State Roundup, October 1, 2015

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STATES URGED TO ADOPT MD GUN LAWS: U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh on Wednesday called for other states to join Maryland in requiring licenses to purchase handguns, saying the rule works best to stem gun violence when it applies across jurisdictions, Josh Hicks reports for the Post.

House of Delegates Majority Whip Talmadge Branch of Baltimore was at the White House Wednesday for a state legislator briefing. He posted this pic on his Facebook page.

House of Delegates Majority Whip Talmadge Branch of Baltimore was at the White House Wednesday for a state legislator briefing. He posted this pic on his Facebook page.

NEW LAWS TAKE EFFECT: Chase Cook of the Annapolis Capital writes that October is heralded as the month of mischief and often the breaking point when the weather turns colder. But it’s also the time when new laws go into effect in Maryland. July gets all the glamour since it also typically marks new fiscal year, but starting today there are more civil liability protections when administering drug overdose medicine, hit-and-run suspect information can be released just like Amber alerts and you will be able to drive faster on some highways.

  • Capital News Service does a roundup of new laws that kick in today, including one that raises the speed limit on some roads to 70 mph and one that provides a defense as a victim of human trafficking to a person charged with prostitution. Also allowed will be a defense of marijuana if it is used for medical purposes. The article appears in MarylandReporter.com.
  • A new law that goes into effect today opens up gaming for nonprofits in Carroll County, but don’t expect to see casino nights for a cause here until at least early 2016. The law allows Carroll fire companies, nonprofits, hospitals and veterans organizations to hold up to four casino-style gaming nights per year, but so far none have been scheduled, Michel Elben reports in the Carroll County Times.
  • About a third of all Americans have a criminal record; less than 5% for violent crimes. Those of us who don’t have records are probably aware of some of the consequences, like fines, probation, jail time and parole. We may not be aware of collateral consequences that affect employment, public assistance, housing and voting rights.  Several new laws could allow Marylanders with criminal records to expunge or shield from public view certain parts of them. Sheilah Kast of WYPR-FM interviews a woman who is trying to clear her record.
  • Thousands of people have been trained to use a drug that prevents heroin overdoses, but many have faced a hurdle to obtaining naloxone — a doctor’s prescription. Andrea McDaniels of the Sun reports that under a Maryland law that takes effect today, doctors at local health departments around the state can write a blanket prescription that covers anyone who is trained on how to administer the drug, also known as Narcan. They simply need to present a card at the pharmacy showing they had been taught by a state-certified trainer.

NEW DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE: In an effort to provide a more “customer service” approach to business development in the state, the Department of Business and Economic Development is becoming part of a larger agency called the Department of Commerce, effective today, Anamika Roy reports for the Daily Record.

STATE BIZ REGS GET ANOTHER HEARING: For more than 4 1/2 hours Wednesday, members of a panel charged with reviewing Maryland’s regulatory climate heard story after story about how state regulations and lengthy permitting processes have cost businesses time, money and projects, Tamela Baker reports for the Hagerstown Herald Mail.

RX POT COMPANY HIRING: A Colorado-based company has started the hiring process for its Maryland medical marijuana operations, which could provide as many as 100 new jobs in Cecil County, Jane Bellmyer reports in the Cecil Whig. “Management jobs will start in January,” said Emily Cohen, director of business development for The Clinic Maryland, LLC.

EARLY VOTING SITE FIGHT: Two Democratic state lawmakers are planning to file emergency legislation to restore two heavily used early-voting sites dropped last week by the Republican majority on the Montgomery County Board of Elections, Bill Turque reports in the Post. State Sen. Rich Madaleno said Wednesday that when the general Assembly reconvenes in January, he and Del. Eric Luedtke will introduce a measure to expand the number of early voting sites in the county from nine to 11.

OBAMA HEADS TO FREDERICK FOR SERVICE: President Barack Obama will travel to Frederick County on Sunday to speak at an annual memorial service for fallen firefighters, at a time when firefighters in Western states continue to battle devastating wildfires, John Fritze reports in the Sun.

***MarylandReporter.com’s Len Lazarick will be on 1450 AM’s Eye on the Community in Frederick County from 5-6 p.m. today, Thursday, with Katherine Heerbrant. Live streaming.***

KAMENETZ WON’T MEET WITH HOGAN: There will be no face-to-face-to-face meeting between Gov. Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter  Franchot and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. Two weeks ago, Hogan joined Franchot in criticizing Kamenetz and the county schools system over lack of air conditioning in some of its buildings, Bryan Sears reports for the Daily Record.

DWYER GETS JAIL TIME: Former Anne Arundel County Del. Don Dwyer on Wednesday was sentenced to six months in jail for violating his probation in a drunken boating case. Dwyer, 57, of Pasadena, previously was ordered by the court to abstain from alcohol and stay away from businesses that serve alcohol after his guilty plea to operating a vessel while under the influence, reports Tim Pratt for the Annapolis Capital.

DEL. MCMILLAN GETS MISSING PUP BACK: Del. Herb McMillan took to social media Wednesday to find his lost dog, and his pleas for help were answered, Chase Cook of the Annapolis Capital reports. McMillan posted on his Facebook page that his dog Winston had run away Tuesday night. Winston was found later Wednesday by the delegate’s wife with his leash caught in the bushes off the path in the park.