Unbid state roads contract pulled from Board of Public Works schedule after questions arise over Secretary Rahn’s relationship with winner, handling of process; despite hope for extensive reforms, Metro will instead see more modest changes in governance; Gov. Hogan to choose ex-Sen. Oaks’ successor between former Del. Jill Carter and Joyce Smith; Sierra Club back Del. Miller for U.S. House seat; California senator backing Alsobrooks for Prince George’s exec; fired Arundel hearing officer says County Exec Schuh tried to influence decisions on medical marijuana business variances as County Council takes up Schuh bill throwing roadblocks into their placement; and interim Baltimore County Schools Superintendent White named to post.
Transportation Secretary Rahn sought ethics clearance after transportation officials awarded no-bid job to his former employer; Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative generated $4 billion for involved states, including Maryland; College Republicans say clean energy is a priority for them; internal investigation into harassment claim against judge to end as he announces retirement; eight hopefuls seek to be named to former Sen. Oaks’ seat as interviews take place today; House candidate Trone fills campaign coffers with $3 million of own money, while Aruna Miller gets more in individual donations; and Arundel County Exec Schuh submits legislation to make it difficult for medical marijuana to be grown and sold in county.
Federal appeals court rules Maryland’s generic drug price-gouging law as unconstituional; Ben Jealous picks up MSEA endorsement for governor; Maryland GOP ad campaign targets only Democratic woman running for 6th Congressional District; governor’s signature would give Maryland-based companies a tax break; measure would offer a boost to Maryland’s film industry; Secretary Rahn waived bid process as former employer becomes recommended contractor; Del. Parrott asks Gov. Hogan to veto bill to ban conversion therapy; state considers phasing out cash tolls; five Arundel lawmakers in the General Assembly leaving office this year; and Vicki Almond, Jim Brochin trade fund-raising barbs in race for Baltimore County exec.
Effort to limit teen marriage in Maryland failed amid concerns from abortion rights, women’s groups; new law requires universities in Maryland to develop provisions for better handling of sexual assault cases; states to collaborate on plan to reduce Conowingo Dam pollution; Maryland switches representation on Metro board; Gov. Hogan wields his bipartisanship; in dispute with Republican incumbent senator, Hogan says he’ll back primary foe; Sen. Brochin endorsed by Attorney General Frosh in race for Baltimore County exec while Vicki Almond picks up teachers union backing; and U.S. Rep. Cummings returns to Washington after three-month absence.
Hogan still #2 governor in latest national poll, Sen. Cardin at 50% approval; sponsor of lab animal adoption bill blames Johns Hopkins University for watered down final version; with $15 minimum wage failing, business groups pretty upbeat about session; measure to prevent employers from asking workers to waive future rights to come forward on harassment complaints awaits Gov. Hogan’s signature; Frederick delegation members mull failed bills they hope to revive; federal budget fails again to include oyster reef construction funds; former Sen. Oaks joins effort to have name removed from ballot; and Sierra Club of Maryland backs Donna Edwards for Prince George’s County exec.
During Tuesday bill signing with Democratic leaders, Republican governor touts successful session and bipartisanship to address school safety, health care exchange crisis, tax hikes from federal over haul; bill making it illegal for police to have sex with those in custody also passes; new law would allow some Marylanders to get free community college tuition; bill to add display of a noose to hate crime law stalls; three former constituents of ex-Sen. Oaks sue to remove his name from the ballot; D.C. pot activist moves to Salisbury to help opponent of U.S. Rep. Harris will election; and Rockville to allow voters to vote by mail.
As lawmakers sign off after another 90-day session, they leave Annapolis having passed crime bills, school safety bills and attempting to fix the state’s medical marijuana industry; legislature sends to Gov. Hogan a bill to create a panel to probe Baltimore City police corruption; attempts to raise the minimum marriage age fails; as General Assembly passes bill to raise election security, congressional democrats ask Hogan to do the same; with failure of redistricting reform, Hogan says he hopes Supreme Court case prevails; lawmakers agree to allow sale of rest area naming rights; and as union targets Senate President Mike Miller’s re-election, Comptroller Peter Franchot joins in, vowing to campaign against him.
The last day: With a record 3,101 bill introduced, guns and crime top list of high-profile unfinished business; meanwhile many high-stakes bills – including $8.5 billion tax lure for Amazon HQ and Metro funding – pass; Maryland could be first state in country to regulate political ads on Facebook; General Assembly expected to pass overhaul of its own sexual harassment policy; tax relief plan doesn’t sit well with everyone; lockbox OK’d for education funds; puppy mills and finding homes for lab animals addressed; a modified crime package passes; $15 minimum wage doesn’t make it this year; Curt Anderson remains city delegation leader; this may be U.S. Rep. Hoyer’s last shot at No. 1 House slot; and Montgomery considers streamlining zoning process to attract “signature HQs” like Amazon.
General Assembly overrides Gov. Hogan’s veto of bill stripping BPW authority on school construction. But in a twist, Republican Del. McDonough voted for the override and Sen. Muse did not vote at all; Gov. Hogan signs a bunch of bills into law, lets others become law without his signature; the legislature also overrode a veto of a bill on teacher discipline, providing for arbitration; meanwhile, state Senate OKs bill to require schools to have resource officers; Del. McKay’s bill to cover adult dental care with Medicaid closer to approval; four Arundel delegates did not vote on conversion therapy bill as Sen. Simonaire attempts to clear up misunderstanding; and Sinclair Broadcast chief says print media has no credibility.
House of Delegates OKs $5.6 billion Amazon tax incentive plan, adding to $2 billion already OK’d; as promised, and with a flourish, Gov. Hogan vetoes bill stripping BPW of oversight on school construction; Del. Simonaire offers personal reason to vote for ban on conversion therapy for minors, a bill her father, Sen. Simonaire, spoke against; General Assembly nearer to banning bump stocks; and Hogan administration opposes federal plan to loosen vehicle emissions standards.