Politics & Business

OIG nabs two work-dodging DOT employees

Image via Facebook.

Two Department of Transportation employees were fired after the Office of the Inspector General found they spent a good chunk of the workday chilling at home.

Horseshoe sees another revenue slide in the month of May

Photo via Horseshoe Casino/Facebook

Though 2019 started out on a good note, Horseshoe Casino once again saw its year-over-year revenue slide, according to new figures released by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming agency.

In May, the city’s lone casino brought in $20,559,140, a decrease of roughly $3.5 million (or 14.6 percent) from May 2018. While January and March had slight increases in gambling revenue, February, April and May all saw declines.

With Harborplace’s future uncertain, mayor suggests it be ‘torn down and redone’

Photo by NCinDC, via Flickr

After years of delayed and unfinished renovations at Harborplace, an exodus of vendors and, as of this week, the shopping plaza being placed into receivership, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young says he would rather see the whole thing razed and replaced than continue to flounder.

“I would like to see it really torn down and redone,” Young said at his weekly press briefing this morning. “That would be my preference. But you know, it all costs money.”

Scott, Costello demand crime plan from Harrison in five days

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Ahead of a June 7 hearing to discuss the Baltimore Police Department’s budget, City Council President Brandon Scott and 11th District Councilman Eric Costello have asked Police Commissioner Michael Harrison to come prepared with a crime plan.

Citing an increase in homicides and non-fatal shootings, Scott, chair of the Public Safety Committee, and Costello, chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, said police need to come up with a crime-reduction strategy that dovetails with other violence-reduction efforts.

Young restores independence of Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement

State Sen. Jill Carter (D-41st District) speaks at a press conference at City Hall. Photo via Baltimore Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement.

Baltimore’s civil rights office, including its Civilian Review Board that handles complaints of police misconduct, will once again be its own independent agency “effective immediately,” Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young ordered today.

Maryland Congress members ask FBI for ransomware briefing

Photo by Christopher Sessums, via Flickr

We’re now past the two-week mark of city computer networks sitting hobbled by a ransomware attack, and Maryland’s federal lawmakers are keen on getting some answers from federal authorities investigating the hacking.

The data behind the 2019 Maryland General Assembly session

The inside of the General Assembly chambers in Annapolis. Photo by Roxanne Ready, via Flickr, used with a Creative Commons license.

By Daniel Oyefusi and Jake Gluck
Capital News Service

Only 40 out of the 188 legislators in the Maryland General Assembly passed at least 50 percent of bills they introduced, and the average success rate for passing bills was 30.6 percent.

Ten lawmakers passed every bill for which they were the primary sponsor.

While some legislators were able to pass multiple bills, others struck out in their attempts and a few didn’t introduce any legislation.

Capital News Service gathered data from the 2019 legislative session and conducted an analysis to report on some of the most striking takeaways from the General Assembly.

MD’s consumer advocates push for new debt collection laws

Some of Maryland’s debt collection laws haven’t been updated since the Reagan administration. Lawmakers and consumer advocates are trying to update the law to protect low-income Marylanders from collection tactics like body attachments. (Brooks DuBose/Capital News Service)

By Brooks DuBose
Capital News Service

ANNAPOLIS — Jailing a person for an unpaid debt has been illegal for almost two centuries in the United States.

But in Maryland, through a roundabout court procedure, hundreds of people every year are jailed for essentially just that: Owing money.

As council considers income-based water billing, Baltimore bill payers and advocates share horror stories

Photo by Ethan McLeod

Baltimore residents and advocates packed the council chambers on Thursday evening to share their terrible tales of inaccurate meter readings, seeing their properties brought to tax sale and the resulting fallout in their lives stemming from the city’s administration of water bills.

Most came to support legislation that would establish income-based billing for low-income households, as well as an independent office for resolving disputes.

Baltimore County launches working group on opioid epidemic

The Baltimore County Courthouse. Photo by James G. Howes, via Wikipedia.

Baltimore County has assembled a working group of medical professionals to develop a strategy for combating the opioid crisis, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. announced today.

The group will solicit public feedback through an online survey and two community meetings, and then devise a plan for tackling the crisis.