LAWMAKERS QUESTION AMAZON PROPOSAL: Lawmakers expressed unease Wednesday about the $5 billion cost of Gov. Larry Hogan’s package to lure Amazon.com’s second headquarters to Montgomery County, even as the administration unveiled a new study saying the project would add nearly $8 billion a year to state paychecks, reports Robert McCartney for the Post.
- Scott Dance of the Sun writes that representatives of the Republican governor told lawmakers Wednesday that the $3 billion in tax breaks that Gov. Hogan is offering to entice Amazon would benefit all of Maryland, not just the affluent Washington suburb. “If Montgomery County wins, every corner of the state of Maryland wins, and wins significantly,” Commerce Secretary Michael Gill said.
- Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett appeared in state House and Senate committee hearings Wednesday to urge representatives to pass a proposed package of tax credits and exemptions to help convince Amazon to build its second headquarters in the county, reports Andrew Metcalf for Bethesda Beat.
HOGAN URGES GUN CONTROL MEASURES: Gov. Larry Hogan urged state lawmakers Wednesday to pass two measures designed to take guns away from people identified as dangerous, and proposed spending $125 million to enhance security at schools in the wake of a mass shooting that killed 17 people at a Florida high school, Erin Cox of the Sun reports.
- Hogan also said that he opposes President Trump’s proposal to arm teachers and instead wants to bolster school safety by adding more metal detectors, panic buttons, security cameras and secure doors and windows in schools across the state, reports Ovetta Wiggins in the Post.
- Steve Lash of the Daily Record writes that legislation to ban the possession or use of bump stocks on guns drew heavy criticism Wednesday from gun-rights advocates who said the bill could be dangerous for weaker shooters and turn sportsmen into criminals while doing nothing to prevent mass shootings.
CYBERBULLYING BILL: The Maryland Senate is poised today to approve a proposal that calls for stiffer punishments for people who cyberbully children, a measure that seeks to strengthen a law the General Assembly passed five years ago, Michael Dresser of the Sun is reporting. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bobby Zirkin, said the 2013 bill was “too weak” and fails to address all of the harassment young people face on social media.
DRUG MAKERS WARN ON PRESCRIPTION BILL: Drug manufacturers warned legislators Wednesday that a proposal aimed at keeping prescription drug prices low could harm Maryland’s biotechnology industry, writes Tim Curtis for the Daily Record. The legislation would create a commission to review drug prices in Maryland, but that could decrease outside investment in the state’s industry, advocates said.
CASTLE DOCTRINE: When should a resident be permitted to use deadly force against an intruder? Whenever an unlawful entry is made, according to legislation proposed by Del. Neil Parrott, R-Washington. Tamela Baker of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail reports that Parrott made his case this week in the House Judiciary Committee, telling members that 34 other states already have the “castle doctrine,” which permits deadly force.
HOGAN LUNCHES WITH MIDSHIPMEN: More than 4,000 midshipmen sat for lunch Wednesday inside King Hall at the Naval Academy, someone introduced a special guest joining the brigade — Gov. Larry Hogan, Rachel Chason of the Annapolis Capital writes. Hogan spoke to an ethics class at the academy in the morning and decided to join a group of midshipmen from Maryland for lunch.
- Annapolis Capital photographer Paul Gillespie shoots a series of photographs of Gov. Larry Hogan as he lunches with midshipmen in Annapolis
NIGHT OF LIVING DEAD? Samuel Bogley, John Leopold, Jake Mohorovic, Diane DeCarlo are just a few among a the wave of the former Democratic officeholders who stepped forward to attempt political comebacks. The candidate deadline – and the few days preceding it – began to feel a little like the Night of the Living Dead, writes Josh Kurtz for Maryland Matters.
- Bogley was a staunch antiabortion advocate who clashed with his pro-choice boss on the topic even before the unlikely pair took office in 1979. Once in Annapolis, he was quickly sidelined — largely regulated to ceremonial duties and sometimes left with whole days blank on his office calendar, Rachel Chason of the Post writes.
SEN. YOUNG ALLEGATIONS SPUR BACKLASH: A nine-second video clip of Sen. Ron Young (D-District 3) making allegations that a potential opponent’s restaurants employed undocumented immigrants may prove to be the first “shots fired” in what is shaping up to be a heated campaign, Kelsi Loos reports for the Frederick News-Post. Fast-food franchise co-owner and District 3 candidate Craig Giangrande (R) shared the video clip on his Facebook page Monday, saying Young was “racially profiling” his employees.
GRASSO’s RUN FOR SENATE: Arundel County Councilman John Grasso filed his candidacy for District 32 state senator, a turn away from his previously announced intentions to run for Anne Arundel County executive. The Republican was ready for the last-minute switch — he has been renting an apartment in the district since May 2017 and is looking for a more permanent house. He sat down with Schuh — who he often spars with over county issues — and “came to the conclusion that I can serve the state and county better” in a Senate race. He wasn’t the only one, Danielle Ohl writes in the Annapolis Capital.
THE HONORABLE JOHN ASTLE: The editorial board of the Annapolis Capital praises the long public service and honorable actions of John Astle, the long time state senator who lost his primary race for Annapolis mayor to Gavin Buckley, writing that he was “always honorable, approachable and ready to listen, he looked out for his constituents and did what he said he was going to do. Such traits stood him in good stead for an admirable legislative career that started in the House of Delegates during Ronald Reagan’s first term and will wind up — as he announced on the floor of the state Senate earlier this week — after this year’s election.”
HOGAN CRITICIZES BAKER: Gov. Larry Hogan chastised a rival, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker (D) on Wednesday, saying Baker should have axed schools CEO Kevin Maxwell “a long time ago,” Bruce DePuyt reports for Maryland Matters.
POLL: BAKER STILL AHEAD: Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker remains ahead in a swollen pack of Democratic candidates for governor, finding support among more than a quarter of likely voters in the June primary election, a new Mason-Dixon poll shows. William Zorzi of Maryland Matters writes that Baker, who has emerged as the front-runner in other early polling, is favored by 26% of voters statewide, trailed by Baltimore County Kevin B. Kamenetz with 15% and Ben Jealous, the former president of the NAACP, with 14%, the poll shows. The margin of error was 4.5 points.
MANNO BACKED BY PROGRESSIVE GROUP: State Sen. Roger Manno won the endorsement Thursday of Maryland Working Families in his bid for the 6th Congressional District, the latest indication he is locking down progressive support in the closely watched federal race. The seat is currently held by Democrat John Delaney, who is running for president.
CROWDED MO CO FIELDS: A veritable phone book of candidates has filed to run in the primaries for Montgomery county executive and County Council, buoyed by open seats created by voter-approved term limits and the promise of public campaign financing, Jennifer Barrios of the Post is reporting.
- Two Montgomery County officeholders—State’s Attorney John McCarthy and District 17 state Sen. Cheryl Kagan—emerged with no opposition in the June 26 primary or the November general election, guaranteeing both another four-year term in office, write Louis Peck and Andrew Metcalf for Bethesda Beat.
- As it has done for months, MarylandReporter.com offers a comprehensive list of candidates with photos, websites and email addresses through its Montgomery Reporter franchise.
PUGH ADDS 20 JOB SLOTS: Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh is adding 20 positions to divisions within her office as part of a move to expand city services and better promote them. The new positions include eight neighborhood liaisons, six media and communications representatives and five homeless outreach workers, Luke Broadwater of the Sun reports.