State Roundup, May 5, 2016

STATE NEARING CLEAN AIR GOALS: Maryland’s air quality has improved drastically in recent years and is on track to meet strict new federal standards, Josh Hicks of the Post writes about the new report this week from the state’s Department of the Environment.

GIFTS FOR THE GOV: Gov. Larry Hogan has received more than $7,000 worth of gifts since he took office in January 2015, mostly modest trinkets and items from well-wishers after the governor made his cancer diagnosis public, Fenit Nirappil of the Post reports. The gifts range from a $1 Livestrong bracelet to a $500 membership at Baltimore’s posh members-only Center Club, according to a filing with the State Ethics Commission. Hogan even reported two rosaries blessed at the Vatican, given to him and his wife by Pope Francis in Washington.

HOGAN TOUTS BUY LOCAL: Marylanders will have the chance this week to submit their favorite original recipes for a statewide competition. The Hogan administration is looking for chefs who use local ingredients to submit original recipes for the Governor’s Buy Local Cookout, according to a news release. The event will be held at Government House in Annapolis on July 21.