State Roundup, April 17, 2019

As Speaker Michael Busch is laid to rest, friends and colleagues fondly recall his care for ‘ordinary citizen,’ importance of family, bi-partisanship; following Busch’s funeral, Dels. Davis, McIntosh confirm too are seeking to become next House Speaker, joining Del. Jones in race for the post; Feds make arrests in Jessup prison smuggling; suburban Maryland water utility asks state to halt construction of Purple Line, saying it is too close to a major Prince George’s water line; overlooked amid the Pimlico hubbub: the General Assembly passed a bill to fund planning for expansion of the city’s convention center and construction of a new convention hotel; U.S. Rep. Ruppersberger seeks funds for digital map of all 95,000 miles of the U.S. Coastline to prepare people against floods; and U.S. Rep. Trone on listening tour of western Maryland.

State Roundup, April 16, 2019

Hundreds of mourners, including elected officials, gather at State House to bid farewell to House Speaker Michael Busch as he lies in state; some Marylanders seeing lower federal refunds; lawmakers who are or have been in the education field bring depth, breadth of views to education policy; acting Mayor Young, others see politics at play in Stronach Group’s decision to pull almost 7,000 Pimlico seats off-line in time for Preakness; Pulitzer board honors Capital Gazette with special citation, $100,000 award ‘serving their community at a time of unspeakable grief;’ federal Metro funding legislation cuts bans purchase of railway cars from China; and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski proposes county’s first income tax increase in 30 years.

State Roundup, April 15, 2019

Prince George’s Exec Alsobrooks backs Del. Davis for Speaker of House and Del. Adrienne Jones is seeking the post, Del. Maggie McIntosh may already have a lock on the seat, although Republicans are pushing for a say; Sen. Zirkin is targeted for criticism over failure to pass bill requiring background checks on long-gun purchases; bill targets child erotica; Greater Baltimore Committee calls on Baltimore Mayor Pugh to resign, a sentiment echoed by editorial writers; late Speaker Michael Busch to lie in state today and tomorrow, as tributes continue to pour in; 6,670 seats at Pimlico to be eliminated from Preakness sales because of safety concerns; and Maryland’s U.S. senators draft transportation bill to grant Washington Transit Authority $150 million a year for 10 years.

State Roundup, April 12, 2019

Bills would make it easier for Marylanders to secure health coverage, cut prices of prescription drugs for state workers; Gov. Hogan now will give a “good hard look” at bills that are awaiting his signature, some of which he might just veto; measure to remove lead-tainted water from school fountains passes, but in a weakened form; long-idle 210 acre property in Prince George’s now has a shot at revitalization, thanks to recently approved bill; as Speaker Busch lies in state at the State House, certain protocols must be followed; two toll bridges to become cashless; acting Mayor Young orders audit of Associated Black Charities in ‘Healthy Holly’ scandal; and U.S. Rep. Andy Harris becomes major foe of cannabis supporters.

State Roundup, April 11, 2019

Del. Adrienne Jones, who filled in for Speaker Busch before his death, says she’s seek to be next speaker; state lawmakers say they attempted to close a loophole that would allow out-of-state firms into the state’s cannabis market but businesses say they made it worse; Arundel Dems taking applications to fill Michael Busch’s District 30A seat; bill to remove some fundraising restrictions on Prince George’s County execs dies; state funding added to bill that requires new Maryland school buses to be “zero-emissions;” 24-year-old son of Budget Secretary Brinkley dies; Gov. Hogan blasts Trump order making it harder for states to block some energy projects over environmental concerns; lack of federal funding making it more difficult to create tree buffers along Maryland waterways; three top aides to Mayor Pugh put on leave; and a candidate throws his hat into the ring for Baltimore mayor.

State Roundup, April 10, 2019

Not all environmentalists cheer new renewable energy goals, saying it rewards trash incinerators, paper mills; while more progressives joined ranks of Maryland’s General Assembly, success with bills came in fits and starts; with Mike Busch’s death, Sine Die takes on somber note honoring long term speaker with his family in attendance; what were the significant bills this session that either passed or failed?; correction: bill requiring background checks to purchase long guns did not pass; Speaker Busch to lie in state, other funeral plans set; early proposal for 2020 would change the timeline for picking gubernatorial running mates; with bill stalled in General Assembly, school construction to be delayed in Baltimore County; and Mayor Pugh recovering from severe case of pneumonia.

State Roundup, April 9, 2019

Sadness over the death of Speaker Busch hangs in the air as last day of 90-day session closes. Quite a number of measures died on Monday, but education reform came out on top; we’ve pulled together several articles that roundup what happened to the most important legislation; still the session will be marked by Busch’s death. He was honored throughout the day on Monday, but especially with the Senate overturning Gov. Hogan’s veto of his legislation to protect five oyster sanctuaries and passage of UMMS reform; delegates to delay picking a new leader; regulation of long guns passes, met with sky-high protest; aid to Maryland racetracks fail; and Baltimore city delegation says it supports city council in asking Mayor Pugh to resign.

State Roundup, April 8, 2019

House Speaker Michael Busch, known as “coach” to many and longest serving Maryland House speaker, dies on day before session ends. He was 72 and leaves behind loyal friends on both sides of the aisle.; he will be remembered for his folksy style, love of the Chesapeake Bay and proliferation of legislation; Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones to lead last day of House session; on the last day of the session, work still needs to be done. What hasn’t been passed, what won’t pass?; on Friday, the House overrode Gov. Hogan’s veto of Busch legislation protecting five of 51 oyster beds. Today, Senate is expected to agree to override as well; lawmakers give final OK to Kirwan school funding plan; House joins Senate in passing bill requiring testing of most rape kits and adding transparency to the process; Baltimore delegates object to measure to allow Stronach Group to use state bonds to upgrade racing facilities in Laurel and Bowie, even with progress on redeveloping Pimlico Race Course; City Council asks Mayor Pugh to resign; ‘Healthy Holly’ probe widens as UMMS official testifies that Mayor Pugh initiated book deal; and Pugh advisor and UMMS board member Jim Smith resigns from Pugh office.

State Roundup, April 5, 2019

The House of Delegates, like the Senate, passes measure to send more than $700 million in extra funding to public schools; bill to abolish Handgun Permit Review Board passes; in party-line vote, House passes measure to curb power of Board of Public Works; opponents of Gov. Hogan’s toll lane proposal seek more scrutiny over public-private partnerships; Senate unanimously passes UMMS reform legislation; Hogan vetoes bill to permanently protect distressed oyster areas; Senate President Miller to undergo radiation therapy after session ends; college admissions scandal nets advisor on Hogan board; and more ‘Healthy Holly’ book sales revealed.

State Roundup, April 4, 2019

Lawmakers poised to OK two-year education spending plan that would add $725 million more to public schools; General Assembly OKs ban of foam food containers; Senate panel deadlocks over bill to end statute of limitations of civil suits over childhood sex abuse; legislature sends bill to Gov. Hogan’s desk to raise the tobacco-buying age to 21 in most cases; General Assembly nears ending participation in Title X over rule that would prohibit family planning clinics funded by the program from making abortion referrals; UMMS board reform closer to passage as more ‘Healthy Holly’ mysteries surface; and judge denies former Arundel County Exec Leopold’s request to vacate criminal conviction.