Senate being sworn in

Older, more educated, more male, married: How legislators compare to the people they represent

Over the next four weeks, Maryland's 188 lawmakers will cast votes on hundreds of bills, particularly this week as they head to next Monday's crossover deadline. These 133 men and 55 women may represent a state population approaching 6 million, but as even this gender breakdown indicates, their demographics show they are hardly representative of the population as a whole.

Sondra Novo, a beekeeper from Harford County, holds a honey-filled bear which she and other beekeepers delivered to legislators' offices. (By Rebecca Lessner for

Buzz about bee deaths: Committee hears bill to restrict pesticide

A group of white suited, mud-boot stomping “Beeks” took over legislative offices Friday morning.The sweet action by these “beeks,” as they call themselves, would establish labeling requirements for any seed, plant material or nursery stock that uses the Neonics pesticide and limits the selling of these pesticides to only qualified applicants.

McIntosh Busch

Budget committee restores school aid, pay hikes; cuts pension contribution

In a unanimous bipartisan vote, the House Appropriations Committee on Friday approved a $40 billion state budget after finding about $250 million to fully restore promised education aid and 2% cost-of-living increases for state employees.
Some cuts in health and mental health programs were also restored, winning the praise of health care advocates.

Leanna Wen overdose

Committee gets a dose of drug overdose treatment

The Senate Finance Committee is considering HB 516, a bill that will expand a program that allows ordinary people to learn how to administer Naloxone, an emergency drug administered to reduce fatalities from overdose. The Overdose Response Program has been in place for a year but doctors are hesitant to prescribe the drug, worried they could be sued if something goes wrong. Meanwhile, deaths from overdoses of heroin and fentanyl are growing.


House passes bill limiting police seizures of property

The House of Delegates ultimately passed a bill to change requirements for police property seizures, with fierce debate about whether the bill was helping “the small people” of Maryland, or handing drug dealers another tool in their belt.

HB 360, sponsored by Del. Joseph Vallario, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, passed with 81-54. Six Democrats joined all of the House Republicans in opposing the bill.