The Maryland Democratic Party is asking Gov. Hogan for all correspondence with HNTB, whose company is under scrutiny for no-bid contract, relationship with Transportation Secretary Rahn; Comptroller Franchot asks Hogan to veto bill that strips comptroller of pension board chair; Hogan on verge of signing bill to deal with foreign interference of elections; Maryland gets $10 million federal grant to continue fighting opioid crisis; Prince George’s County exec candidate Alsobrooks calls on Exec Baker to fire school super; former Gov. Glendening endorses Baker for governor; women candidates perturbed by Montgomery Exec Leggett’s male-only endorsements; and U.S. Rep. Harris joins small group of Republicans calling for prosecution of Hillary Clinton and James Comey.
In a record year in which 3,127 bills and joint resolutions were introduced, 890 bills or 28% were passed and 142 have already become laws, most of them (114) in Tuesday’s bill signing. At the signing ceremony, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan continued to tout bipartisan cooperation and the contrast with Washington inaction, a theme he plans to carry through his reelection campaign in heavily Democratic Maryland.
Gov. Larry Hogan won this legislative session by not losing too much and not giving Democrats ammunition against his reelection campaign. Hogan also won with success on issues where he cooperated more than usual with Democrats, and by choosing to fight them, and lose, only on issues where he held the high ground.
It was the coldest final day of the Maryland General Assembly that anyone could remember. Sine Die (sign-ee die) in State House speak is usually warm and sunny. For at least nine senators and 29 delegates, it will be the last session in their current posts. Here is a gallery of photos to give a flavor of the day.
A bill allowing public school teachers recommended for suspension or termination to bypass school board discipline hearings and use an outside arbitrator to decide the case will become law, despite Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of the measure. The Senate and House overrode the veto Thursday.
The Maryland Constitution – and 80 years of state case law – make clear that a person cannot be jailed for disobeying an order to pay money based on a debt. Yet, debtors’ prisons continue to exist in our state. Legislation (SB 1050/HB 1081) to eliminate debtors prisons in Maryland has passed the Senate but is currently awaiting a vote in the House Judiciary Committee.
Opposition from lawmakers was across the board Wednesday as a final vote took place in the House of Delegates to ultimately approve a $5.6 billion tax incentive package to lure Amazon.com to Montgomery County. While Montgomery County’s House delegation voted unanimously to approve the measure, legislators from other areas of the state — Republicans and Democrats alike — had nothing nice to say about the bill. Many called it a job killer for small businesses.
Even as Baltimore Mayor Pugh is asking for the business community to open their wallets to provide jobs and money for government programs, the Baltimore City Council just passed anti-business legislation that will make it harder for the restaurants, hospitals, and caterers to hire new staff and balance their books.
After failed attempts over more than a decade, legislation allowing prior sexual predatory behavior to be used in criminal prosecutions of alleged sex offenders passed the Senate unanimously Wednesday and was sent to Gov. Larry Hogan. Hogan sponsored similar legislation this year and has signaled his support for the bill.
Maryland may soon join other states that are putting consumer protections in place to allow residents to determine which personal data Internet service providers may use, while ensuring they’re treated equally regardless of they use the Internet. A bill sponsored by Del. Bill Frick, D-Montgomery, scheduled for a final House vote this week would require Internet service providers to give their customers an opt-in choice before using their personal information for marketing and other third-party uses. The bill would also reset the net neutrality rule requiring Internet providers to treat all customers equally when it comes to Internet speed and fees, a response to the FCC’s 2017 deregulation.
Caryn York responds to Gov. Larry Hogan’s Sun op-ed on the comprehensive crime bill. She says the bill was rushed, and contains mandatory minimums that will again lead to mass incarceration, contradicting last year’s Justice Reinvestment Act which both she and the governor supported.