State Roundup, February 16, 2017

General Assembly OKs unilateral powers for Attorney General Frosh, who then seeks $1 million to to hire more staff; health-care advocates concerned about rising drug costs, price gouging from manufacturers; bill would mandate computerized vision testing for kids in school; Gov. Hogan comes out against bill to strip governors of parole decision-making; Sen. Young introduces bill to curb brutal cownose ray tournament; citing Soros-led protests, U.S. Rep. Harris nixes face-to-face public meetings; and former House candidate Matthews to run for state Democratic Party chair.

State Roundup, February 15, 2017

After missing federal deadline, state Senate moves quickly to restore transportation funds as Senate President Miller lashes out at state transportation official; resolution to give Attorney General unilateral authority to sue federal government moves forward; after protests, Gov. Hogan scales back on Bay pollution reduction credit trading plan; Miller may stand in way of Comptroller Franchot gaining enforcement power in tax cases; bill would strip power over parole decisions from governors; bill would allow renters to post campaign signs; and Cecil County prosecutor resigns after conviction.

State Roundup, February 14, 2017

State’s minority caucuses unite to push for passage of bill to limit state cooperation with federal deportations. Meanwhile, JHU joins other schools to sue over immigration ban as fears rise among immigrant populations; Del. Beitzel concerned that legal gun carriers could be caught up in law banning guns from campuses; two lawmakers push for “yes means yes” sex education; Gov. Hogan announces millions to revitalize Eastern Shore roads, schools, manufacturing; Ben Jealous backs Ellison for DNC chair; and Arundel Councilman Petrouka testifies in robocall trial.

State Roundup, February 13, 2017

Feds to withhold millions in transportation funding after Maryland misses deadline; advocates seek expedited hearing times for tax appeals; resolutions to be heard today giving state Attorney General unilateral discretion on suing federal government; bill would scrap law that allows those under 18 to marry; Nathaniel Oaks joins Senate, Jazz Lewis joins House; Gov. Hogan finally speaks about President Trump, says it isn’t his role to protest; and state, Baltimore City begin tear downs of abandoned homes.

State Roundup, February 10, 2017

Republican senators protest resolution giving Atty Gen Frosh more power to sue federal government. Final vote could happen today; Sen. Zirkin backs bill to eliminate “resistance” as proof of rape; pro-immigration measures to be pushed in Montgomery and Prince George’s as well as statewide. Howard County exec kills “safe county” measure there; two proposals in Annapolis seek paid sick leave; animal rights group pushes for “good Samaritan” legislation; just who were the people banished from Gov. Hogan’s Facebook page?; and MPT, others explore heroin addiction, recovery throughout Maryland.

State Roundup, February 9, 2017

Lawmakers consider bill to bar state from doing business with companies that refuse to do business in Israel, occupied territories; advocates seek to yank provision from law requiring rape victims to prove they tried to resist; BPW OKs new school construction overseer; Arundel seeks tax break for developers who add “community benefits;” Gov. Hogan’s Facebook page deletions, banning continue to stir controversy; Baltimore County seeks police reforms in sexual assault probes; and Under Armour’s Kevin Plank under fire for pro-Trump remarks.

State Roundup, February 8, 2017

Maryland Dems, teachers union decry Hogan administration moves to privatize public schools, bolster private ones, comparing actions to President Trump and new ed Secretary DeVos; Court of Appeals rules for compromise on bail reform, seeks alternatives to jail-till-trial; senators introduce flat-out fracking ban bill; House bill would limit minimum wage hikes by local jurisdictions; Maryland ACLU files suit against Trump travel ban; Howard Exec Kittleman to veto ‘safe county’ bill; national Democratic lawmakers meet in Baltimore City; and first lady Melania Trump settles defamation case against Montgomery blogger with mum “substantial sum.”

State Roundup, February 7, 2017

Howard Council votes to designate county a “safe” place, but not a “sanctuary”; Gov. Hogan sends out hundreds of letters to lobby local officials to support overturning transportation project ranking system; Hogan bill would relax conditions on charter school, drawing ire of teachers union; state denies newspaper request for information on attorney, finances involved in Morhaim ethics probe; Sun editorial board chastises Hogan administration over Facebook comment deletions; state’s list of banned vanity license plates nears 5,000; Baltimore City Council backs $15 minimum wage; and retired Judge A. Gordon Boone Jr. dies at 83.

State Roundup, February 6, 2017

Attempts to fight statewide heroin abuse problems likely to find bipartisan support in General Assembly; bill to ban fracking introduced in state Senate; delegate seeks moratorium on implementing standardized tests for pre-K students; Guinness brewery owner would need state law change to build plant, Baltimore County exec says; BWI to seek BPW OK for huge expansion; as Gov. Hogan continues silence on President Trump’s travel ban, protesters increasingly vocal; and Howard County to vote on sanctuary status.

State Roundup, February 3, 2017

State lawmakers override Gov. Hogan’s 2016 veto on renewables goal, but many concerned with financial impact on consumers; mothers, children rally at State House to seek passage of paid sick-leave bill; Sen. Brochin seeks repeal of most recent hike in the liquor tax; Crisfield gets a windmill; Baltimore clergy split on President Trump’s proposal to kill the Johnson amendment government political talk in churches; and Republican political operative Joseph Steffen, 57, dies.