State Roundup, March 19, 2018

Gov. Hogan, Dems propose taxing insurance companies to stabilize health premiums; where ever it is built, impact of proposed third span to Bay Bridge to draw opposition, favor; House of Delegates OKs bill that would ban sale of animals from puppy mills; Senate OKs stripping state song of designation; Sen. Oaks asks court to dismiss six counts; Congress faces Friday deadline on deciding EPA authority over Bay cleanup; judge ousts talk show host from state Senate race after challenge to residency; and DNR won’t transfer Arundel fairgrounds to county despite request from county exec.

State Roundup, March 16, 2018

Maryland Senate unanimously passes $44.5 billion budget with $200 million in new education funding; as gun control measures pass House of Delegates, Senate President Miller pushes committee chair to move bills to Senate floor; bill to allow evidence in court of predatory behavior moves out of committee; in fight against Citizens United, House moves for Constitutional Convention; proposal to legalize sports betting may go to the voters in November; drug, alcohol testing of drivers who cause pedestrian death before Senate panel; Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls line up behind upping renewables standard; and three small businesses in Seat Pleasant sue town over huge rise in property taxes.

State Roundup, March 15, 2018

Gov. Hogan calls bipartisan bill to tighten restrictions on gun accessibility, ban bumpstocks “common sense;” lawmakers seeks to make Baltimore City Police Department accountable, transparent; immigration debate heats up in Annapolis; new renewable energy use mandate fails; pipeline protesters arrested in State House sit-in; ‘Maryland, My Maryland’ may be relegated to the b-side; state Sen. Oaks drops entrapment claim; U.S. Rep. Cummings recovering at home; Donna Edwards endorsed by Maryland Working Families in race for Prince George’s County exec; and Hogan attacks potential rival over silence on county officials’ convictions.

State Roundup, March 14, 2018

Sen. Kagan, lobbyist Gil Genn roll out video of incident to prove opposing views on inappropriate touching complaint while Kagan says more women have told her similar stories; Sen. Ferguson seeks commission to look into Baltimore Police disgraced Gun Trace Task Force; delegate would like to expand hate crime law to include visual threats; private schools rally for public support; clean water activists to protest Potomac pipeline; Gov. Hogan taps Sen. Norman’s widow to fill out remainder of his term; and after years, Carroll Commissioners pass state-mandated ethics law, but not without tension.

State Roundup, March 13, 2108

House committee rejects proposal to prohibit wind farms within 30 miles of Ocean City coastline; state Senate OKs sweeping crime bill, passing it on to the House; Sen. Kagan continues to beat drum for modernizing statewide 911 system; lawmakers look to shield government-held email lists from public information requests; state Senate gives final OK to judicial pay hikes; Frederick County’s challenge to stormwater management mandates to go to court; Sen. Norman’s widow nominated to fill remainder of his term; and a progressive challenges Sen. Zirkin, picks up endorsement along the way.

State Roundup, March 12, 2018

Patient bill of right passes Senate Friday, spurred by “patient dumping” incident; lawmakers look to regulate AirBnB type home-sharing setups; vill to allow evidence of sexual predatory behavior has shot in Senate, unlikely to pass House; Virginia lawmakers step up with companion Metro funding bill similar to Maryland’s proposal; Gov. Hogan draws scrutiny over job appointments procedures; conservative think-tank criticizes Prince George’s schools over post-employment benefits; and Baltimore County executive candidates consider raft of school reforms following ex-Superintendent Dance guilty perjury plea.

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.