Bill to allow court evidence of repeat sex offenses advances in Senate, but fate in House appears dim

A bill to allow evidence in court of sexual predatory behavior by people accused of sex crimes advanced last week in the Senate, but chances of the legislation progressing in the House are dim, with one committee leader wanting judges to decide the issue. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee passed an amended bill Thursday that will effectively allow prosecutors to introduce evidence of other sexually assaultive behavior by defendants. Maryland courts typically never allow that unless it is for the same victim.

Madaleno calls for $15 minimum wage, phasing out tipped workers

Sen. Richard Madaleno made his case to fellow lawmakers Wednesday to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2024, increase pay for disability caregivers and phasing out a tip-based payment system for workers in the hospitality industry. “Raising the minimum wage to $15 would impact nearly 570,000 workers in our state,” Madaleno, D-Montgomery County, a candidate for governor, said. “Of those, 50% would be people of color and 55% would be women.” Opponents said it would have severe impact on small businesses.

Shore Power project aims to save tax dollars, environment

The Shore Power Project, launched several years ago at Washington College, has helped local governments on Maryland’s Eastern Shore find ways to reduce energy costs while also shrinking their carbon footprint. For students and staff at the private liberal arts college in Chestertown, the project offered a chance to help Shore communities address climate change by dealing with the shifting energy landscape.

Some Maryland taxpayers and corporations will pay higher state taxes due to federal tax changes

Perhaps 9% of Marylanders would pay $200 million more in state taxes next year under plans a Senate committee approved Tuesday to give most taxpayers relief from the consequences of recent federal tax cuts. But some corporations will likely pay as much as $75-100 million more in state taxes since there are no plans at the State House to try to grant them similar relief after the Trump cuts gave them big breaks on federal taxes.

Crowded field for governor woos Howard County Dems

The crowded and competitive race for the Democratic nomination to unseat Republican Gov. Larry Hogan was on full display Tuesday night in Columbia as five candidates for governor and four for lieutenant governor wooed and wowed an overflow crowd of about 160. “Any one of them would be better than the person we have now” as governor, said Rushern Baker, the Prince George’s County executive who has a slight edge in favorability over the others in recent polling.

Opinion: Maryland should not “one-click order” huge subsidies for Amazon

The Maryland General Assembly is considering a bill intended to attract Amazon to Montgomery County. If this legislation is fast tracked after last week’s hearings, Maryland will lack some of the information it needs in order to make a smart decision about whether it should subsidize Amazon.