State Roundup, March 2, 2018

Bill that would require presidential candidates to release federal tax returns to state Board of Elections stirs up claims of targeting current president; Democrats slam Gov. Hogan on lack of urgency during school security crisis; some women lawmakers deride letter by women leaders on State House harassment; Del. Barkley denies ‘inappropriate touching’ claim leveled by former delegate; House OKs bill legalizing growing of industrial hemp; Del. Parrott touts bill to force cellphone carriers to say which carriers its phones work on; with 30 years of public service under his belt, Comptroller Franchot has crafted a mavericky formula for success; Sen. Oaks says informant is a ‘professional set-up artist;’ former Del. Vaughn found guilty; and U.S. Rep. Raskin back Richard Madaleno for governor.

State Roundup, March 1, 2018

Lawmakers express unease over Gov. Hogan’s $5 billion package to lure Amazon to Montgomery, while Commerce Secretary Gill and County Exec Leggett tout proposal as good for entire state; Hogan urges passage of two measures to take guns away from some people, while gun advocates draw a bead on bump stock ban proposal; Senate likely to pass cyberbullying measure; long dormant former politicians file for elections in droves; Sen. Young blasts would-be opponent, claiming he employs illegal immigrants; and Mason-Dixon poll finds Rushern Baker still leads Democratic gubernatorial pack.

State Roundup, February 28, 2018

Lawmakers to get a look at Gov. Hogan’s Amazon HQ2 proposal; children of famous people head to Annapolis to testify on legislation to ensure family contact, communication preserved for disabled relatives; bill would up dose of opioid antidote emergency responders can carry, protect them from civil liability; Hogan administration making a dent in long waitlist for disability services; women lawmakers challenge description of State House as a “frat house;” bill would set up task force to track rape kit processing in Maryland; trust for Gov. Hogan continues to make land purchases, but little is known of them; Arundel Councilman Grasso to run for state Senate; Jill Carter joins challenge Sen. Oaks; seven candidates face no challengers; gubernatorial hopeful Vignarajah makes history with first women-of-color ticket; and Baltimore County exec race grows by two.

State Roundup, February 27, 2018

Senate leaders strip Sen. Oaks of committee assignments as he faces federal corruption charges, Senate investigation; Republican lawmakers introduce bill to all qualified teachers to carry handguns in schools; advocates of redistricting reforms face uphill battles; legislators attempt to shore up renewable energy businesses after imposition of 30% tariff on foreign imports; new bay partnership brings together 20 environmental organizations with goal of adding 10 billion oysters to bay; Howard Council Chair Sigaty to seek Sen. Kasemeyer’s seat; and long-time Sen. Astle says he won’t run for re-election.

State Roundup, February 26, 2018

Delegates, Comptroller Franchot wrestle over limits on state’s craft brew industry, throwing some personal punches; state lawmakers to consider helping businesses impacted directly by Purple Line construction; U.S. Rep. Cummings adds criticism of state’s handling of Baltimore Metro shutdown; Del. McMillan won’t seek re-election; former Arundel County Exec Leopold to run for House of Delegates; Sheila Dixon decides not to run for state Senate; in court filing, Attorney General Frosh urges Supreme Court to keep Maryland’s districts; Maryland educators push back against idea of arming teachers; 2nd trial of state Sen. Oaks set for August; and forum for Democratic governor hopefuls highlights similarities, not differences.

State Roundup, February 23, 2018

State working to protect voting system against outside interference; House Republicans’ attempt to lower judges pay raises even more rejected; fight expected over giving micro-brewers more head room House OKs two bills on organ donations; Prince George’s senators hope to set up HBCU scholarships in honor of slain Bowie State student; Nick DiPasquale leaves Chesapeake Bay Program; gubernatorial hopeful Kevin Kamenetz hits the campaign trail with running mate Valerie Ervin; and Gov. Hogan files for re-election.

State Roundup, February 22, 2018

Fireworks expected during Friday’s House debate over proposed changes to new micro-breweries law; following alleged grade fixing, theft allegations, two bills would set up investigative offices to oversee schools; what seemed like a shoo-in bill regulating international election observers turned into a debate over Russian interference and Senate President Miller’s quashing the bill; House pulling together deal to fund Metro; contract awarded to set up service to allow 911 to receive texts; Gov. Hogan, Mayor Pugh tout city crime drop after sweeping arrests; and gubernatorial hopeful Kamenetz picks Montgomery pol Valerie Ervin as running mate.

State Roundup, February 21, 2018

Seven months after grandson’s murder, Del. Talmadge Branch urges lawmakers to expand Safe Streets program; House panel recommends cutting judicial pay raise proposal; bill would allow Marylanders to vote on making recreational marijuana legal; progressive coalition rallies for women’s economic, reproductive freedom; bill would raise penalty, fine for negligent accidents that cause life-threatening injuries; legislation would require voters to fill General Assembly vacancies; ACLU concerned about impact on First Amendment from cyberbullying bill; Transportation Secretary Rahn criticized over Baltimore Metro management; Goucher Poll finds majority of Marylanders know someone addicted to opioids; and gubernatorial candidate Baker hits the ground running after running mate announcement.

State Roundup, February 20, 2018

new Goucher Poll finds Gov. Hogan still retains strong support, but re-election is more iffy; legislation proposed to mandate health insurance at the state level; Del. Morhaim says supervised drug use facilities save lives, cut crime, get addicts into treatment; state senator proposes a tax holiday on college textbooks; a bipartisan group of lawmakers working on law and order package; following Florida shooting, some states looking at Maryland gun control laws; there’s no Maryland women in Congress, but now one is running for governor and four are running mates; Rushern Baker taps Elizabeth Embry as running mate; and

State Roundup, February 19, 2018

The Maryland Women’s Caucus released accounts of harassment in the legislature, makes recommendations to answer the problem; state’s expansion of contraception did not include state workers; environmentalists find loophole in state’s attempts to protect forests; ACLU negotiating settlement with Hogan administration over deleting of Facebook comments; William Kirwan disputes claim that education report won’t be released until after the election; Gov. Hogan frustrating Democrats by mirroring ideas, taking credit, critics say; lawmakers may be ready to change insulting wording of “Maryland, My Maryland;” it’s relatively easy to get on the statewide ballot in Maryland; delegate candidate’s gun raffle fundraiser draws protests following Florida school killings; and Democratic gubernatorial candidates Madaleno and Ross pick running mates.