State Roundup, December 8, 2016

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PAID SICK LEAVE PROPOSAL: Gov. Larry Hogan (R) will propose legislation requiring companies with at least 50 employees to provide five days a year of paid sick leave, triggering a likely standoff with Democratic lawmakers who tried to pass a more expansive law this year, Josh Hicks and Ovetta Wiggins of the Post report.

Del. Barbara Robinson

Barbara Robinson

SENATE REPLACEMENTS: Del. Barbara Robinson took a step Wednesday toward filling the state Senate seat vacated by new Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. The Democratic central committee for the district voted, 5-2, to recommend Robinson over former City Councilman William “Pete” Welch, Luke Broadwater and Erin Cox of the Sun report.

MIKULSKI BIDS FAREWELL: U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, delivering an emotional farewell speech on the Senate floor Wednesday after four decades in Congress, called for a return to civility in politics, and vowed to continue serving Maryland as a private citizen, John Fritze of the Sun writes.

UPDATE BOOZE LAWS: Maryland lawmakers should take note of what is happening in West Virginia, opines the editorial board for the Frederick News-Post. Brewers, winemakers and distillers in the Free State would also benefit by proposals to continue updating alcohol laws here. Ben Savage, president of the Maryland Brewers Association and head marketer for Frederick’s Flying Dog Brewery, calls the state’s antiquated assortment of alcohol statutes “Franken-laws.”

CREATING WOMEN CANDIDATES: Emerge Maryland, the organization that trains Democratic women to run for office, announced its 2017 class Wednesday, and — with 23 candidates from eight jurisdictions, it is the largest class since the training began five years ago., Luke Broadwater reports in the Sun. Past graduates include state Del. Brooke Lierman of Southeast Baltimore and Baltimore City Councilwoman Shannon Sneed of East Baltimore.

HOGAN & TRUMP: Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Wednesday that he plans to attend the Army-Navy game on Saturday in Baltimore but does not think he will have an opportunity to discuss the state’s needs with President-elect Donald Trump, who is also scheduled to attend the game, writes Ovetta Wiggins in the Post.

HOW PUBLIC FINANCING WON IN HOWARD: Howard County voters approved setting up a system of public financing for people running for County Council and executive with a safe 7,500-vote margin, though the measure actually lost among people who voted on Election Day by 2,000 votes. Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com writes that Question A proponents — a coalition of good government and progressive groups outspent the organized opponents — mostly Republicans — at least 10 to 1 if in-kind support from progressive organizations is counted.

PUGH BACKS ONGOING POLICE TALKS: Baltimore City Mayor Catherine E. Pugh affirmed her support Wednesday for ongoing negotiations between the city and the U.S. Department of Justice to lock in police reforms. But the new mayor said she does not want Baltimore to be forced to pay twice for changes already in place, writes Yvonne Wenger for the Sun.

BPW DEFERS ACTION ON BA CO CENTER: Sending a message to Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, the Maryland Board of Public Works deferred action Wednesday on a proposed $2.3 million state contribution to a new horse riding center in Cockeysville, Michael Dresser reports in the Sun.

MO CO MINIMUM WAGE HIKE DELAYED: Montgomery County Council member Roger Berliner, installed Tuesday by his colleagues for a one-year term as president, wasted no time exercising his prerogative by holding up action Wednesday on a closely watched bill to raise the county’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, Bill Turque writes in the Post.

HYATTSVILLE GIVES NON-CITIZENS VOTE: Hyattsville has become the first municipality in Prince George’s County to extend voting privileges to non-U.S. citizens in municipal elections, joining six other Maryland cities that passed similar measures years ago, Arelis Hernandez of the Post is reporting. The 11-member council voted unanimously Monday to allow residents to register if they provide government identification and proof of residency, including a sworn affidavit.