State Roundup, November 14, 2017

REPORTED HATE CRIMES DROP IN MARYLAND: The number of hate crimes rose nearly 5% across the country in 2016, according to new data released by the FBI on Monday. It marks the second year in a row hate crimes have increased. Hate crimes in Maryland, however, have decreased 14%, reports Catherine Rentz in the Sun. Experts caution there is a big caveat with FBI data: It’s based on voluntary reporting from morethan 15,000 police agencies across the country. Furthermore, hate crimes are generally underreported to police.

STATEWIDE $15 MINIMUM WAGE: It was a day of celebration and congratulations for Montgomery County leaders and workers’ advocates in Rockville Monday as Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett signed the recently approved $15-per-hour minimum wage bill into law. But the dozens of advocates on hand for the bill signing had another target in their sights — the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis, reports Andrew Metcalf of Bethesda Beat.

FUNDING METHOD OMITTED FROM LaHOOD METRO REPORT: The long-awaited report on Metro by former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urges the region’s three jurisdictions – Maryland, DC and Virginia — and the federal government to provide the agency with permanent, dedicated funding, but it sidesteps the politically charged question of what kind of tax or other mechanism should be adopted for that purpose. Robert McCartney of the Post writes that the study also calls for replacing Metro’s entire, 16-member board with a five-member “reform board” for three years.