Gov. Hogan orders a study of racial disparities in state new medical marijuana industry as he works to give in to more African-American businesses; General Assembly has mixed scorecard on rape legislation; legislature, Board of Public Works remain at odds over school construction oversight; Comptroller Franchot, Gov. Hogan discuss bipartisanship, redistricting in chamber forum; and Baltimore County Police won’t release body cam footage in three shootings.
A prohibition on generic drug price gouging, HB631, now heads to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk for signature after the House concurred in Senate amendments Monday morning. The legislation would be the first of its kind in the country to hold drug makers accountable for drastic spikes in prices that can’t be justified.
Many bills get a hearing, and maybe some discussion in committee, but not much more, dying a silent death with little notice. Here are some of those bills whose hearings MarylandReporter.com covered, but were never heard from afterward. All but one never got a vote in committee.
When the clock strikes 12 tonight, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will breathe a huge sigh of relief. With luck, the Maryland General Assembly – which has been increasingly aggressive in opposing the Republican chief executive – won’t return to Annapolis until next January. There have been few reasons for Hogan to take comfort in his dealings with the state legislature this year – or indeed for the two earlier 90-day sessions.
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has chosen not to fight the Democrat-dominated legislature on 15 bills they sent to him early, expecting vetoes on some. The most surprising among the 15 bills Hogan let go into law without his signature is HB913, forcing the governor to put $1 million a year in the budget of the attorney general in order to sue the Trump administration. Hogan had called the bill “horrible” and “crazy.”
Five years in the making, the Maryland General Assembly on Wednesday passed a widely supported but controversial paid sick leave bill, HB1, which Gov. Larry Hogan has vowed to veto. Democratic lawmakers are promising an override at the start of the 2018 session, saying they will defend the rights of 700,000 Marylanders to take paid sick leave without fear of losing their jobs.
In a recent interview, Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin argued that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch was no mainstream judge and described him in some cases as “more extreme” than Justice Samuel Alito.Maryland’s other senator, Chris Van Hollen, has echoed Cardin’s statements and has announced his intent to filibuster the Gorsuch nomination as the well. The Democratic filibuster is expected to trigger the so called “nuclear option” where Republicans change Senate rules with a simple majority vote and eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. Both the filibuster and the nuclear option would result in irreparable harm to the U.S. Senate.
Democratic lawmakers in Annapolis get another bite at the apple to pass an Internet privacy law before the 2017 session ends next Monday. In a party-line vote on Tuesday the Senate voted, 33-14,to suspend the rules and approve introduction of a late bill, Internet Consumer Privacy Rights Act of 2017, SB 1200. Republicans in the House of Delegates had blocked a similar measure on Monday. The bill is in response to the recent repeal in Congress of Obama-era FCC privacy rules.
A late attempt to introduce an Internet privacy bill on Monday illustrated a common complaint from the Republican minority this session: Democrats continue to make Washington politics their priority. House Majority Leader Bill Frick asked the House of Delegates to allow introduction of an emergency bill to prevent Internet service providers from selling or sharing personal information without notification and consent of their customers.
Maryland’s residents including its farmers have lots to lose if we reach a future where there simply aren’t any antibiotics left to treat our sickest patients. Unfortunately, we all seem headed in that direction. That’s why we, as professional nurses, feel so strongly the time has come for the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act, SB 422/HB 602.
The House of Delegates on Friday gave preliminary approval of House and Senate resolutions, HJ2/SJ2, to rescind all four of Maryland’s calls for a constitutional convention. A final vote is expected Monday or Tuesday. But the Republican minority in both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly have voiced opposition to rescinding the 1975 call to Congress for a balanced budget, when the national debt was $533 billion.