SOME VETOES, SOME SIGNATURES, SOME NOT: Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday he will let a series of bills he dislikes become law without his signature, avoiding a showdown with the General Assembly over vetoes, Pamela Wood of the Sun writes. Among them are a package that will send hundreds of millions of dollars to Baltimore City to expedite demolition of vacant housing, redevelop blighted neighborhoods and pay for park renovations and after-school programs.
- The state’s fiscal 2017 capital budget — which includes funding for the downtown Frederick hotel and conference center — is among the 22 bills Hogan said Tuesday he will allow to become law without his signature, writes Danielle Gaines for the Frederick News Post.
- David Collins of WBAL-TV reports that of 30 bills that have already landed on Hogan’s desk this session, he has signed three, vetoed two and will let the rest go into law without his signature. Bills that will take effect without the governor’s signature includes those mandating funds to demolish vacant buildings in Baltimore City, something his administration is already committed to do through policy.
- Hogan announced Tuesday he will veto a bill aimed at changing the membership of the Anne Arundel County School Board Nominating Commission, citing legal and philosophical reasons, Amanda Yeager reports for the Annapolis Capital. Hogan said state legal counsel told him removing five of the commission’s members before their terms are up, as the legislation requires, “is clearly unconstitutional.”
PAID SICK LEAVE PASSES HOUSE: The House of Delegates easily passed a bill requiring paid sick leave for all but the smallest businesses in Maryland, rejecting Republican warnings that it was job killer, reports Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com. In the 84-54 vote, five Democrats joined all 49 Republicans present opposing the bill, which faces an uncertain fate in the Senate Finance Committee.
- Senate Finance Committee chairman Thomas M. Middleton said he wants to at least give the proposal a hearing with his panel before the session ends Monday so that lawmakers can identify concerns and address them in preparation for further consideration next year, Josh Hicks reports for the Post.
- For the past three years, lawmakers have killed bills requiring sick leave for workers, but the issue picked up momentum in Annapolis this year. Advocates hope that momentum will continue in the final week of the General Assembly session as they lobby the state Senate to follow the lead of the House, writes Pamela Wood in the Sun.
- But business representatives are worried the bill, which grandfathers Montgomery County’s more stringent regulations, will leave Montgomery businesses at a competitive disadvantage, Aaron Kraut of Bethesda Beat reports.
TAX RELIEF, REDISTRICTING REFORM REMAIN OPEN: Gov. Hogan was clearly picking his battles Tuesday afternoon, claiming early success in this year’s Maryland General Assembly primarily because of the swift passage of the new state budget. But he urged lawmakers to use the remaining days of the session to get to work on two issues he said were important to Marylanders: income-tax relief and redistricting reform, reports Tamela Baker for the Hagerstown Herald Mail.
RURAL HEALTH CARE STUDY: A bill providing for a study of health care in rural areas that would also put off any possible partial closing of the hospital in Chestertown has passed the Maryland state Senate and is currently before a House of Delegates committee, reports Jack Shaum for the Easton Star Democrat.
POLICE REFORM IN PERIL: The future of Maryland’s police accountability bill — a priority for lawmakers this year — could hinge on whether the measure should require Baltimore City to place civilians on police review boards, reports Ovetta Wiggins in the Post. The legislation passed out of committee this week but ran into trouble on the Senate floor because it would allow cities and counties to decide for themselves whether to include civilians on such panels and whether to allow them to vote.
- The Senate sent the bill back to committee late Monday night — a procedural move that at this stage of the session typically seals the demise of legislation. But the move appears to be more about sending a message to city lawmakers to accept the current compromise proposal, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.
CLEAN ENERGY BILL MOVES FORWARD: The Maryland Senate is moving forward on a proposal to increase the number of clean energy jobs in the state, despite objections that it will cause higher electricity costs. But, writes Bryan Renbaum for MarylandReporter.com, the bill also generated some trash talk because some of those “clean” energy jobs could be at trash incinerators that generate power.
ASSAULT POLICY REVAMP DIES: A bill that would require Maryland institutions of higher education to revamp their sexual assault policies will not receive a vote this year, setting up a debate between university officials and activists about how to address the problem on college campuses, Josh Magness reports for Capital News Service.
HOGAN BREAKS GRIDLOCK WITH BARE HAND: Erin Cox of the Sun writes that Gov. Larry Hogan used his honorary ninth-degree Taekwondo black belt to usher in the state’s first Taekwondo Day honoring a martial art developed in the home country of Hogan’s wife, Yumi. To add a bit of politics to the day, the boards that he broke were labeled “Partisan Gridlock.” The video tops the story.
- Danielle Gaines of the Frederick News-Post has the video too on her Facebook page (below) if you’ve used up your Sun allotment of stories.
BPW EXPECTED TO OK PURPLE LINE PACT: The lengthy and complicated Purple Line agreement is expected to be approved today by the state’s Board of Public Works, reports Andrew Metcalf for Bethesda Beat. The $5.6 billion, 36-year agreement is more than 800 pages, with an additional 1,200 pages of technical provisions and design plans.
2nd BIGGEST GAMING MONTH: Maryland’s gaming industry had its second biggest month ever, bringing in $97.85 million in revenue in March, Jonathan Munshaw reports for the Baltimore Business Journal. The strong showing trailed only July 2015, when the state’s casinos brought in over $98.9 million in revenue, according to data released by Maryland Lottery and Gaming on Tuesday.
EDWARDS ATTACKS VAN HOLLEN: Three weeks before Maryland’s up-for-grabs Democratic Senate primary, Rep. Donna Edwards has bought and broadcast her first television ad — a sharp attack on rival Rep. Chris Van Hollen. Rachel Weiner of the Post writes that in the ad, Edwards accuses Van Hollen of backing down against the National Rifle Association, considering cuts to Social Security and taking money from Wall Street banks.
- The Sun’s John Fritze writes that the 30-second spot repeats themes the Prince George’s County Democrat has been sounding for months in the contest to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski — specifically arguing that Van Hollen is an establishment Washington figure and that she represents an outside voice.
VAN HOLLEN STRESSES CONSTITUENT SERVICE: Seeking election to the U.S. Senate, 8th District U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen made a campaign swing through Western Maryland Tuesday where he said he intends to maintain strong constituent services if elected, writes Greg Larry for the Cumberland Times News.
ON JAMIE RASKIN: The photo from Life magazine hangs on the wall of state Sen. Jamie B. Raskin’s Annapolis office. It shows his liberal-activist parents cooling their feet in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, listening to Martin Luther King Jr. at the August 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. So begins Bill Turque’s profile of state Sen. Jamie Raskin, now contender in the Democratic primary in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District.
ON JOEL RUBIN: Former State Department official Joel Rubin is running for the Democratic Congressional nomination in Maryland’s 8th District. Bill Turque offers up five things you should know about the candidate.