State Roundup, April 19, 2016

Bill to give those with disabilities federal minimum wage awaits Gov. Hogan’s signature; levels of various pollutants in Chesapeake Bay have dropped, new report says; Vinny DeMarco, longtime activist, steps down from Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence; University of Baltimore adopts “regional tuition” for some students; in race for 1st District House, former Del. Smigiel goes after incumbent Harris on voting record; U.S. Rep. Cummings backs Jawando in 8th District House race; Trone tosses in $2.5 million more; U.S. Rep. Ruppersberger backs Van Hollen for Senate while Marilyn Mosby lines up for Edwards; and Cruz cruises into Towson while Trump plans to stump in Worcester.

State Roundup, April 18, 2016

Gov. Hogan tells victim advocates that Justice Reinvestment Act does address victims’ needs; despite years failing to get bill passed, advocates for ending parental rights to rapists say they will return; more than 100,000 cast ballots so far during early voting; delegate’s staffers charged with stealing from campaign; Cruz, Kasich come to Maryland; in a tough Senate race for a Republican, Szeliga raises $260,000; 4th District House hopeful arrested at protest; among candidates loaning their campaigns big bucks: Brown, Trone, Matthews; and city councilwoman proposes hiking minimum wage to $15 per hour.

State Roundup, April 15, 2016

State lawmakers to seek more influence over leadership of Baltimore City public schools; regents expected to hike tuition at USM; early voting off to a busy start; some ex offenders receive notice in error that they might not be able to vote; two GOP strategists charged in gay-smearing robocall; two Latina state lawmakers forge a tough new trail for higher office; congressional candidate Matthews pissed over celebrity characterization by opponent; Judge Battaglia turns 70, now must retire; and Van Hollen supporters line up against PAC ad with Obama in it while Van Hollen sticks Obama in his own ad.

State Roundup, April 14, 2016

Wrapping up the legislative session, state scientists will now be studying the bay’s oyster population to try to figure out a reasonable harvest amount; which bill governing mental and physical health care passed and which did not; bigger fines could be in the offing for offing deer illegally; early primary voting begins today and we have reports from around the state about the process; GOP presidential hopeful John Kasich stumps in Howard County; President Obama asks Super PAC to remove its Edwards ad with him in it; and Mosby drops race for Baltimore City mayor, back Pugh instead.

State Roundup, April 13, 2016

Of 2,817 bills introduced this year, 834 were approved for the governor’s signature, but many that appeared headed for passage failed to make the deadline -- among them paid sick leave and tax breaks; but some say compromise over tax breaks was never going to happen; Senate Pres Miller and House Speaker Busch split over whether a special session is needed; while both drunken driving and environmental laws were strengthened this year, advocates failed to get key legislation passed; so what is it like to sponsor a bill that has lots of outside support but little in the legislature? Miller urges court challenge to settle fantasy sports legality; DNR says blue crabs are making a comeback; Prince George’s council bans fracking; Van Hollen gets a slight lead over Edwards in new poll; and Eric Holder backs Glenn Ivey for Congress.

State Roundup, April 12, 2016

With another 90-day session finished, here’s what happened at its end: The General Assembly passed a bill to adopt broad new police training and accountability procedures as well as one to overhaul the criminal justice system in an attempt to reduce incarceration rates; after fits and starts, the tougher interlock device bill passed as did a bill to allow for jail time for adults who enable underage drinking; while most lead-paint bills failed, the bill to curb buyouts of lead paint settlement cases did pass; the sick leave bill failed as did most tax cuts -- except for one solely for Northrop Grumman; and two local education aid bills did pass; on the other hand, Democrats criticized Gov. Hogan and Hogan did not hesitate to shoot back; and the Van Hollen-Edwards bash continues.

State Roundup, April 11, 2016

On the 90-day sessions final day, some issues hang in the balance including police accountability, a toughened drunk driving law and criminal justice reform; tax credits for the working poor and tax cuts for businesses also wait in the wings; but tax break for 1st responders who buy homes in Baltimore City passes, awaits governor’s signature; fantasy sports legality could remain up in the air for another year; Senate reading clerk Porter retires tonight; in race for U.S. House, Kumar Barve ticked by Jamie Raskin ad that fact-checker also dings; and U.S. Rep. Cummings finally endorses Clinton for president.

State Roundup, April 8, 2016

The House of Delegates overrode Gov. Hogan’s vetoes of the transportation project ranking system and reconfiguring the Arundel County School Board Nominating Committee; concerns over safety of domestic violence victims prompts Senate to kill bill to automatically register voters; once vigorous sick leave bill looking ill as it heads to Senate; bill to give creditors easier way to garnish wages finally noticed -- and opposed -- by consumer advocates; Senate confirms PSC nominee, nixes Handgun Permit Board nominee; as presidential race comes to Maryland, Sanders picks up two civil rights endorsements and Clinton sets Sunday event; Senate candidate Edwards doubles fund-raising; and congressional candidate Ivey hits $1 million milestone.

State Roundup, April 7, 2016

As session heads to the finish line, criminal justice reform, interlock device bills move to conference committees; Board of Public Works OKs Purple Line contract; Gov. Hogan, Comptroller Franchot ticked over loss of BPW control over school construction spending; watermen oppose bill to study sustainable oyster harvest in Bay; Hogan asks support from President Obama to push legislature on redistricting reform; new poll finds Hogan popularity soars; and nurses union backs Edwards for Senate.

State Roundup, April 6, 2016

While bill mandating paid sick leave easily passes the House of Delegates, a rougher going is expected in Senate committee; as bill signing begins, Gov. Hogan vetoes several bills, signs a few into law but then lets other become law without his signature; Hogan urges lawmakers to focus on tax relief, redistricting reform; police accountability bill imperiled by provision over police review board makeup; Hogan declare martial art day; BPW expected to OK Purple Line contract today; and Edwards attacks Van Hollen in new ad.