State Roundup, March 30, 2016

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TIME TO OVERRIDE VETOES: Legislation that would usher in a series of spending mandates, adopt a new way to rank transportation projects and strip some of the governor’s appointment powers, among other bills, could be presented to Gov. Hogan by the end of the week. That would give the governor a week to veto the bills or let them become law — and allow lawmakers enough time to reverse any vetoes with a three-fifths vote of each chamber, Michael Dresser, Pamela Wood and Erin Cox report for the Sun.

  • Normally, bills are sent to the governor within 20 days after the end of the session. The governor then has 30 days to sign them, veto them or allow them to become law without a signature. If they send the bills to Hogan early to try to override any vetoes, Democrats will once again be using their political muscle — much as they did at the beginning of the legislative session in overturning several of Hogan’s 2015 vetoes, reports Ovetta Wiggins for the Post.

BUDGET GETS FINAL OK: Maryland lawmakers gave final approval to the state budget on Tuesday, finishing their most important task nearly two weeks before the end of the General Assembly session, reports Pamela Wood and Erin Cox for the Sun.

Ferguson Republican caucus

From Sen. Bill Ferguson’s Facebook page (Ferguson is center at end of table): “Here is why Annapolis is such a more effective place than Washington. The Senate Republicans asked me to come to their caucus this morning to brief them on the Baltimore Revitalization package. We had a frank, honest, and candid conversation about the programs, the funding, and the plan. I was thoroughly appreciative of their clear concern for all of Maryland. While some may end up voting against the bills, it won’t be because my colleagues don’t care about the challenges. Where they could have chosen to not engage, my Republican colleagues truly wanted to understand the importance of these bills, and I thank them for it.”

MAKERS TAX BREAKS NIXED:  A state Senate committee decided to put off any action on proposed tax breaks for manufacturers until at least next year, deciding there isn’t enough time before the end of the 2016 legislative session on April 11 to craft legislation, Michael Dresser is reporting in the Sun.

BENT OF GUN BOARD DRAWS CONCERN: Five of Gov. Larry Hogan’s appointments to the Maryland Handgun Permit Review Board have a number of Democratic legislators expressing concerns the panel will be more receptive to approving conceal-carry permits, reports Bryan Sears for Daily Record.

STALKING BILL: Heather Cobun of the Daily Record reports that causing serious emotional distress, even without an overt threat of physical harm, may soon be categorized as stalking under Maryland law if cross-filed bills continue to receive support in the General Assembly.

ILLEGAL REDISTRICTING REFORM? A lawyer for Maryland’s General Assembly has cast doubt on the legality of Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposal to take politics out of the redistricting process by shifting control from the governor and legislature to a nonpartisan commission, Josh Hicks writes for the Post.

FROSH JOINS NATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE FIGHT: A coalition of Democratic attorneys general in 16 states announced Tuesday an unprecedented campaign to pursue companies that challenge the catastrophic climate change narrative, raising concerns over free speech and the use of state authority to punish political foes, writes Valerie Richardson in the Washington Times.

DELANEY, HOGAN & TRUMP: Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler, of WYPR-FM, talk about Rep. John Delaney’s most recent stunt — the billboard that circled the Statehouse — to get Gov. Larry Hogan to take a stand on Donald Trump’s GOP candidacy. And they ponder whether the congressman has an ulterior motive.

MIKULSKI ON THE MOVE: Retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski will continue her Maryland Jobs and College Affordability Tour in Western Maryland this week to discuss her fight to support jobs today through federal investments in communities and jobs tomorrow with access to affordable higher education. Mikulski will visit Garrett College and Allegany College of Maryland, according to the Cumberland Times News.

EDWARDS, VAN HOLLEN DEBATES CONTINUE: Reps. Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen, the two Democratic candidates running for Maryland’s open Senate seat, clashed over the outside political money that has been increasingly working its way into the high-profile race in a lively televised debate broadcast in Washington and Baltimore on Tuesday, writes John Fritze for the Sun.

ENDORSEMENT GATHERING: In an angry election year, it’s unclear how much weight political endorsements carry. But with a crowded Democratic primary race in Maryland’s 4th Congressional district, candidates are trying to build all the momentum they can, writes Arelis Hernandez.

ACTION IN THE 8TH: Del. Kumar Barve says he understands that state Sen. Jamie Raskin, like all candidates, is eager to put his record in the most favorable light for voters, writes Bill Turque in the Post. But a set of television ads that proclaim Raskin “the only” progressive in the 8th District Democratic congressional primary are over the line, he says.

  • District 8 Democrat Will Jawando, who is running for Congress, has gone up on cable with a biographical spot. The ad, called “Dreams,” tells the 30-second version of his life, from a single-parent household where money was tight to Senate and White House staff jobs with Barack Obama, Bill Turque of the Post writes. The brief is topped by the ad.

HOYER ON TRUMP & HOUSE: U.S. House of Representatives Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said Monday that either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz at the head of the GOP ticket could produce a Democratic majority in the House, writes CNS’s Rebecca Rainey in MarylandReporter.com. Hoyer, the second-most powerful Democrat in the House, said at a press roundtable with college reporters that a Trump or Cruz nomination would be so polarizing that it would harm Republicans seeking re-election to the House.