ONLINE FUND-RAISING ERRORS: Nearly 1 in 10 Maryland state lawmakers has solicited donations online during the current legislative session, records show, a possible violation of a state ban on fundraising during that 90-day period, Fenit Nirappil reports for the Post.
TEARDOWN FUNDS: Gov. Larry Hogan is calling for the state to not only help finance the demolition of vacant buildings in Baltimore but also to pay for a similar, smaller effort in a few small towns and older suburbs in Western Maryland. He submitted supplemental budget proposal to the General Assembly that includes $18 million for the planned demolition of vacant buildings in Baltimore and $3.5 million to knock down empty, dilapidated buildings in other areas around the state, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post is reporting.
FAIRNESS TO RENTERS: A coalition of activist groups calling themselves the 7,000 Families Campaign is pushing legislation aimed at making it more difficult for landlords to evict renters after a study showed widespread problems with Baltimore’s Rent Court system, Luke Broadwater reports in the Sun. The legislation, sponsored in the Senate by mayoral candidate Catherine Pugh and in the House by Del. Sandy Rosenberg, would force landlords to provide renters with a 14-day notice and proof the property is in compliance with Maryland lead laws before attempting eviction.
- Marc Steiner of WEAA-FM takes a look at the bill with Jessica Lewis, housing organizer at the Right to Housing Alliance; Molly Amster, Baltimore director of Jews United for Justice; and Felicia Lockett, member of the Bristol House Tenant Association.
SPLIT OVER CHILD NEGLECT REPORTS: Child advocates opposed doctors and psychologists Thursday over legislation that would require agencies investigating potential child abuse or neglect to file a complaint with a licensing board when they have “substantial grounds to believe” that a health-care provider, police officer or teacher “knowingly failed” to report the suspected abuse or neglect, Steve Lash of the Daily Record reports.
TAX BREAKS FOR NEW MANUFACTURERS: Legislation that aims to use tax breaks to lure manufacturers to Maryland has the potential to bring new business to Anne Arundel County, Amanda Yeager of the Annapolis Capital reports. Lawmakers are considering two bills, including one introduced by Gov. Larry Hogan, that offer a decade-long property tax exemption for manufacturers who decide to open in the state.
FOOD TRUCKS’ FOOD FIGHT: If Dave Pulford, owner of the Upslidedown Dave food truck and president of the Maryland Mobile Food Vending Association, wanted to serve sliders from his food truck anywhere in Maryland, he would have to obtain 24 licenses — one for each of the state’s counties and Baltimore City. A new bill in the General Assembly would mean he would only need one to operate across the state, Sarah Meehan of the Sun writes.
- Bryan Sears reports in the Daily Record that food truck operators across the state could pay less in licensing fees under a bill being considered in the General Assembly. But concerns expressed by brick-and-mortar restaurateurs over potentially high costs for them and fewer health inspections for mobile food operations have the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee calling for a work group to resolve the issue.
LIMITS ON TESTING TIME: Instead of waiting for a state commission to finish studying overtesting in Maryland’s public schools, legislators working with teachers and parents are pushing a standardized testing limit of 2% of annual instructional time, reports Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com
OLDER DRIVER SAFETY: The mother of a 23-year-old killed in Annapolis last year and Americans for Older Driver Safety are advocating for more stringent license renewal policies for senior drivers. A briefing in the House of Delegates was held just a couple of blocks from the site of the accident that killed the woman’s daughter. It was her first time speaking publicly about her daughter’s death, Elisha Sauers reports in the Capital.
USE OF LIVE ANIMALS: Maryland legislators are considering a bill that would end the use of medical training on live animals at Johns Hopkins University, one of the few remaining institutions where the practice remains. Sarah Gantz of the Baltimore Business Journal reports that HB 289 would prohibit a medical school from using live or dead animals to teach surgical procedures if an alternative method is in use at another medical school in the state.
SOLAR CONNECTIONS: Solar workers and utility representatives met with legislators in Annapolis on Thursday to show support for a bill that would require electric companies to complete the process of interconnecting customers’ solar panel systems within 20 business days, or about 30 calendar days, CNS’s Leo Traub writes in the Daily Record.
PUBLIC NOTICES PUSH, PUSHBACK: Montgomery County and state lawmakers say publishing public notices in newspapers is an ineffective, costly and obsolete process, so they’re pursuing state legislation to end the requirement, Aaron Kraut reports for Bethesda Beat.
- The Montgomery Sentinel, which gets the majority of Montgomery County’s legal notice money, published an article by Danica Roem titled “Killing the Press!” It quotes Sentinel Newspapers CEO Lynn Kapiloff: “This is yet another direct attempt to destroy the free press in our state. The government is trying to control all access to public information to the detriment of residents of our state.”
TEACHERS UNION BACKS RASKIN: John Fritze of the Sun reports that the national political arm of Maryland’s largest teachers union, one of the state’s most politically active labor groups, endorsed state Sen. Jamie Raskin’s bid for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District on Thursday.
CANDIDATE SEEKS TO OUST DELANEY: A Cumberland man says he was inspired to run for Maryland’s 6th Congressional District seat when he heard incumbent John Delaney lives outside the district, in Potomac. Republican Harold Painter, 54, is hoping to take on Democrat Delaney in the upcoming general election for Maryland’s 6th District, which includes Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties, as well as parts of Frederick and Montgomery counties, Kelsi Loos reports in the Frederick News Post.
BLOGGERS BY POLS’ DOMAIN NAMES: An article by CJ Lovelace of the Hagerstown Herald Mail highlights a reason why in this day and age it is important to be master of your domain. Lovelace reports that a blogger and former candidate has bought several website domains using the names of current Washington County Board of Education members and candidates. Most now link to the blogger’s website.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Del. Mary Beth Carozza on Saturday and Del. Brooke Lierman on Sunday.