State Roundup, January 17, 2018

Gov. Hogan’s $44.4 billion budget preview includes no tax hikes, more bucks for K-12; Democrats offers three-part-tax relief plan to offset federal tax overhaul as Hogan welcomes proposal; education commission chair says Maryland schools are in “middle of the pack;” Maryland offers bipartisan opposition to federal offshore drilling plan; Hogan to report raising $4.85 million for next campaign; Al Redmer hires top staff for campaign for Baltimore County exec; and Chelsea Manning’s election chances in Maryland may not be so rosy.

State Roundup, January 16, 2018

Legislators take up reshaping state’s medical marijuana industry to include African-American led firms; coalition of union leaders, Democrats and workers launch campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023; Gov. Hogan sets up office to aid small businesses with new sick leave requirement; while judges’ use of cash bail drops dramatically, more people are being held without bail; Sun investigation takes a look at who is to blame for Baltimore City’s cold schools: The city or a state system; Sen. Kagan says Monday’s Metro derailment proves need for new funding sources; and loss of Discovery Channel will impact state, Montgomery County coffers..

Anne Arundel exec Schuh loves his job, hopes to keep it

Steve Schuh loves his job as Anne Arundel County executive and he hopes to keep it. In a normal re-election year, a county executive would keep his job if he has been fairly successful and hasn’t screwed up, as Schuh believes is true and a recent poll seems to indicate. But this election year is not normal. “Democrats are very angry,” said the Republican county executive in his third annual year-end interview with The Business Monthly in late December.

State Roundup, January 15, 2018

With Senate vote, Gov. Hogan’s sick leave veto is overridden; but sponsor seeks 90-day delay in its implementation to let small businesses prepare; parents who lost son to carbon monoxide poisoning while working on shrink-wrapped boat seek bills to help prevents others’ deaths; former Republican Party chief and Lt. Gov. Michael Steele says yes, President Trump is a racist; national Republicans eye Maryland as a place to put their money; Democrat steps up to challenge newly appointed Del. Corderman; Chelsea Manning to challenge Sen. Ben Cardin; Matt Mossburg drops 6th District congressional run; 6th District congressional candidate David Trone faces pair of protests this coming week; and one-time promising pol Gary Huddles dies.

Analysis: Term limits for lawmakers — a great idea that will never come

Term limits for Maryland legislators are a great idea whose time will never come. That’s particularly true of Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposal for a two-term limit on Maryland lawmakers. That could actually make things worse at the State House. Even Republican legislators who repeatedly do the heavy lifting for their Republican governor think the idea stinks — off the record, of course.

State Roundup, January 12, 2018

As expected, the House of Delegates rejects Gov. Hogan’s veto of sick leave bill, with Senate vote expected today. House also rejects Hogan veto of a bill that prohibited colleges from using the criminal history information of applicants; bill to end rights of parents who conceived child through rape is at top of agenda this year; Del. Kipke plans to reintroduce bill to allow some parents to force their adult children into addiction treatment; Baltimore County Exec (and gubernatorial candidate) Kamenetz dismisses Hogan call for investigator general into corruption at schools; state Sen. Oaks pleads not guilty to obstruction; and state pols weigh in on President Trump’s latest comments.

Bay Barometer finds things keep looking up

The wintry weather may have been frightful, but the latest Bay Barometer is pointing in a generally positive direction. The annual report released by the federal-state Chesapeake Bay Program trumpeted continued gains in the long-running effort to restore the estuary, with new highs reached last year in fish passage, water quality and blue crab and underwater grass abundance.

State Roundup, January 11, 2018

Taxes, upcoming elections, term limits, and President Trump are all issues to feed into a likely difficult session; Miller says harassment panel will be “powerful,” should be made up totally of women and will get input from women’s caucus; sick leave veto override could come today; group wants motorcycle helmet requirement eased; Gov. Hogan throws support behind Paris Climate Accord; shore legislators hope to secure free community college tuition for Somerset students; bye-bye trees, hello LEDS as State House grounds get some necessary work; new Gonzales poll continues to give Hogan high marks in outlook for next election; and Dem governor hopeful Ross says he’s raised $1 million.

Gonzales poll: Hogan still gets high marks, but support falls off for reelection bid

Among Maryland voters, 71% approve of the job Larry Hogan is doing as governor (41% “strongly” approve and 30% “somewhat” approve), while 21% disapprove (13% “strongly” disapprove and 8% “somewhat” disapprove), and 8% offered no opinion. When matched against the top three Democratic contenders, Hogan enjoys a double-digit lead but does not crack the 50% mark against any.