State Roundup, April 8, 2016

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HOUSE OVERRIDES TWO VETOES: The Maryland House of Delegates voted along party lines Thursday to override both of Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes this session, a move that reflects the sometimes tense relations between the Republican governor and the Democrat-controlled General Assembly, CNS’s Lexie Schapitl writes in MarylandReporter.com.

AUTOMATIC VOTER SIGNUP BILL KILLED: The Maryland Senate on Thursday killed a bill that would have automatically registered people to vote when getting their driver’s license, Pamela Wood and Michael Dresser of the Sun report. Some senators, mainly Republicans, had raised concerns that non-citizens wouldn’t be weeded out of the voter rolls, because they can receive driver’s licenses. Concerns also were raised that domestic violence victims or people who want to keep their identity as private as possible would be automatically on voting databases.

Bowling caucus

BIPARTISAN BOWLING CAUCUS: Strange things happen at night in Annapolis. One of them is the bipartisan bowling caucus that includes some of the most liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans in the House of Delegates. Photo courtesy of Del. David Moon, hat tip to Del. Kathy Szeliga.

BEE PROTECTION BILL OK’d: Maryland is poised to become the first state to ban consumers from using a type of pesticide that’s believed to harm bees, following final approval in the General Assembly. Lawmakers gave the final OK to the Pollinator Protection Act on Thursday with a 98-39 vote in the House of Delegates. The House and Senate had previously approved versions of the bill, Pamela Wood reports for the Sun.

SICK LEAVE BILL MAY DIE: A bill that would require bosses to allow their workers to earn sick leave looks like it will die in the state Senate this year. Just two days ago, workers’ advocates were jubilant to get the bill through the House of Delegates, but Senate President Mike Miller threw cold water on hopes that it would pass his chamber this year, write Pamela Wood and Michael Dresser for the Sun.

RAPE & PARENTAL RIGHTS: Concerned with the due-process rights of alleged, uncharged rapists, a Senate panel on Thursday tightened pending legislation designed to make it easier for courts to strip parental rights from a mother or father who conceived the child through non-consensual intercourse, Steve Lash reports for the Daily Record.

CONSUMER ADVOCATES FIGHT BILL: A bill to change the way creditors garnish bank accounts has not faced opposition at committee hearings in the General Assembly, but consumer advocates are now mounting last-minute opposition after learning this week about the legislation’s existence, reports Heather Cobun for the Daily Record.

REZNIK INVITES PAYPAL: After PayPal announced North Carolina’s passage of a controversial new law limiting protections for LGBT people meant it would no longer open an operations center in Charlotte, Del. Kirill Reznik of Montgomery County is inviting the California-based company to open its center in Maryland, Aaron Kraut of Bethesda Beat writes.

PSC NOMINEE GETS SENATE OK: A “forgiving” state Senate voted Thursday to confirm an appointee of Gov. Larry Hogan to the powerful body that regulates utilities in Maryland, despite his acknowledged mistakes in email exchanges with his former administration colleagues, Michael Dresser of the Sun reports.

BUT SENATE NIXES GUN BOARD NOMINEE: Pamela Wood and Erin Cox of the Sun report that one of Gov. Larry Hogan’s appointees to a panel that awards concealed handgun permits was rejected Thursday by the Maryland Senate, but it’s unclear whether the vote will stand. The nomination of Richard Jurgena to the Handgun Permit Review Board became controversial after some senators questioned whether his personal opinions about gun laws would get in the way of his job.

  • The vote was 23 to 22 — one vote shy of a constitutional majority, because two of the 47 senators were not present. Republicans argued that a simple majority should be enough to approve the appointment and said they would appeal to the state attorney general, Ovetta Wiggins and Josh Hicks of the Post report.

MILLER GETS A CALL: Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports that Senate President Mike Miller was presiding over a busy legislative session that included a heated debate about Gov. Larry Hogan’s nominee to a handgun permit review board and a multi-million-dollar tax credit to an aerospace company. Then the call came in. From Air Force One. But it wasn’t from President Obama.

SANDERS ENDORSED BY 2 MD CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS: Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign announced support Thursday from several civil rights advocates in Baltimore, including Aaron Maybin and Kwame Rose. Maybin is a former NFL linebacker and founder of Project Mayhem. Rose is a prominent Baltimore activist who has been involved in the protests following the death of Freddie Gray last year, writes John Fritze for the Sun.

CLINTON IN MARYLAND: Democratic presidential front runner Hillary Clinton will make her first campaign appearance in Maryland on Sunday ahead of the state’s April 26 primary, John Fritze writes in the Sun.

SANDERS NARROWS CLINTON LEAD: Hillary Clinton has a clear but narrowing lead over Bernie Sanders three weeks before Maryland’s Democratic primary, according to a new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll, Fenit Nirappil and Emily Guskin report in the Post.

O’MALLEY MUM ON PRES BACKING: In his first televised interview since dropping out of the presidential race, former Gov. Martin O’Malley declined Thursday to choose between Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, Tim Prudente of the Sun reports.

EDWARDS DOUBLES FUND-RAISING: Rep. Donna F. Edwards doubled her fundraising in the first quarter of the year, raising $1.2 million as a series of public polls showed the race for U.S. Senate within the margins of error, writes John Fritze for the Sun.

SZELIGA AIRS FIRST AD: Republican Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga will begin airing her first television advertisement this weekend, an energetic introductory spot in which the state lawmaker rides a motorcycle, touts her status as a grandmother and criticizes Washington, John Fritze of the Sun is writing. The article is topped by the ad.

VAN HOLLEN ON AIR: Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s campaign for Senate launched a new television advertisement on Thursday that focuses on his effort in the General Assembly more than a decade ago to rewrite the state’s school funding formula, John Fritze of the Sun writes. The story is topped by the ad.

NO SENATE FAVORITE FOR CUMMINGS, YET: U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a deeply popular Democrat from Baltimore, said Thursday that he has not decided whether to endorse either candidate in the tightly contested Senate race to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D).

IVEY HITS $1M MARK: Congressional candidate Glenn F. Ivey announced Thursday that he raised $280,000 in the first quarter of 2016 for his campaign to succeed Rep. Donna F. Edwards, bringing his total fundraising to date to more than $1 million, Arelis Hernandez writes for the Post.

ON JAWANDO: Parts of Will Jawando’s biography are deja vu all over again: white Kansan mother, African father, wife named Michele. When then-Sen. Barack Obama hired Jawando as an aide in 2005, the future president introduced him as “apparently my long-lost brother,” writes Bill Turque in this profile of the Democratic candidate for the 8th District Congressional seat.

ON MATTHEWS: Here’s five things to know about 8th District Congressional candidate Kathleen Matthews, courtesy of the Washington Post.