State Roundup, March 30, 2017

General Assembly sends bills on education, Attorney General budget to Gov. Hogan’s desk prepared to overturn any vetoes; that AG budget bill is one of several aimed at softening blows to programs expected from the Trump administration; Senate Prez Miller says Senate won’t back sanctuary state bill; craft brewers say bill that was supposed to help them only hurts them; bill targets drivers who linger in the passing lane; and Gov. Hogan seeks recipe submissions for annual cookout.

Legislature grants Frosh $1M to sue feds over Trump policies

The Maryland Senate today passed, HB913, the Maryland Defense Act of 2017 – mandating that the administration fund five new attorneys in the Office of the Attorney General to sue the federal government — at a cost of $1 million annually. The measure passed the Senate 30-15, a veto-proof majority. It is one of about two dozen bills delivered to Gov. Larry Hogan yesterday. He has only six days, not counting Sunday, to sign, veto or let the bills become law. Hogan has criticized the new powers for the attorney general, and is generally opposed to spending mandates.

State Roundup, March 29, 2017

The General Assembly OKs the state’s $43.5 billion budget, closing $400 million gap and sending funds to Baltimore City, other counties with declining enrollments; Gov. Hogan calls school evaluation legislation “utter disgrace,” vows a veto; bail reform advocates protest bail reform bill that would expand use of bail; lawmakers OK bill to bolster Planned Parenthood in wake of federal cuts; craft brewers complain about restrictions in new craft brewing legislation; lawmakers OK extension of energy efficiency program; Baltimore City and Baltimore and Arundel counties top state in overdose deaths; and Sens. Cardin, Van Hollen oppose Judge Gorsuch for Supreme Court.

School scoring bill sent to Hogan, who promises veto

Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly on Tuesday passed legislation establishing parameters for school evaluations that the state school board strongly opposes and Gov. Larry Hogan has promised to veto. The House went along with Senate amendments, and sent the bill to Hogan, who called it “an utter disgrace.” If the bill is delivered to Hogan’s office by Monday, he has six days to act on it, giving the legislature the chance to override a veto before it adjourns April 10.

Opinion: Why energy efficiency is good for Maryland’s economy

Good policies like the one that launched the state’s EmPOWER Maryland energy programs in 2008 can create thousands of jobs and save businesses billions of dollars, while also saving you money every time you pay your electricity bill. These are among the reasons why the Maryland Alliance of Energy Contractors is urging Gov. Larry Hogan to sign legislation that would extend EmPOWER Maryland for six more years.

State Roundup, March 28, 2017

Senate passes fracking ban. Bill now goes to Gov. Hogan’s desk; Carroll, Baltimore City schools get infusion of state cash; U.S. Attorney General Sessions chastises Maryland as “sanctuary state,” as Del. Dumais, County Exec Kamenetz hit back; Rep. Harris said Freedom Caucus to return with Obamacare replacement; vote confirming Rod Rosenstein as deputy atty gen delayed; and Reed Cordish picks up more duties in the White House.

State Roundup, March 27, 2017

Gov. Hogan proposes $23.7 million for Baltimore City Public Schools; Hogan blasts ed reform bill as “misguided and horrible”; lawmakers push to OK bills targeting heroin, opioid problems in state including treatment, education and crisis hotline; bills to update sexual assault laws advance through General Assembly; fracking ban continues to move forward; bail bond industry flexed its financial muscle during 2017 session; as crab season gets under way, watermen hope to see more flexible regulations; poll finds a third of Marylanders thinks corruption is a problem in Annapolis as ethics measure moves through General Assembly; and City Mayor Pugh vetoes minimum wage law she once embraced.

Legislature braces for ACA repeal despite Congress’s failure

The Maryland House of Delegates on Friday adopted its version and a Senate version of the Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Act to plan for the potential loss of $4 billion in annual Medicare and Medicaid dollars that flow to the state annually, should the Republican-controlled Congress succeed in repealing the Affordable Care Act.