Incumbent delegates called vulnerable with three open seats in MoCo legislative District 18

Women are beginning to emerge as top tier candidates in Montgomery’s competitive District 18 legislative race at the same time some politicos are saying incumbent Del. Al Carr and Del. Jeff Waldstreicher, who is running for Senate, may be vulnerable. “There are incredibly strong non-incumbents candidates in this race, and as a result the incumbents — both Jeff and Al — could lose,” said Susan Heltemes, District 18 Democratic activist and founder of a decades-old District 18 breakfast club. “That is a given because of the quality of the candidates.”

Across-the-board opposition to Hogan’s $5.6 billion Amazon incentive, but bill passes House

Opposition from lawmakers was across the board Wednesday as a final vote took place in the House of Delegates to ultimately approve a $5.6 billion tax incentive package to lure Amazon.com to Montgomery County. While Montgomery County’s House delegation voted unanimously to approve the measure, legislators from other areas of the state — Republicans and Democrats alike — had nothing nice to say about the bill. Many called it a job killer for small businesses.

Bill would provide Internet users in Md. with privacy protection and net neutrality; dies in Senate

Maryland may soon join other states that are putting consumer protections in place to allow residents to determine which personal data Internet service providers may use, while ensuring they’re treated equally regardless of they use the Internet. A bill sponsored by Del. Bill Frick, D-Montgomery, scheduled for a final House vote this week would require Internet service providers to give their customers an opt-in choice before using their personal information for marketing and other third-party uses. The bill would also reset the net neutrality rule requiring Internet providers to treat all customers equally when it comes to Internet speed and fees, a response to the FCC’s 2017 deregulation.

Republican lawmakers cry foul over union ‘evergreen’ contract, other pro-union measures

Republican lawmakers are crying foul over Democratic efforts to pass a bill extending “evergreen” employment terms for thousands of unionized state employees after negotiating parties agreed not to make statutory changes. The proposed bill would allow contract terms for approximately 30,000 state employees to stay in place after a negotiated employment contract has expired if the two parties — the state and its public employee unions  — are unable to come to agreement on new terms. The Senate passed this and several other union-backed measures Monday night in party line votes of 33-14 on each of them.

House votes to put sports gambling in Maryland on November ballot; dies in Senate

Bipartisan legislation calling for Maryland voters to weigh in on legalized sports betting in the state sailed through the House Thursday with a vote of 124 to 14. The bill, HB1014, sponsored by Del. Frank Turner, D-Howard, would place a law to allow sports betting at Maryland casinos and horse racing tracks on the November ballot through a voter referendum on a constitutional change. This bill died in the Senate.

House Judiciary Committee unanimously approves repeat sex offender bill

The House Judiciary Committee Thursday unanimously approved legislation that would allow evidence of previous sexual predatory behavior by defendants to be admitted in court. The committee’s approval of the “prior bad acts” legislation happened only after advocates of the bill pressured committee leaders, who has been criticized for failing to advance similar legislation in previous years.