State Roundup, July 12, 2017

MD OFFICIALS DOUBT TRUMP FBI HQ EXCUSES: In a joint statement, the FBI and the General Services Administration said they did not get the full $1.4 billion sought under the federal government’s 2017 budget. The budget fix for 2017 set aside $523 million, leaving a funding gap of about $882 million, Daniel Sernovitz of the Washington Business Journal reports.

  • The Trump administration said Tuesday it is halting plans to move the FBI headquarters outside the District of Columbia because it lacks sufficient funding and fears cost overruns, writes Scott Dance in the Sun. Officials in Maryland, who have lobbied the federal government to move the agency to Prince George’s County, cast doubt on the explanation, and pledged to continue pursuing the project.

NOTHING BUT LOSERS: In an analysis for the Post, Robert McCartney and Jenna Portnoy write that the new FBI headquarters was supposed to produce two big winners in the Washington region: either Prince George’s or Fairfax counties, where the new complex would go, and the District, which would get a new trophy building to replace the old FBI facility in a premier location on Pennsylvania Avenue. Instead, the Trump administration’s decision to cancel the project has yielded nothing but losers.

KOPP TO WITHHOLD PAY FROM TWO: Paychecks for two members of Gov. Larry Hogan’s Cabinet will be lighter than usual next week — checks that could be their last for a while, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. The paychecks for Planning Secretary Wendi Peters and Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader will reflect the loss of two days pay as the result of budget language passed earlier this year that bars both from receiving a check. The language was passed after Gov. Larry Hogan withdrew their respective appointments and touched off a potential conflict between the executive and legislative branch that could wind up in court.

GERRYMANDERING CASE: Attorneys are at odds over whether a federal challenge to Maryland’s congressional districts should be delayed while the U.S. Supreme Court considers a Wisconsin case that also alleges partisan gerrymandering, Danielle Gaines writes in the Frederick News Post. In a brief filed Tuesday evening, the attorney for the plaintiffs in the Maryland case said it should move forward as planned because the issues here and in Wisconsin are different. He also wrote that the Supreme Court should have an opportunity to consider the two challenges side by side.