State Retirees’ Rx Drug Benefit Redux

By Peta Richkus. Older retirees from State service remain in a hellacious limbo about their futures. Thanks only to a federal court injunction, and the handful of employees and their attorney who filed for it (Thank you, Ken Fitch, Deborah Heim, Mary Frye, and Deborah Holloway Hill, Esq.), Medicare-eligible State retirees continue to receive their prescription drug benefit. But for how long? Unfortunately, many legislators, … Continue reading State Retirees’ Rx Drug Benefit Redux

Maryland Overdue on Vulnerable Adults Protections

By Corey Johns. Baltimore County is seeing an increase in the populations of both the elderly and adults with autism. Both groups would fall into the category of vulnerable adults, but under state law, there are no protections against emotional abuse for vulnerable adults like there are for juveniles. District 42B delegate Michele Guyton introduced a bill to the House in the last session to … Continue reading Maryland Overdue on Vulnerable Adults Protections

Time is of the Essence for Retirement-Eligible State Employees

By Peta Richkus. Subsequent to publication of Ms. Richkus’  Commentary in Maryland Matters and The Daily Record, the MD State Retirement Agency (SRA) removed all reference to SB 946 from its web page (a Search for “SB 946” currently yields no results). The Department of Budget & Management (DBM) link to expanded SB 946 information can be found at the top of the DBM Home page. … Continue reading Time is of the Essence for Retirement-Eligible State Employees

The Gentleman from Towson: A Conversation with Steve Lafferty

By Pete Munsey. Through all the political changes in Baltimore County over the past 12 or 13 years, one thing, or more specifically one person, seemed a constant. No matter the ups and downs of this or that career, the redistricting tectonics from Annapolis which shifted whole neighborhoods into different districts overnight, or the national mood waxing locally, Steve Lafferty was the delegate from Towson. … Continue reading The Gentleman from Towson: A Conversation with Steve Lafferty

Maryland Senate Leadership Signaled “TIME’S UP!” to Survivors of Sexual Assault

By Carla Johnson. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. And ironically, at 11:20 p.m., during the final moments of the legislative session on April 8, 2019, Senate President Mike Miller abruptly halted debate on HB 122/SB 209—legislation providing survivors of rape and sexual offenses with access to protective orders. While presenting the conference committee report on the bill she co-sponsored and shepherded through conference committee … Continue reading Maryland Senate Leadership Signaled “TIME’S UP!” to Survivors of Sexual Assault

Plan to Rob State Retirees of Prescription Drug Benefit on Hold; Next Steps?

Fact: The State had a contract with its employees; the terms of the contract, including the scope of the work (the job description) and the compensation (salary and benefits), were agreed to by both parties. The State has violated that contract. Fact: 40% of the cost of retirees’ prescription drug plan is paid for by the retirees themselves plus federal funds paid to the State. … Continue reading Plan to Rob State Retirees of Prescription Drug Benefit on Hold; Next Steps?

Open Letter to Members of the Maryland House of Delegates

We are writing to you as elected representatives to the Maryland Democratic Party in Baltimore County. We feel connected to you by our common values that inspire the work we have done in supporting our party and the work you have done in the Maryland House of Delegates to advance policies that promote equality, equity, and fairness. Maryland was fortunate to have had Speaker Mike … Continue reading Open Letter to Members of the Maryland House of Delegates

(Still) the Only Maryland County Not Allowing Sunday Alcohol Sales (Vroom Vroom!)

by Liz Brown. If there is anything I’ve learned after I started paying closer attention to the Maryland General Assembly legislative session two years ago, it’s that the legislature is very mysterious and confusing at times. Or most of the time. I was keeping one eye on my twitter feed on the hectic last day of the session, while knowing that it would probably be … Continue reading (Still) the Only Maryland County Not Allowing Sunday Alcohol Sales (Vroom Vroom!)

school building under construction

Baltimore County School Construction—What Happened?

by Liz Brown. The Maryland General Assembly legislative session adjourned Monday night, finishing with the usual rollercoaster of last-minute legislating but also mourning the death of House Speaker Mike Busch, who passed away Sunday. This week is now filled with the usual post-mortems of what bills passed, what bills did not pass, and what exactly happened. We at Forward Baltimore look back to see how … Continue reading Baltimore County School Construction—What Happened?

Last Chance Missed to Rectify State Retiree Drug Benefit Theft?

by Peta Richkus. Editor’s note: This piece is a follow-up to our earlier post “Don’t Use Inaccuracies to Sell A Bad State Retiree Drug Plan,” which was an open letter from Peta Richkus outlining how data was being used inaccurately to justify changes to prescription drug coverage from the State’s Medicare-eligible retired employees. The State Senate and House subsequently passed a bill (“SB946”) that did … Continue reading Last Chance Missed to Rectify State Retiree Drug Benefit Theft?