Make Police Accountable: Repeal LEOBR

By Peta Richkus. In early August, attorney Deborah Katz Levi, Director of Special Litigation, Baltimore City Felony Trial Division, Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD), joined approximately 100 Marylanders who spoke before the Police Reform and Accountability in Maryland Workgroup chaired by Delegate Vanessa E. Atterbeary, House Judiciary Committee Vice Chair. In 2016, the (old Baltimore) City Paper gave its “best lawyer” award to … Continue reading Make Police Accountable: Repeal LEOBR

Public Defender Urges Police Reform

By Peta Richkus. In June 2020, Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones, with Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Luke Clippinger, convened the Work Group to Address Police Reform and Accountability in Maryland. “Policing in America is broken. While we have taken a number of positive steps in Maryland, we can’t be satisfied until every citizen has confidence in their police department…. We need structural reform … Continue reading Public Defender Urges Police Reform

Baltimore County Can’t Wait for State on Police Reform

By Elizabeth Brown. This morning, August 28, 2020, Councilman Julian E. Jones, Jr. held a press conference to announce the introduction of seven distinct bills covering important aspects of police reform. After the Baltimore County Council unceremoniously tabled Jones’s earlier police reform bill, Bill 73-20, at the August 3, 2020 session, I was glad to hear that Councilman Julian E. Jones, Jr. would try again … Continue reading Baltimore County Can’t Wait for State on Police Reform

Real Police Reform Needed Now

By Peta Richkus. You might think, with a single law that applies to all 142 law enforcement agencies in Maryland (LEOBR: the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights), there would be uniformity in policing. You would be wrong. The only thing that is uniform is the lack of oversight and accountability. Because of LEOBR, those police officers who do violate their oath to “protect and … Continue reading Real Police Reform Needed Now

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

Kirwan For Naught Without ‘Build to Learn’

By Corey Johns. Without the passage of the Build to Learn Act in Annapolis this coming legislative session, Kirwan funding might be all for naught in Baltimore County. The Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education – nicknamed Kirwan Commission for short – is a road map to positively change the trajectory for Maryland schools and the thousands of students in the state. Even at … Continue reading Kirwan For Naught Without ‘Build to Learn’

Home Act Hearing Reveals Landlords Already Discriminating

By Forward Baltimore Editors. Our post from Corey Johns listed and debunked some of the myths that abound about the Home Act. At the Baltimore County Council work session this past Tuesday, we noticed an error in some testimony that we thought required addressing, as well. It was stated that landlords would have to install ramps for tenants if this bill passes, which would put … Continue reading Home Act Hearing Reveals Landlords Already Discriminating

Letter to Kach: Please Support Home Act

Dear Councilman Kach- I write as a relatively new member of your district because I understand from the Baltimore Sun that you will vote against the HOME Act. I am not aware of your specific reasons for voting against the bill despite trying to find something on your website.  If you have issued a statement that explains with specificity your position please send it to me so … Continue reading Letter to Kach: Please Support Home Act

Objections to Home Act Based on Myths

By Corey Johns. On October 7, 2019 the Housing Opportunity Made Equal (HOME) Act was introduced to the council council. The purpose of this bill is to prohibit housing discrimination based on source of income, such as alimony, child support, Social Security, disability benefits, inheritance, a pension, or, Housing Choice Vouchers. A housing voucher is a source of supplemental income that helps low income residents … Continue reading Objections to Home Act Based on Myths