Lawmakers, advocates to unveil program to reduce Maryland health care disparities

Health advocates will announce plans this week to try to resurrect an O’Malley-era program that reduced disparities in the incidence and treatment of disease — an effort they say should be funded by an increase in the state’s alcohol tax. The push to bring the program back was fueled in part by the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on lower-income families and communities of color, a leading backer said. (WTOP)

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Annapolis City Council approves legislation for deputy city manager position, introduces more than a dozen new bills following recess

The Annapolis City Council passed Monday a charter amendment and companion ordinance to create a deputy city manager position focused on resilience and sustainability efforts. The position would report directly to the city manager. Among the deputy’s powers would be developing and maintaining resilience and sustainability initiatives and advising city leadership on climate and energy use, waste reduction, green buildings, water and quality, among others. The person would also review and approve any project submitted to the city that involves resiliency issues. (Balt Sun)

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Howard County Executive Calvin Ball Announces Second Round Of Rental Assistance Funding

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced Friday a second round of rental assistance funding to support residents struggling to pay rent amid the coronavirus pandemic. An additional $800,000 in CARES Act funds will build on the nearly $1.6 million provided for rental assistance by the Ball administration earlier this year. (WJZ-TV)

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Lawmakers, Advocates to Unveil Program to Reduce Health Care Disparities

Health advocates will announce plans this week to try to resurrect an O’Malley-era program that reduced disparities in the incidence and treatment of disease — an effort they say should be funded by an increase in the state’s alcohol tax. The push to bring the program back was fueled in part by the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on lower-income families and communities of color, a leading backer said. (Md Matters)

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Maryland halts extra pay for front-line state workers

Maryland has ended COVID-19 response pay for thousands of front-line state employees, including many correctional officers, according to the largest union for state workers. The response pay, which gave certain state employees an elevated hourly rate for working during the pandemic, ended on Tuesday and will not be renewed, a state official told unions Thursday evening. (Delmarva)

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Former Pugh Aide Gets Prison Time In Book Sales Scam

A former aide who helped ex-Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh fraudulently sell her self-published children’s books to nonprofits was sentenced Friday to more than two years in federal prison. Gary Brown Jr. apologized for his actions and expressed regret for bringing shame to his family and friends before U.S. District Judge Deborah Chasanow sentenced him to 27 months. (WBAL)

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Annapolis councilmembers say they settled public housing lawsuit to avoid years of legal wrangling

Last week, the City of Annapolis settled a near-$1 million dollar lawsuit with 15 public housing families who claimed they were the victims of decades of racial discrimination by the city and the Annapolis housing authority. It ended what could have been years of legal wrangling in which the city continued to rack up legal costs and that might have ended with an even larger settlement than what was agreed to this week, city officials said. (Capital)

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Md. officials wanted Black leaders not to use the term ‘police brutality.’ They resisted.

Leaders of Maryland’s commission on African American History and Culture and an associated museum were told by state officials not to use the term “police brutality,” prompting some to decry what they considered an attempt to censor their speech. The directive from a state agency came, two people involved in the dispute said, after the executive director of the Banneker-Douglass Museum was challenged for using “police brutality” in a written statement and later had the phrase edited out of a news release. (Wash Post)

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