Environment Agency Workers Tense, Morale Low Under Ex-Hogan Aide, Deputy Says

State legislators on Wednesday received a bleak picture of life at the Maryland Environmental Service under the leadership of former director Roy McGrath. During his time at the helm, McGrath was “guarded and secretive,” and morale was low, former MES deputy director Beth Wojton told members of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Fair Practices and…

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Catholic School Teachers Quit Over Reopening Plans

When Amy Stephens learned that St. Augustine School in Elkridge, Maryland, would offer a combination of in-person and virtual learning this fall, she asked if she could teach her music, theater and strings classes via livestream. She was told no, she would need to be physically in the classroom, interacting with the entire student body…

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Governor May Have Broad Power To Change Election Format

The State Board of Elections plans to begin mailing all voters applications for absentee ballots on Aug. 24, State Elections Administrator Linda Lamone said Tuesday in a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan. Although the state is encouraging all voters to submit their ballots by mail, Hogan has said state law requires every polling place to be open…

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Maryland Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Running Low On Money

The pool of money that pays for Maryland unemployment benefits, the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, is running out of money. As a result, Maryland businesses could be forced to pay more into the fund.  State Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson told a group of lawmakers and community leaders on Thursday that, after paying a “record number…

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Despite ‘Universal Testing’ At Juvenile Detention Centers, Few Have Had COVID-19 Tests

Gov. Larry Hogan announced on May 20 that the state would do “universal testing” for COVID-19 at juvenile detention facilities. But the vast majority of both the youth residents and the staff at these facilities have yet to be tested, and the state Department of Juvenile Services doesn’t expect to finish the first round of tests until…

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State Government Workers Describe Unsafe Working Conditions During Pandemic

The state government employees who process unemployment insurance claims and work in state prisons, juvenile services facilities, hospitals and universities say they lack the resources necessary to do their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.  The workers spoke Tuesday at a virtual meeting of the state House Appropriations and Senate Finance committees. Department of Juvenile Services…

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An Avalanche Of Evictions Is Coming, Advocates Warn

Angel Lopez lost his job as a mechanic in Baltimore when business slowed due to the coronavirus  pandemic. Then his partner lost her part-time job cleaning houses.  Lopez is undocumented, and his partner’s application for asylum is on hold while the courts are closed. As a result, they don’t qualify for unemployment, federal stimulus money,…

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