Legislation supported by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and Gov. Larry Hogan would give new powers to the comptroller’s office to combat tax fraud. Testifying Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, Franchot, a Democrat, asked lawmakers to “give me the power to make a difference here.” At a summit he hosted last month, Franchot said it’s “an existential threat to our agency that tax fraud is increasing.”
Democratic lawmakers in Annapolis announced five priorities Tuesday aimed at resisting policy efforts by President Donald Trump’s administration and the Republican-controlled Congress. One would withdraw all of Maryland’s past calls for a constitutional convention, another would direct the attorney general to oppose “harmful” federal policies, two would create commissions to monitor health and financial regulatory developments at the federal level, and the fifth would instruct the state’s congressional delegation and governor to resist any effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Maryland schools are often touted as some of the best in the country, but beneath the surface, it is becoming increasingly difficult to retain experienced teachers during the first few years into the profession despite receiving relatively high pay among teachers nationwide.
Two of Maryland’s recently re-elected Democratic congressmen raised the majority of their individual contributions from out-of-state donors, with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, an incumbent representing the 5th District, garnering the largest proportion.
While Maryland voted for the Democratic candidate in 2016 for the seventh straight presidential election, a deepening Republican loyalty in more rural areas of the state indicates increased polarization throughout Maryland. While liberal-leaning urban areas helped Hillary Clinton secure Maryland’s 10 electoral votes and Democratic candidates won all but one U.S. House seat Tuesday, the state’s liberal base didn’t perform according to expectations.
There is a clear gap in ideology between the state’s blue urban center and its red outskirts, as shown by the Trump signs on the Eastern Shore. A major reason is economics, said Stella Rouse, the director of the University of Maryland’s Center for American Politics and Citizenship.
Today, the number of women in Maryland’s congressional delegation is down to two – and after Tuesday’s balloting, it could be zero. Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s career as the longest-serving woman in Congress is set to be followed by Maryland’s first all-male congressional delegation since 1973.
A state workgroup is recommending that juvenile victims of human trafficking will not be prosecuted for sex crimes in Maryland, despite objections from law enforcement. From 2012 to October of this year, 82 girls in Maryland were confirmed as victims of human trafficking. Police say youth victims of human trafficking are usually recovered in areas near airports with higher population density, and often come from low-income families with a history of neglect and substance abuse.
This Saturday, many of the laws passed during this year’s General Assembly session go into effect. Some key new laws Oct. 1 include measures to : require ignition interlocks for drunk driving and increase penalties for killing people while driving drunk; to
make drivers carry cards showing current insurance coverage; to expand protections for equal pay for equal work and employees discussing their salaries; to improve public oversight of the police; to encourage more reporting of child abuse and neglect; and
withhold tax refunds for people with outstanding arrest warrants;. Other new laws deal with solar hookups, pesticides that kill bees, freedom of the press for students, and gambling on card games and mahjong at home (no kidding).