Senate rejects automatic voter registration

The Maryland Senate Thursday rejected a bill to automatically register every eligible adult in the state to vote amid concerns about privacy and the possibility that non-citizens might get registered. The vote was 21-24, with seven Democrats joining Republicans in killing the measure.

Sam Eig Highway by dougtone on Flickr

Opinion: Transportation scoring bill sends officials on wild goose chase

Del. Bob Flanagan was Maryland's secretary of transportation from 2003 to 2007. In this article, he describes how the current transportation planning process works and compares it under HB1013, Maryland Open Transportation Investment Decision Act of 2016, which the governor vetoed Friday. The House will attempt to override the veto Thursday. It passed both houses just shy of the super-majorities needed to override a veto. In the accompanying article, "Scoring the transportation scoring system in HB1013", Flanagan analyzes the impact of the proposed new scoring system.

Justice Reinvestment closer to final passage, but House, Senate remain apart

With just five days left until the end of the Maryland legislative session, the House of Delegates and state Senate have a long road of negotiations ahead on criminal justice reform. However, with only days left to reach consensus, each chamber isn’t even agreeing on what the largest differences between the House and Senate versions are.

Sponsor Luke Clippinger talks to the House about his paid sick leave bill.

Paid sick leave bill passes House

The House of Delegates easily passed a bill requiring paid sick leave for all but the smallest businesses in Maryland, rejecting Republican warnings that it was job killer. In the 84-54 vote, five Democrats joined all 49 Republicans present opposing the bill, which faces an uncertain fate in the Senate Finance Committee.

Senate passes spending mandate to make college more affordable

With the cost of college rising and student loan debt a growing issue, the Maryland Senate Friday passed legislation that establishes a matching state contribution to eligible college savings accounts and creates a refundable tax credit of up to $5,000 for undergraduate student loan debt. The bill costs the state $52 million over the next five years. Because it is new mandated spending, most Senate Republicans voted against the bill when it passed 34-11.

Hogan talks transportation

Transportation scoring bill sent to Hogan for expected veto

The Senate and House on Thursday rushed to enact a new scoring system for transportation projects, sending it to Gov. Larry Hogan. He must act on the legislation by next week, giving the Democrat-controlled legislature enough time to override his expected veto. "It's a terrible piece of legislation," the governor told reporters at a road project announcement Thursday morning.