HOGAN CUTS MORE FEES: Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday that he plans to eliminate or reduce dozens of state fees by $60 million over the next five years, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports. The action comes less than a month after the Democratic-controlled legislature refused to approve some of the governor’s proposed cuts. And it is the second time in less than a year that Hogan has cut fees without legislative approval.
The Sun’s Pamela Wood writes that a few of the reductions will affect a significant number of Marylanders. They include a cut in the up-front fee for an E-ZPass transponder from $9 to $7.50, and another measure to give veterans half-price admission to state parks.
The 155 reductions and eliminations are the second round of such actions in the last year under the first-term Republican governor. Earlier this week, Hogan signed legislation that eliminates fees for birth certificates for homeless people, allowing wider access to a primary document that can be used to establish an individual’s identity and provide them with access to a wider array of services, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.
STATE DECERTIFIES CITY ELECTIONS: State election officials ordered the results of Baltimore’s primary election decertified Thursday and launched a precinct-level review of irregularities, reports Luke Broadwater for the Sun. The story is topped by a short video on the topic.
State Elections Administrator Linda Lamone said the number of ballots cast in the April 26 contest was hundreds more than the number of voters who checked in at polling places, Fenit Nirappil of the Post reports. The state also identified 80 provisional ballots that hadn’t been considered.
“Some of the ways this had been reported are not quite right. The state never certified this election,” said deputy administrator of the Maryland Election Board Nikki Charlson. Charlson said state election officials did become concerned when they noticed something odd this week as they conducted their normal post-election reconciliation, a process undertaken for all Maryland jurisdictions, writes Fern Shen in Baltimore Brew.