Delaying state workers 3% raise among proposals to deal with state revenue shortfall; House of Delegates to begin debate on $15 minimum wage; Del. Lisanti stripped of leadership post following use of n-word; Wicomico sheriff says he won’t enforce long gun bill if it passes; gun rights advocates protest bill to ban untraceable guns; Senate OKs bill to provide interest-free loans to federal workers during another shutdown; Laurel Park owners blasted for using vast majority of state aid to upgrade that facility; Supreme Court to hear Bladensburg Cross case today; and Elizabeth Embry tapped by Attorney General Frosh to oversee probe into Archdiocese sex abuse scandal.
Minimum wage bill moves out of House committee, with longer time to reach $15, other changes; Comptroller Franchot files ethics complaint against Sen. Kramer; Del. Mary Ann Lisanti apologizes to Black Caucus over apparent use of racial slur; Baltimore city seeks more state funding for BSO; 90% of Stronach’s state renovation subsidies going to Laurel Park; in the latest installment of the Hogan Prez Watch, a Trump operative seeks to undercut any attempt by Gov. Hogan to run in presidential primary by signing up Maryland Republicans and Hogan says he won’t run unless President Trump’s GOP support weakens; a California billionaire comes to Baltimore to push U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings on impeaching Trump; and a county housing authority gets an Open Meetings reprimand.
Speaker Busch to withdraw bill to enshrine woman’s right to abortion until next year; Senate refuses to confirm handgun board nominees; Johns Hopkins returns to Annapolis pushing for armed campus force after gun violence in Baltimore City; ‘sweeteners’ in JHU cops package would benefit Baltimore City program; in liquor battle between Sen. Ben Kramer and Comptroller Franchot, Kramer claims Franchot ‘extorts’ money from alcohol industry; Franchot counters that he will file ethics complaint; Busch hopes to protect through state law five large oyster restoration projects; Senate panel OKs move to ban styrofoam food containers; and a Montgomery County bill to impose fees on tax-capped country club properties fails.
The fight over Comptroller Franchot’s authority bubbles over in dueling pressers; Del. Parrott suggests county-by-county minimum wages; the Hogan Prez Watch is heating up with Gov. Larry Hogan accuses RNC of shielding President Trump from primary challenger, considers trip to New Hampshire “must stop” event in April; Senate President Miller suggests ways to settle the 13-year-old lawsuit with Maryland’s HBCUs;bill would protect funding for Attorney General’s office; and jailed women’s services come up in two bills: one directed at pregnant women and minors, another at lack of vocational training.
University of Maryland Regents backing proposed overhaul legislation; bill mandates governor to fund attorney general’s budget; bill would raise number of schools teaching about the environment to 50%; Del. Glenn returns with legislation to arm city school police officers; bill allowing gender “X’ option on Maryland driver’s licenses moves forward; Washington County lawmakers continue to push to ban medical marijuana in local jails; and in our latest installment of the Hogan Prez Watch, Gov. Hogan appears on CBS, siding with Attorney General Frosh on lawsuit against President Trump’s national emergency declaration over “exaggerated” claims on border problems.
Assembly chiefs set up work group to study legalizing marijuana, ensuring that vote will be delayed a year; despite opposition, lawmakers re-elect Nancy Kopp as state treasurer; bill would require health care workers to report every vaccine given; bill would allow minors to consent to taking HIV preventative; Baltimore City Mayor Pugh blasts Stronach Group over Laurel “super track” proposal that could leave Pimlico in the dust; Supreme Court rejects Maryland appeal to protect drug price-gouging law; legislation would block some 9-1-1 info from Maryland Public Information Act; and Arundel Council passes polystyrene food container ban.
Goucher Poll finds that Marylanders like Gov. Hogan as governor, but not so much as presidential candidate; African-Americans, whites sharply differ in viewing fairness from police, criminal justice system; more than 60 JHU faculty sign on to oppose armed campus police; Senate panel rejects nominees for Handgun Review Board as lawmakers struggle with its future; Sen. Ferguson proposes bill that would undercut Electoral College; delegate questions limiting Marylander hunters’ taking of geese; and Maryland joins 15 states in suing Trump administration over national emergency declaration.
New driver’s license requirement causes frustration, long lines at MVA; lawmakers weigh legislation on oyster management, sanctuaries; more doctors, patients push for marijuana as treatment for opioid addiction; new Goucher Poll finds Marylanders backing Democrats’ agenda, including legalization of recreation marijuana, minimum wage hike, doctor assisted suicide and raising tobacco-purchasing age to 21; Del. Lewis Young seeks study into high rates of C-sections; lacking votes, Del. Lierman pulls ranked choice voting bill; and Georgetown U. faces opposition to solar project that would clear cut 210 acres in Charles County.
House of Delegates OKs bill to set up fund to aid federal workers who live in Maryland and are forced to work without pay during a shutdown; state to focus on toll lanes in attempts to deal with highway congestion; full-day pre-school for low-income tikes among recommendations of Kirwan Commission report; state’s top judge wants end to elected circuit court judges; following Amazon’s snub of NYC, Gov. Hogan reopens communication with execs; Garrett schools recommend pre-Labor Day start to schools; student charged with illegal wiretapping after live-streaming at U.S. Rep. Harris’ office; former Howard Exec Ulman buys stake in online city news site; and in a no surprises here poll, vast majority of Marylanders like Old Bay.
Health care advocates, lawmakers rally support for bill to require all Marylanders to have health insurance or face a fine; Del. McKay, who pushed for Medicaid dental coverage, now seeks grant program to boost dental clinics; Arundel County seeks veto on siting of new Bay Bridge span, drawing resistance in Senate committee; Redskins owner’s purchase of $100 million yacht throws doubt on public funding of new stadium; audits find Maryland colleges lax when checking if students really qualify for in-state tuition; following shooting in city school, GOP lawmakers want to arm school police; bill would address complaints over noisy BWI flight patterns; and Hogan spokeswoman to join Republican Governors Association.