cuts for state workers to address economic impact of COVID-19

Gov. Larry Hogan is considering layoffs and pay cuts for state employees as a way of balancing a state budget that’s been hit by slow tax collections due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hogan could propose a series of budget cuts, potentially affecting the state’s more than 100,000 employees, as early as Friday. Advertisement According to the Maryland Professional Employees Council, the state forwarded its “FY21 Budget Balancing” ideas June 17 to the union. The union’s response to the state, obtained by The Baltimore Sun, outlined several measures it said the state suggested could take effect...

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Pamela Wood
Jun 25
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House of Delegates Speaker Jones: Civil War-themed state song, ‘Maryland, My Maryland,’ needs to go

House of Delegates Speaker Jones: Civil War-themed state song, ‘Maryland, My Maryland,’ needs to go

First, Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones got a plaque removed from the State House that celebrated both sides of the Civil War. Now she’s got her eyes on the state song, which few Marylanders realize is a bloody call to arms in favor of secession from the United States. Advertisement “It’s extremely offensive” said Jones, a Baltimore County Democrat who is the first woman and person of color to lead a chamber in the General Assembly. “People just hear the words, ‘Maryland, My Maryland.' But if you look at the words, it’s not something you want to hail as the song for the...

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Pamela Wood
Jun 23
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Maryland Gov. Hogan opposes movement to ‘defund’ police

Maryland Gov. Hogan opposes movement to ‘defund’ police

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said flatly that he does not support efforts to take money from police budgets to support community needs. The policy change is known as “defund the police," and Hogan said in an interview that he thinks it is “a terrible idea.” Advertisement Speaking during a recorded interview with Katie Couric that was broadcast online by TIME magazine on Thursday, Hogan said police, in fact, need more funding to improve recruitment, training and equipment. Having a more diverse, better-equipped and better-trained police force is the best path forward, the Republican governor...

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Pamela Wood
Jun 11
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Hogan, Bowser continue disagreement over Maryland National Guard in D.C.

Hogan, Bowser continue disagreement over Maryland National Guard in D.C.

Gov. Larry Hogan and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser continued to disagree Thursday over the presence of Maryland National Guard troops in the nation’s capital. Speaking to reporters, Bowser said she opposed the deployment of out-of-state Guard units in Washington, which were requested by the federal government. Advertisement “We want troops from out of state out of Washington, D.C.,” the Democratic mayor said. Hogan was among several governors who agreed to send troops to Washington, and . Advertisement Hogan has said he fielded a call from U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and...

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Pamela Wood
Jun 4
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Maryland lawmakers make renewed push for police accountability reforms

Maryland lawmakers make renewed push for police accountability reforms

Heeding the calls of protesters from Baltimore to Minneapolis and beyond, leading Maryland lawmakers are pledging to push for reforms to policing practices. A top-ranking state senator is proposing a sweeping set of reforms, including banning violent police tactics, making disciplinary records public and ending the purchase of military equipment for officers. And the speaker of the House of Delegates is convening a bipartisan work group to examine proposals. Advertisement Leaders of both chambers say they plan to pass meaningful reform in the General Assembly’s next regular session in...

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Pamela Wood
Jun 4
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Maryland to expand coronavirus testing to those without symptoms

Maryland to expand coronavirus testing to those without symptoms

More Marylanders will be able to get tested for the coronavirus under new guidance announced Tuesday by Gov. Larry Hogan. allows people without symptoms but who may have been exposed to the virus to be tested without a doctor’s order at select state testing sites. It also calls on doctors to seek tests for such patients. Advertisement The state also is opening two more testing sites in hard-hit Prince George’s County and . Hogan said more than 200,000 tests have been administered in the state, representing 3.5% of the population, allowing testing to expand to people who may have been...

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Pamela Wood
May 19
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State delegates, pastors and businesses file lawsuit against Hogan seeking to end coronavirus restrictions

State delegates, pastors and businesses file lawsuit against Hogan seeking to end coronavirus restrictions

Maryland politicians, pastors and business owners banded together Saturday afternoon to file a sweeping federal lawsuit aimed at ending restrictions enacted by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in response to the coronavirus. The lawsuit argues that the governor’s orders banning large gatherings and closing most businesses violate constitutional and federal laws protecting commerce, freedom of assembly, the right to protest and the right to practice their religion. Advertisement Republican Dels. Dan Cox, Warren Miller and Neil Parrott argue that the restrictions against travel violate their duties...

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Pamela Wood
May 3
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