State Roundup, March 28, 2019

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HOGAN VETOES $15 WAGE, AMONG 3 BILLS: Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed a $15 minimum wage Wednesday, setting up an override fight with the Democratic-controlled General Assembly over one of the top priorities of the state’s growing liberal wing, Erin Cox and Ovetta Wiggins report for the Post. Hogan (R) also vetoed bills allowing school districts to set their own calendars and stripping power to regulate alcohol and tobacco from the state comptroller.

SENATOR’s SILENCE KILLS AID-IN-DYING BILL: Aid-in-dying legislation, which stalled in committee for the past four years, passed the House of Delegates last month, and was approved by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee last week — albeit with numerous amendments that advocates said would have made it the strictest such law in the country. But the bill failed in dramatic fashion Wednesday when the full Senate deadlocked 23 to 23 on whether to advance it, with Sen. Obie Patterson (D-Prince George’s) not voting, Ovetta Wiggins reports in the Post.

HOUSE REPRIMANDS JALISI: The House of Delegates issued a rare formal reprimand Wednesday to Del. Jay Jalisi, a doctor accused of berating and emotionally abusing legislative staff for five years and rebuffing requests to attend anger management training, Erin Cox reports in the Post.

BUSCH WANTS ENTIRE UMMS BOARD TO STEP DOWN: House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch introduced an amendment Wednesday to legislation to reform the embattled University of Maryland Medical System board of directors by forcing all board members to resign by June, Luke Broadwater writes in the Sun. Busch has a seat on the board under state law. With the hospital network reeling from accusations of self-dealing and no-bid contracts for some board members, the chief of staff for the Anne Arundel Democrat said Busch sought to give the board a clean start.

OPINION: MARYLAND CAN LEAD ON DRUG PRICING: The editorial board of the Sun defends the creation of a prescription drug affordability board, which would be empowered to evaluate the cost of particularly expensive medications, or those whose prices increase significantly. Backers estimate that would cover potentially 250,000 to 300,000 people. The pharmaceutical and Maryland’s biotech industries both strongly oppose the bill, predicting dire consequences for patients and an important growth sector in the state’s economy. While we acknowledge that the impact of the bill is difficult to predict given the lack of a precedent, their warnings seem out of proportion to what the bill actually does.

HOGAN BLASTS LAWMAKERS, AGAIN: Gov. Larry Hogan expressed outrage with, and then mocked, Maryland lawmakers as he attempted to goad legislators into enacting stiffer penalties for repeat violent offenders, Adam Bednar of the Daily Record reports. Hogan unleashed his latest fusillade against legislators during a news conference Wednesday in Baltimore amid a growing uproar over crime in the city and ways to solve the crisis.

Here’s the Sun’s version of the story by Tim Prudente.

CURBING MINORS’ MARRIAGES: Maryland lawmakers are considering the creation of an emancipation process for 16- and 17-year-olds that also aims to curb marriage by minors, the subject of debate in recent legislative sessions, Heather Cobun of the Daily Record reports.

OYSTER SANCTUARIES: The AP is reporting that the Maryland General Assembly has passed a bill to permanently protect five oyster sanctuaries in the law. The measure now goes to Gov. Larry Hogan. The bill prohibits catching oysters in the five sanctuaries. They are Harris Creek, the Little Choptank River, the Tred Avon River, the St. Mary’s River and the Manokin River.

PIMLICO OWNER ASKS CITY TO DROP SEIZURE SUIT: The owner of Pimlico Race Course sent a letter Wednesday to the city of Baltimore’s top lawyer, asking him to withdraw an attempt to seize ownership of the track and the Preakness Stakes on the grounds that under Maryland law, only the state has the authority to seek such action, Doug Donovan reports for the Sun.

OPINION: HOUSING AT LAUREL PARK: The editorial board for the Annapolis Capital opines that as two jurisdictions politely arm wrestle over the Preakness Stakes, thanks to the Stronach Group proposing moving it to Laurel Park in Anne Arundel County from Baltimore City, Del. Nick Mosby threw out the fact that worker housing at Laurel was problematic. Arundel County Exec Steuart Pittman went along and ordered an inspection. But don’t be surprised if something unsavory turns up.

MONEY FOR HAGERSTOWN STADIUM: Maryland’s next capital budget includes $300,000 toward a new minor league baseball stadium, should Hagerstown officials choose to move forward with it, Tamela Baker of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail reports. The money set aside in the budget for FY 2020, which begins July 1, would be for pre-design plans, said Del. Paul Corderman, R-Washington.

PARK SERVICE REPAIRING B-W PKWY: The National Park Service will begin emergency repairs this weekend on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway/Route 295 — earlier than planned, amid pressure from Gov. Larry Hogan and the state congressional delegation, Colin Campbell reports in the Sun.

RX POT PANEL TO MOVE AHEAD WITH EXPANSION: The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission said it plans to move ahead with accepting applications for new medical marijuana growing and processing businesses, despite one firm’s effort to block the industry expansion, Morgan Eichensehr of the Baltimore Business Journal reports.

HOGAN: BARR SUMMARY ON MUELLER ‘GOOD NEWS’ FOR TRUMP: Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday that he is looking forward to seeing details of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller III but considers the summary issued by Attorney General William P. Barr to be “good news” for President Trump that does not make him vulnerable to a primary challenge, Rachel Chason reports for the Post.