Archive | State Roundup

State Roundup, April 16, 2014

April 16, 2014

Bill adds another layer of protection to patient privacy; Del. Serafini warns that continued state budget challenges will affect local jurisdictions; state Public Service Commission extends period in which utilities are restricted from terminating service to customers behind in bill payments; gubernatorial candidates all over the place when it comes to marijuana laws; Gansler gains in new internal poll; Hogan leads in GOP fund-raising; Gansler proposes $1.5 billion in cuts, including eliminating State Prosecutor's office; and Mizeur backs physician-assisted suicide, state-run retirement plan. [...more]

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State Roundup, April 15, 2014

April 15, 2014

Among many bills signed Tuesday, Gov. O'Malley signs off on Jake's Law, to raise penalties for distracted drivers, and pot decriminalization bill; O'Malley cautions against complete legalization of pot while prosecutor ponders a tracking dilemma; passed bill would create task force to study effects of acidification on Bay and other waterways, but it's unknown if O'Malley will sign it; Equality Maryland endorses Sen. Frosh for attorney general; Dem gubernatorial hopefuls all back alternative energy, but Gansler and Mizeur push for bigger state program; Brown proposes 10-fold increase in annual funding for a state-run affordable housing grant program; O'Malley to play Vegas; and Ehrlich, Bentley back different candidates in race for Arundel County exec. [...more]

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State Roundup, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014

Police begin evaluating the impact of medical marijuana and pot decriminalization laws while some prosecutors ask O'Malley to veto decriminalization law; state study will delay new Howard-Arundel transit agency, but jurisdictions say they'll move forward; lawmakers hope new legislation will add more transparency to government; plenty of new rules for the road include distracted driving and move-over law expansion; state election officials stop enforcing law that imposes an overall limit of $10,000 on campaign contributions; Bongino, George to rally in Annapolis, and the reason is …; Hogan outshines GOP gubernatorial competitors in fund-raising; Mizeur confident she can win Democratic nomination; and as O'Malley's final year in the State House winds down, he begins crafting a future while opinionators assess his legacy. [...more]

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State Roundup, April 11, 2014

April 11, 2014

State's drug prosecutors say marijuana decriminalization law has critical omissions, police say it won't reduce their workload; boost in tax credits for biotech, research and cyber-security will benefit business; Cato report says that education spending has skyrocketed but SAT scores remain flat; Del. Afzali grabs the limelight, for a second; a second confrontation occurred at Lowe building on Monday night; state grants Frederick $577,000 in bond funds for building projects; after a snowy winter, FEMA gives Maryland financial aid; and gubernatorial candidate Gansler takes a turn with a negative ad. [...more]

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State Roundup, April 10, 2014

April 10, 2014

Frederick County's state's attorney questions the wisdom of the marijuana decriminalization law and its affect on policing; more than 300 people banned for gun buying have purchased firearms thanks to the backlog; Washington County businesses and lawmakers are concerned about impact of minimum-wage hike; two laws loosen vehicle restrictions for farmers and give milk haulers time to upgrade their trucks to carry more weight on state roads; Arundel gets $9.6 million for capital improvements; FBI probes former UM contract worker who said he wanted to draw attention to computer security flaws; anti-smoking groups seek to make $1 a pack tax hike a campaign issue; and gubernatorial candidate Gansler picks up another endorsement while Brown touts adoption and foster care in new ad. [...more]

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State Roundup, April 9, 2014

April 9, 2014

Maryland ranks better at online transparency of spending habits; Pew also ranks Maryland higher when it comes to elections-related activities; with a $3.5 million shortfall in “House of Cards” request, what will happen to the Maryland production?; Gov. O'Malley gets busy signing legislation in law: begins with pre-K expansion and dog bite bills; while more school construction funds for Montgomery will have to wait, Annapolis leaders say they will help; Attorney General Gansler seeks a special counsel to look into health exchange problems; with three Republican delegates leaving office, a power shift can be expected for Anne Arundel County; Bill Clinton endorses Lt. Gov. Brown for governor; and Carroll Commissioners reluctantly suspend Jesus prayers. [...more]

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State Roundup, April 8, 2014

April 8, 2014

The 434th legislative session ends with bills passing to expand kindergarten, loosen marijuana laws, raise the minimum wage and toughen penalties on those who cause an accident while on a cell phone; President Obama praises the state for passing the minimum-wage hike; what had looked like a dead bill to decriminalize marijuana passes as does a bill to fix the state's medical marijuan program; but a conference committee runs out the clock to add $3.5 million to the $15 million film tax credit to keep “House of Cards” in the state. Now the question is, is it enough?; the whistleblower bill and ground rent reform bill both fail to pass; Lower Shore lawmakers don't get everything they wanted; while Carroll lawmakers pretty much do; and a bloody altercation in the House offices leads to two arrests. [...more]

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State Roundup, April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014

As the 2014 General Assembly session comes to a close, the House of Delegates still must deal with changes to the minimum-wage hike bill made by a Senate panel; Sen. Brinkley continues to push for a vote on the automatic pay raises for lawmakers; legislators take from arts, Sunny Day funding to pay for film tax credit; heated House debate frees bill to decriminalize marijuana while opponents continue to hammer drug abuse issue; General Assembly OK's bill to protect people who help drug overdose victims; after 48 years of public service, Sen. Robey to step down; former Gov. Ehrlich continues to sell books as various GOP candidate fund-raisers; and GOP gubernatorial candidates George and Hogan take to the campaign trail. [...more]

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State Roundup, April 4, 2014

April 4, 2014

House and Senate negotiators hammer out agreement over $38.7 billion budget, keeping tax credit for film shoots, exempting Carroll and Frederick from rain tax; House passes capital budget, Senate rejects House amendments; full vote on minimum wage hike expected Monday, won't include tipped workers; dog bite legislation includes all breeds; proponents hope to keep pot decriminalization bill alive; bill to create harsher punishments for domestic violence committed in front of a child is approved; micro-brew beer sampling OK'd for farmers markets; Vaportini trend may get axed in Maryland; after 12-year tenure, Dels. DeBoy and Malone stepping down; Brown files complaint against Gansler after “save the date” email goes out; Gansler issues crime plan; and Larry Hogan takes to the airwaves. [...more]

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State Roundup, April 3, 2014

April 3, 2014

Senate panel OK's minimum wage hike of $10.10 extended over four years; decriminalization of marijuana holed up in House committee will now be a subject of study; Jake's Law proponents protest changes in Senate version as State Police mount monthlong campaign to keep drivers aware of dangers of distracted driving; Supreme Court ruling on campaign contributions could affect gubernatorial campaign; candidate Mizeur criticizes Brown plan for women as “lip service;” over and Carroll commissioners Jesus controversy continues. [...more]

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