New driver’s license requirement causes frustration, long lines at MVA; lawmakers weigh legislation on oyster management, sanctuaries; more doctors, patients push for marijuana as treatment for opioid addiction; new Goucher Poll finds Marylanders backing Democrats’ agenda, including legalization of recreation marijuana, minimum wage hike, doctor assisted suicide and raising tobacco-purchasing age to 21; Del. Lewis Young seeks study into high rates of C-sections; lacking votes, Del. Lierman pulls ranked choice voting bill; and Georgetown U. faces opposition to solar project that would clear cut 210 acres in Charles County.
Maryland voters in November re-elected a Republican governor for only a second time in history, but they also elected a Democratic legislature that has moved further to the left. A new Goucher College taken earlier this month found broad support among Maryland adults for some of the top policy initiatives by Democrats that are not on Gov. Larry Hogan’s wish list.
The new driver’s license requirements demanded by federal law are not only producing long lines at Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration offices, but anger and frustration for many who are having their documents rejected to get a compliant REAL ID. The process seems to be worse for older citizens who are having their original birth certificates rejected, and for women of any age who have had their last names changed by marriage or divorce.
Republican Del. Michael Malone is hoping momentum is building for his anti-gerrymandering bill, now that 22 Democrats have joined all 42 Republicans in supporting his effort to redraw the state’s congressional boundaries.
In the college application process, one little box is worth thousands of dollars: the one linked to in-state tuition. Checking that box for the University of Maryland College Park, for example, saves you $24,600 — the difference between paying in-state tuition of $8,651 for the current academic year versus $33,272 for out-of-state students. Some students, however, may be getting an in-state tuition break who shouldn’t be.
House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch presented the annual Speaker’s Society Awards during Tuesday’s floor session. The Speaker’s Medallion and citations were awarded posthumously to victims of the shooting at the Capital-Gazette newspaper last June: Wendi Winters, Rob Hiaasen, Rebecca Smith, Gerald Fischman, and John McNamara.
Striped bass or rockfish, one of the most prized species in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic Coast, are being overfished according to a new assessment of the stock’s health — a finding that will likely trigger catch reductions for a species long touted as a fisheries management success.
Saying “73 is the new 50,” Del. Jon Cardin is pushing a bill to bump up the mandatory retirement age for judges in Maryland from 70 to 73. If passed, HB182 would require a constitutional amendment and have to be approved by voters in the 2020 general election.
Maryland drivers are facing longer lines and frustrating revisits to state offices over the next year when they renew their licenses due to tougher requirements for licenses that comply with the federal REAL ID law, legislators heard last week. Sixty percent of Maryland’s almost 3 million licensed drivers must submit new documentation to prove age, identity and residence by October 2020, or they will be denied access to federal facilities and to boarding commercial aircraft.
For the last few years, Jason Lambertson’s farm near Pocomoke City on the Lower Eastern Shore has been home to an expensive experiment. The third-generation farmer received nearly $1 million in state funding to build a giant poultry waste converter and distribute its main product: fertilizer. But profits have yet to arrive.
After a comprehensive law overhauled the state’s criminal justice system, Maryland has seen a decline in the state’s prison and jail populations and more streamlined treatment for addicts who are charged with crimes. But advocates want to add to the law to keep inmates from returning behind bars.