Opinion: A tipped server from Seattle says Madaleno’s $15 minimum wage bill cuts incomes

Sen. Richard Madaleno just called for tipped service workers to “complain if they think they should be getting more” in MarylandReporter.com’s March 9 story.  
His attempt to eliminate the industry standard of tipping in favor of a flat $15 an hour minimum wage, Madaleno sited the minimum wage increase in Washington State as an example of success. That’s not true for tipped workers in full-service restaurants.

Congress faces deadline Friday for Bay funding, EPA authority

Congress faces deadlines this Friday to determine how much authority the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will have to enforce Bay cleanup efforts — and how much money it will have to spend on that work during this fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

State Roundup, March 16, 2018

Maryland Senate unanimously passes $44.5 billion budget with $200 million in new education funding; as gun control measures pass House of Delegates, Senate President Miller pushes committee chair to move bills to Senate floor; bill to allow evidence in court of predatory behavior moves out of committee; in fight against Citizens United, House moves for Constitutional Convention; proposal to legalize sports betting may go to the voters in November; drug, alcohol testing of drivers who cause pedestrian death before Senate panel; Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls line up behind upping renewables standard; and three small businesses in Seat Pleasant sue town over huge rise in property taxes.

House votes to put sports gambling in Maryland on November ballot

Bipartisan legislation calling for Maryland voters to weigh in on legalized sports betting in the state sailed through the House Thursday with a vote of 124 to 14. The bill, HB1014, sponsored by Del. Frank Turner, D-Howard, would place a law to allow sports betting at Maryland casinos and horse racing tracks on the November ballot through a voter referendum on a constitutional change.

Senate unanimously passes $44.5 billion state budget

The Maryland Senate on Thursday unanimously passed the state’s $44.5 billion budget for fiscal 2019, just 2.2% higher than this year’s spending plan. The senators heaped bipartisan praise on budget committee chairman Ed Kasemeyer, who is retiring from the Senate this year and got three standing ovations from his colleagues over the past three days as he presented the budget.

House Judiciary Committee unanimously approves repeat sex offender bill

The House Judiciary Committee Thursday unanimously approved legislation that would allow evidence of previous sexual predatory behavior by defendants to be admitted in court. The committee’s approval of the “prior bad acts” legislation happened only after advocates of the bill pressured committee leaders, who has been criticized for failing to advance similar legislation in previous years.

State Roundup, March 15, 2018

Gov. Hogan calls bipartisan bill to tighten restrictions on gun accessibility, ban bumpstocks “common sense;” lawmakers seeks to make Baltimore City Police Department accountable, transparent; immigration debate heats up in Annapolis; new renewable energy use mandate fails; pipeline protesters arrested in State House sit-in; ‘Maryland, My Maryland’ may be relegated to the b-side; state Sen. Oaks drops entrapment claim; U.S. Rep. Cummings recovering at home; Donna Edwards endorsed by Maryland Working Families in race for Prince George’s County exec; and Hogan attacks potential rival over silence on county officials’ convictions.

UPDATE Goners: 10 senators, 29 delegates leave their seats this year

This is the last legislative session for 10 senators and 29 delegates as they leave their seats to others, whether by retiring or running for other offices. (We missed two delegates in the first posting, and fixed a couple of incorrect party designations.) Primary and general elections may unseat other lawmakers, but here is the list of the lawmakers that will produce at least a 20% turnover in both chambers.

State Roundup, March 14, 2018

Sen. Kagan, lobbyist Gil Genn roll out video of incident to prove opposing views on inappropriate touching complaint while Kagan says more women have told her similar stories; Sen. Ferguson seeks commission to look into Baltimore Police disgraced Gun Trace Task Force; delegate would like to expand hate crime law to include visual threats; private schools rally for public support; clean water activists to protest Potomac pipeline; Gov. Hogan taps Sen. Norman’s widow to fill out remainder of his term; and after years, Carroll Commissioners pass state-mandated ethics law, but not without tension.

House Republicans issue ultimatum to Vallario on sexual predator bill; he promises vote

House Republican leaders on Tuesday vowed to circumvent a powerful House Judiciary chairman by using parliamentary rules to petition a full House vote for a sexual predator bill if the bill did not receive a committee vote by Friday. In an interview on the House floor Tuesday, Vallario told MarylandReporter.com that Del. Vanessa Atterbeary’s bill was in fact on the voting list. “It’s on the list,” Vallario said. “I worked on it over the weekend.