State Roundup, March 9, 2018

Gov. Larry Hogan testifies before Congress on the opioid crisis, urges more funding to fight it at ports and in communities; former BaCo Superintendent Dance pleads guilty to perjury; Senate panel exempts all local jails from state medical marijuana program; House OKs bill to hike top tier of penalty for using cell phones while driving to $500; Senate unanimously passes bill to revoke “gag rule” imposed on pharmacists over pricing; Senate gives initial OK to omnibus crime legislation to provide enhanced penalties for gun crimes, broader wiretapping authority in firearms investigations among others; private Eastern Shore college helps communities to go green; despite Republican candidate’s filing for late Sen. Norman’s seat, local leaders still scramble to find someone to fill out remainder of his term; unauthorized pay hike for Prince George’s schools central office personal plagues gubernatorial candidate and County Exec Rushern Baker; and Carroll commissioner candidate cries foul over Taneytown officials retreat.

State Roundup, March 8, 2018

State expected to take in $400 million more in taxes than previously anticipated; Senate panel OKs plan to give more taxpayers relief from federal tax overhaul; Gov. Hogan, legislative leaders embrace idea of federal reinsurance program to offset cost of sickest patients; Republican lawmakers want to overturn ban on some long guns; Washington County sheriff seeks clarification on inmates using medical marijuana vs. federal drug law; former Gov. Glendening says he was wrong about “life means life” sentences; congressional candidate David Trone endorsed by politicians his family donated to; and Baltimore City plans to sue federal government over cuts to programs that helped prevent teen pregnancies.

State Roundup, March 7, 2018

A Senate panel unanimously scraps Gov. Hogan’s approach to state tax adjustments; early release of violent offenders for drug treatment called into question; bill would shield some public records of victims of abuse, trafficking; Gov. Hogan, Montgomery Exec Leggett mum on Amazon officials’ visit to Maryland; researchers in Maryland, Virginia find resurgence of necessary Bay underwater grasses; Legislative Black Caucus calls state HBCU settlement offer “woefully inadequate;” Del. McDonough’s emergency legislation to bar state agency heads from running for office as well seen as self-serving; judges restore police officers names to database; GOP quickly picks Jason Gallion to run for late Sen. Norman’s unchallenged seat; and Democratic gubernatorial candidates address issues to enthusiastic Howard County audience.

State Roundup, March 6, 2018

Despite questions of constitutionality, state Senate passes requirement for presidential candidates to release five years of tax returns to get on Maryland ballot; following testimony from three delegates who outlined harassment in Annapolis, House Rules panel considers legislation on investigating, penalizing perpetrators; lobbyist accused by Sen. Kagan disputes claims; political science professors urge state to analyze potential impact of the Amazon bill before it passes; lawmakers gather to honor the late Sen. Norman; and Montgomery County political leaders, others gather to call for stricter gun laws nationwide.

State Roundup, March 5, 2018

State Sen. Wayne Norman, 62, dies; Gov. Larry Hogan, legislature unite over bill to give Metro conditional permanent funding; Hogan pushes natural gas use in Maryland; state Senate puts crime bill back on track with Hogan proposals; bill would ban job arbitration clauses in cases of harassment; Sen. Kagan calls out lobbyist, claims inappropriate touching; Hopkins study finds higher taxes on tobacco, alcohol improves public health; after months of threatened cuts, EPA restores funding to Bay Journal; Montgomery Council considers legislation to curb panhandling; and big changes in Arundel County Council.

State Roundup, March 2, 2018

Bill that would require presidential candidates to release federal tax returns to state Board of Elections stirs up claims of targeting current president; Democrats slam Gov. Hogan on lack of urgency during school security crisis; some women lawmakers deride letter by women leaders on State House harassment; Del. Barkley denies ‘inappropriate touching’ claim leveled by former delegate; House OKs bill legalizing growing of industrial hemp; Del. Parrott touts bill to force cellphone carriers to say which carriers its phones work on; with 30 years of public service under his belt, Comptroller Franchot has crafted a mavericky formula for success; Sen. Oaks says informant is a ‘professional set-up artist;’ former Del. Vaughn found guilty; and U.S. Rep. Raskin back Richard Madaleno for governor.

State Roundup, March 1, 2018

Lawmakers express unease over Gov. Hogan’s $5 billion package to lure Amazon to Montgomery, while Commerce Secretary Gill and County Exec Leggett tout proposal as good for entire state; Hogan urges passage of two measures to take guns away from some people, while gun advocates draw a bead on bump stock ban proposal; Senate likely to pass cyberbullying measure; long dormant former politicians file for elections in droves; Sen. Young blasts would-be opponent, claiming he employs illegal immigrants; and Mason-Dixon poll finds Rushern Baker still leads Democratic gubernatorial pack.

State Roundup, February 28, 2018

Lawmakers to get a look at Gov. Hogan’s Amazon HQ2 proposal; children of famous people head to Annapolis to testify on legislation to ensure family contact, communication preserved for disabled relatives; bill would up dose of opioid antidote emergency responders can carry, protect them from civil liability; Hogan administration making a dent in long waitlist for disability services; women lawmakers challenge description of State House as a “frat house;” bill would set up task force to track rape kit processing in Maryland; trust for Gov. Hogan continues to make land purchases, but little is known of them; Arundel Councilman Grasso to run for state Senate; Jill Carter joins challenge Sen. Oaks; seven candidates face no challengers; gubernatorial hopeful Vignarajah makes history with first women-of-color ticket; and Baltimore County exec race grows by two.

State Roundup, February 27, 2018

Senate leaders strip Sen. Oaks of committee assignments as he faces federal corruption charges, Senate investigation; Republican lawmakers introduce bill to all qualified teachers to carry handguns in schools; advocates of redistricting reforms face uphill battles; legislators attempt to shore up renewable energy businesses after imposition of 30% tariff on foreign imports; new bay partnership brings together 20 environmental organizations with goal of adding 10 billion oysters to bay; Howard Council Chair Sigaty to seek Sen. Kasemeyer’s seat; and long-time Sen. Astle says he won’t run for re-election.

State Roundup, February 26, 2018

Delegates, Comptroller Franchot wrestle over limits on state’s craft brew industry, throwing some personal punches; state lawmakers to consider helping businesses impacted directly by Purple Line construction; U.S. Rep. Cummings adds criticism of state’s handling of Baltimore Metro shutdown; Del. McMillan won’t seek re-election; former Arundel County Exec Leopold to run for House of Delegates; Sheila Dixon decides not to run for state Senate; in court filing, Attorney General Frosh urges Supreme Court to keep Maryland’s districts; Maryland educators push back against idea of arming teachers; 2nd trial of state Sen. Oaks set for August; and forum for Democratic governor hopefuls highlights similarities, not differences.