Public safety work group audience

Legislators call for more diversity, standardized training for police

Lawmakers charged with making policy recommendations following the police custody death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray peppered state officials responsible for police hiring and training standards with questions about racial diversity at their first work session Monday.

"Obviously we're missing something in the racial and ethnic diversity training on top of the excessive force training," remarked Sen. Joan Carter Conway, D, Baltimore City.

Hogan Busch Miller

Gov. Hogan picks a fight with Speaker Busch

Gov. Larry Hogan will have plenty of reasons to face off with House Speaker Michael Busch over spending and policy issues in the next four years. But why the Republican governor chose to pick a fight with the Democratic leader of the House of Delegates on Friday make little sense.

Hogan Busch 5-12-15 bill signing

350 bills become law: Rain tax repeal, public campaign financing, higher cap on gov’t tort awards

Gov. Larry Hogan joined with legislators on Tuesday morning to sign 350 bills into law, putting the final seal of approval on several bills MarylandReporter.com has followed throughout this legislative session.

Bills signed by Hogan, Speaker of the House Michael Busch and Senate President Mike Miller include increasing the cap on tort claims against counties and the state, expanding the Maryland False Claims Act protecting whistleblowers and repealing “the rain tax,” the mandatory stormwater remediation fee.

Fuck the police

Legislature will take another look at state’s policing laws

Long before Freddie Gray’s death ignited unrest in Baltimore, high profile cases of police misconduct nationally failed to move Maryland lawmakers to pass meaningful reforms this year, according to LBSBaltimore.com, a grassroots think tank that advocates a rewrite of the state’s policing policies. “At the end of the day we saw special interests of police officers and law enforcement in Maryland overrule what the community needed here in Baltimore,” said Adam Jackson, head of the think tank located just yards from City Hall.

Freshmen Antonio Hayes Cory McCray Brooke Lierman Andrew Platt

Freshman delegates hit the ground running, reflect on first year

Lawmakers lined up along the walls of the Governor's Reception Room, waiting to stand behind Gov. Larry Hogan as bills they’ve poured their hearts into the past 90-days were signed into law Tuesday morning.

Perhaps the most eager of these legislators were the new kids on the block, first-year legislators that made up the largest freshmen class to occupy the State House in 20 years.
Reacting to their first session, new delegates reflected on their accomplishments, struggles and future plans.

Zirkin

Cap on awards for lawsuits against counties, towns divides senators

The fatal shooting on Saturday of an unarmed black man in South Carolina by a white police officer now charged with murder was clearly on the minds of Maryland senators as they debated a 28-year old cap on damages in lawsuits against towns and counties in similar wrongful injuries.

The senators were attempting to balance the interests of both taxpayers and victims. Some senators were worried that smaller towns would go bankrupt if the cap on damages was raised from $200,000 to $500,000, as HB 113 would require.