May 10 roundup

  • Redistricting, transit farebox, Court of Appeals, decriminalizing barbers, and more in my latest Maryland policy roundup [Free State Notes] And I’m quoted on the highly unpersuasive “six-state compact” scheme, which amounts to an excuse for leaving gerrymandering in place [Danielle Gaines, Frederick News-Post]
  • After scandal over falsified safety records, fired track workers sue Washington’s Metro on claims of discrimination and hostile work environment [Martine Powers, Washington Post]
  • Chicago mulls ordering private shopkeepers to provide bathroom access to non-customers who say they’ve got an emergency need. Too bad its own CTA is no-go zone [Steve Chapman]
  • Says a lot about why Obama CPSC ignored pleas for CPSIA relief: “US Product Safety Regulator Sneers at ‘Fabricated Outrage’ Over Regulations” [C. Ryan Barber, National Law Journal on Elliot Kaye comments]
  • “Implied certification” theory, okayed by SCOTUS in Universal Health Services last year, enables False Claims Act suits hinging on controversial interpretations of regulation [Federalist Society podcast with Marcia Madsen and Brian D. Miller] “A Convincing Case for Judicial Stays of Discovery in False Claims Act Qui Tam Litigation” [Stephen A. Wood, WLF]
  • Judge signals reluctance to dismiss hospital’s suit against Kamala Harris over her actions as California AG on behalf of SEIU in merger case [Bianca Bruno, Courthouse News via Sean Higgins/Washington Examiner, earlier]


  • There is a reason downtowns suck and should wither, that is bathroom access. I had intestinal issues for years and learned to avoid them. I’ve stuck to the burbs and big box places since then. Hell, if executives could comprehend how stupid locating back office operations in high rent districts is, they’d be Detroit. But no we need to get our name out there. Fine, move everyone with 6 digit salaries and leave the 5 digit ones in the outlying areas.

  • RE: Fare box Rules.

    There is no reason in the world that rider fees should be able to pay 35% of the costs of operating a bus line.

    The alternative is that taxpayers pick up even more of the costs of mass transit with increasing spiraling costs for lines that are even less profitable. There is no incentive for the MTA to run cost effective lines unless you put some impetus for them to do so.

    The odd thing is that when the MTA bought the Baltimore Transit Company, the pitch to taxpayers was that the MTA would be better able to run the transportation service better and more efficiently. The privately owned BTC was getting a subsidy from the City of Baltimore, but the MTA swore and promised that the MTA would eliminate that subsidy and make the MTA profitable. In their entire existence, the MTA has never been close to profitable. Not once.

    Eliminating the fare box rules allows the MTA to spend even more money with no return to the taxpayer.

  • Reapportionment in Maryland.

    A six-State compact sounds like indefinite delay. Nevertheless, it would not be unreasonable for Maryland Democrats to tie their reform to neighboring Pennsylvania, where Republican gerrymandering turns a roughly equal vote into a 13-5 Congressional edge.

    In the big leagues, Democratic California uses a non-partisan commission while Republican Texas uses a legislative gerrymander. Gerrymander disarmament should be mutual.