State Roundup, February 7, 2020

FLAVORED VAPING BAN GETS SUPPORT: Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh took aim at the tobacco industry on Thursday in emphasizing his support for legislation that would end the sale of all flavored tobacco products in the state, Bryan Renbaum writes for

SEVENTH DISTRICT CAMPAIGN NOW SHIFTS TO APRIL: The two female Democratic candidates who finished second and third in Tuesday’s special election say they are not giving up their quest to succeed the late Elijah Cummings, Jenna Portnoy reports for the Washington Post. Kweisi Mfume —  Cummings’ predecessor —  won the election to finish out the late congressman’s term, but candidates have nearly three months to convince Democratic voters they deserve a full term in the Baltimore-area seat.

  • OPINION: The outcome won’t be any different, opines Barry Rascovar on Political Maryland. In fact, the three women of color could finish even further behind Mfume than on Tuesday’s election.
  • The field is narrowing somewhat, however, Jeff Barker reports in the Sun. Maryland House of Delegates Majority Whip Talmadge Branch, Del. Terri Hill and law professor F. Michael Higginbotham say they won’t be running.
  • The race may increase Gov. Larry Hogan’s interest in his redistricting proposal, writes Rachel Baye for WYPR. That’s because even though there is also a Republican nominee for the seat and less than a fifth of the district’s voters cast a ballot, Mfume has become the presumptive winner of the seat.

EDUCATION REFORM BILL FILED: Maryland lawmakers filed a “groundbreaking” but expensive 199-page bill Thursday, Luke Broadwater and Pamela Wood report for the Baltimore Sun. It would mean a sweeping overhaul of public schools by boosting teacher pay, expanding vocational training and funding additional services for children in the poorest communities.

JUDGES OPPOSE HOGAN’S TRANSPARENCY ACT: One of Gov. Larry Hogan’s crime bills would require revealing the sentences handed out in criminal cases, and is meeting stiff opposition from judges, reports David Collins for WBAL-TV.

PROPOSAL: FOSTER PARENTS COULD INTERVENE IN COURT CASES: Foster parents, often treated as mere witnesses in placement decisions regarding children in need of assistance, would have the right to intervene in court cases under legislation that came before a Senate panel Thursday, Steve Lash reports for The Daily Record.

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT CALLED POLITICAL: The Maryland Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation Wednesday that would allow Baltimore City the authority to impose a residency requirement on top police officials, Bruce DePuyt writes for Maryland Matters. But the vote came over the vigorous objections of a Republican lawmaker who said the fight against crime has been “politicized.”

WASHINGTON COUNTY HOPING FOR REDEVELOPMENT INCENTIVE: Support for measures for tax breaks for development in parts of Washington County is growing, a senator said in a report by Tamela Baker for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. The bill is intended to revitalize the former Fort Ritchie site at Cascade, an Army base military that closed in 1998.

LAWMAKER PUSHES BILL TO REACH SETTLEMENT: House Speaker Adrienne Jones is introducing a bill to end a protracted legal battle between the state and its historically black colleges and universities, Ovetta Wiggins reports for the Post.

  • The bill would require the governor to spend $580 million over the next 10 years on the four colleges, in line with a settlement proposal from the institutions last year, Pamela Wood writes in the Post.

TOLL FEE BILL GOES TO HEARING: The Maryland General Assembly is considering a bill that would lower the $50 late fee for those who pay bridge and highway tolls by cash, John Rydell reports for Fox45. But the Maryland Transportation Authority opposes the bill to reduce the late fee to $5.

SUPPORT FOR MOUNT AIRY IN STATE RENEWAL PROGRAM: The Frederick County delegation voted to send a letter of support of Del. Dan Cox’s proposal to add Mount Airy to the state’s urban renewal program, Steve Bohnel writes in the Frederick News-Post.

About The Author

Meg Tully

Contributing Editor Meg Tully has been covering Maryland politics for more than five years. She has worked for The Frederick News-Post, where she reported during the General Assembly session in Annapolis. She has also worked for The (Hanover) Evening Sun and interned at Baltimore Magazine. Meg has won awards from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association for her state and county writing, and a Keystone Press Award for feature writing from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. She is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. If you have additional questions or comments contact Meg at:

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