City Leaders Announce Coordinated Initiatives Aimed At Reducing Violence In Baltimore

Baltimore City leaders announced this week several coordinated initiatives aimed at reducing violence in Baltimore. City leaders said the initiatives are developed in close coordination with state and federal partners and are guided by a collective Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS). GVRS is an evidence-based approach that is proven to reduce serious violence while expanding opportunity and building better relationships between community and law enforcement, according to city leaders. (WJZ-TV)

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Franchot Prepared to Use ‘Leverage’ to Force Changes to Hogan Highway Plan

When the Board of Public Works voted 2-1 in January to advance a plan to widen two highways in Montgomery County, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) hailed the decision as “monumental and historic.” The vote was also a testament to Democratic Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot’s willingness to make full use of his leverage as a member of the three-member panel. In a Maryland Matters interview earlier this month, Franchot signaled that he has every intention of using his position as the frequent BPW swing vote over the next two years, as Hogan’s road-widening project — his top transportation priority — comes back for needed approvals. (Md Matters)

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Md. Black lawmakers say sports betting must include minority equity

The leader of one of the largest blocs of votes in the Maryland General Assembly said Black lawmakers in Annapolis may not support efforts to create sports betting in the state if it does not include the ability for minority ownership. More than six in 10 voters earlier this month approved a change to the Maryland Constitution that would allow the creation of a sports betting industry in the state. (Daily Record)

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Maryland lawmaker to appeal Hogan case on coronavirus restrictions

A state lawmaker in Maryland said he hopes that a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling will help him when he appeals his lawsuit against Gov. Larry Hogan’s coronavirus restrictions. The Frederick News Post reported that state Del. Dan Cox (R-Frederick, and Carroll) along with other plaintiffs, including many Maryland-based religious leaders, will appeal a recent court decision. (WTOP)

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Congress returns with virus aid, federal funding unresolved

After months of shadowboxing amid a tense and toxic campaign, Capitol Hill’s main players are returning for one final, perhaps futile, attempt at deal-making on a challenging menu of year-end business. COVID-19 relief, a $1.4 trillion catchall spending package, and defense policy — and a final burst of judicial nominees — dominate a truncated two- or three-week session occurring as the coronavirus pandemic rockets out of control in President Donald Trump’s final weeks in office.The only absolute must-do business is preventing a government shutdown when a temporary spending bill expires on Dec. 11. (WTOP)

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Possible legal challenges pose cost risks for Maryland toll lanes proposal

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has said the state can expand the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 at no net cost to taxpayers because the private sector will build billions of dollars of toll lanes in exchange for keeping most of the revenue. But that promise doesn’t appear to include the potential public expense laid bare by a similar public-private partnership on the state’s troubled Purple Line project: those stemming from a legal challenge that can stall construction, drive up costs and sour relationships underlying decades-long contracts. (Wash Post)

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‘Time For My Flag to Go Up’: How Anti-Trumpers Are Reclaiming the American Flag

About a month before the election, Curtis Woodall logged onto Amazon and ordered an American flag. The 72-year-old Vietnam War veteran and retired infantry soldier had taken his old flag down about a year into the Trump administration. “It hurt. It did,” Woodall said. But he didn’t want anyone in his neighborhood outside Columbia, South Carolina, to associate him with President Donald Trump’s racial rhetoric or anti-immigrant policies. (POLITICO)

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Updates on Trone and Delaney ― But No Big Clues About 2022

Among the many mysteries of the nascent 2022 election cycle in Maryland are the political plans of Rep. David J. Trone (D) and his predecessor, former Rep. John K. Delaney, who is coming off an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Here are two recent developments in their professional lives ― though neither should be seen as the definitive word on whether they plan to run for governor or any other political office in 2022. (Md Matters)

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