With about a month until the 2019 legislature convenes on Jan. 9, the new Democratic House of Delegates majority leader is looking to continue the progress made last session on gun violence prevention by banning 3D and ghost guns in the state. House Majority Leader Kathleen Dumais, D-Montgomery, said she will be introducing a bill banning the possession of 3D-printed guns — plastic guns capable of shooting live ammunition and made in a 3D printer — and ghost guns — nearly complete and without serial numbers — in Maryland. Federal law already prohibits the creation of untraceable guns.
Lawmakers on Thursday admonished the chancellor and chair of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents for the panel’s lack of transparency and overreach in a controversial decision to retain the University of Maryland, College Park football coach and athletic director, while accepting the university president’s resignation.
Scores of laws passed during this year’s General Assembly session go into effect Monday. Some key new laws Oct. 1 include measures to: ban spoofing phone calls; stop the distribution of electronic cigarettes to minors; create a new extreme risk protective order (red flag) that will take guns away from alleged abusers; shrink the period required for driving learner’s permits from nine months to three,
Maryland officials will be dropping the much maligned PARCC standardized tests; community group petitions the Maryland Aviation Administration to halt expansion of BWI Marshall Airport; as Florence threatens to become a Category 5 hurricane with landfall in Carolinas, Gov. Hogan declares state of emergency in Maryland; congressional candidate David Trone to undergo surgery today, expect recovery to take two weeks; as Hogan campaign floods the airwaves, rival Ben Jealous still hasn’t released commercials; with shakeup at Alexander & Cleaver lobby firm, lawsuits are possible; and Baltimore city considers paying $1 million in attorney’s fees to a Christian-based health organization that successfully challenged ordinance requiring pregnancy centers that they don’t offer abortion, some birth control services.
Statues of Thurgood Marshall and three companions are being sent away from Lawyers Mall in Annapolis as part of a renovation project that will close the mall in 2019.
“Tacky” was how Republican elected officials referred to Democratic Sen. Ron Young’s role in a demonstration Monday outside a noontime fundraiser for his Republican opponent, Craig Giangrande featuring Gov. Larry Hogan as the main attraction. Hogan made light of Young’s demonstration when he spoke to the well-heeled crowd of over 100 inside Brewer’s Alley on Market Street in Frederick, saying he thought the senator was “this homeless guy” with handmade signs.
The three counties that make up Legislative District 38 on the Lower Eastern Shore are a key battleground for the Republican drive to pick up five state Senate seats. Democratic leaders are fighting hard to protect incumbent Jim Mathias, the only Senate Democrat with a majority of registered Republicans in his district. He is being challenged by Republican Del. Mary Beth Carozza.
Following state-mandated water testing in some county schools, gubernatorial hopeful Ben Jealous offers plan to fight lead poisoning and criticizes Gov. Hogan, who pushes back; Del. Glenn causes uproar as she draws parallel between Del. Curt Anderson, accused of harassment, and Emmett Till and the Central Park Five; a Maryland Republican Senate candidate may have overstated his college education, by degrees; rainy weather causing problems with Susquehanna, the bay; Rep. John Delaney takes his presidential campaign one voter at a time; following the heatstroke death of football player Jordan McNair, UM regents to meet to discuss program; President Trump to seek appeal in emoluments case; and city Department of Social Services vendor wipes online references to DSS link.
Senate President Miller appoints new committee chairs — expecting to be back in charge for a 33rd year
As Speaker Michael Busch did a few days before, on Friday Senate President Mike Miller named new committee chairs for the next term, presuming their re-election and his own for a 33rd year as the longest serving presiding officer in Maryland and the nation. Miller’s task was harder than Busch’s after two of his long-time committee chairs lost re-election bids and several other senior Senate leaders retired. Miller, 75, went even further than Busch in bringing in a new generation of leaders by naming two first-term senators in their 30s as vice chairs of major standing committees.
House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch announced major changes in the House leadership Tuesday that presumes he and many of his Democratic appointees will be re-elected against Republican opponents and he himself will be re-elected speaker to an unprecedented fifth term. The most dramatic change is the generational shift in the House Judiciary Committee where Del. Luke Clippinger, 45, of Baltimore City becomes chairman and Del. Vanessa Atterbeary of Howard County, 43, becomes vice-chair, the only first-term legislator to hold such a key role in a major standing committee.
In the Republican “Drive for Five,” GOP leaders know that Legislative District 30, covering the Annapolis area and south, will be a key to getting more senators in the State House.