State Roundup, February 10, 2020

REDSKINS PIT MD VS. VA OVER SPORTS BETTING: The Washington Redskins have deepened a multistate effort to secure a spot in the burgeoning sports betting industry, dangling to both Maryland and Virginia the prospect of building a stadium within their borders — so long as the team can offer wagering, reports Erin Cox and Ovetta Wiggins for the Post.

BILL WOULD TOUGHEN ETHICS LAW: Prompted by a news report that raised questions about whether state transportation spending has benefitted the governor’s real estate holdings, a group of state lawmakers has introduced a measure to strengthen Maryland’s ethics law, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports.

WIRELESS VOTER INFO TRANSMISSION SUSPENDED: Josh Kurtz reports for Maryland Matters that Maryland elections officials announced Friday that they will not require the state’s six largest jurisdictions to use a controversial wireless network to transmit voter information to the state during this year’s elections. This was after the software appeared to malfunction while Tuesday’s special congressional primaries were taking place.

TEEN SEXTING BILL: Teens could be exempted from Maryland’s child pornography laws in certain cases if the General Assembly passes any one of four bills filed this session, Ryan Little of CNS writes in MarylandReporter. Lawmakers want to decriminalize teen “sexting,” a practice that arose with the mass adoption of smartphones and that experts say is fairly common among teenagers.

BILL WOULD ADD HAIRSTYLES TO BIAS LAW: Maryland’s prohibition on racial discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations would be expanded to include bias on the basis of hairstyles associated with race under legislation pending before the General Assembly, Steve Lash of the Daily record reports.

CRUSH OF BILLS: There is growing consensus in Annapolis that the General Assembly is getting snowed in by an avalanche of legislation, writes Bruce DePuyt for Maryland Matters. Sen. Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George’s), the chairman of the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, said, “Quantity has gotten in the way of quality, and that’s a problem.”

PRESS MEMORIAL FUNDING: A memorial honoring the five Capital Gazette staff members killed in a mass shooting in 2018 could be paid for by the state under a proposal in Gov. Larry Hogan’s capital budget, Olivia Sanchez reports for the Capital Gazette.

PARROTT SEEKS TO END NEEDLE EXCHANGE: Providing clean needles to addicts sends the wrong message, Del. Neil Parrott says. So the Washington County Republican has proposed legislation in the Maryland General Assembly that he believes would prohibit the Washington County Health Department from doing that, Tamela Baker writes in the Hagerstown Herald Mail.

HOGAN TAPS DAVITT FOR RACING PANEL: Gov. Larry Hogan has appointed former high-ranking anti-corruption prosecutor Emmet Davitt to the Maryland Racing Commission, filling a vacant seat on a body that has been under scrutiny in recent months, reports Luke Broadwater in the Sun.

OPINION: TAXING THE TRUTH: In a column for the Capital Gazette, former Republican Del. Herb McMillan takes to task both Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley and Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman over their separate plans to raise taxes and also support for state Sen. Sarah Elfreth’s bill permitting the creation of an unelected “Resiliency Authority” that could charge city and county tax-payers fees.

SINKHOLE NOTIFICATON BILL: Del. Carol Krimm (D-Frederick) introduced a bill, House Bill 178, that would require real estate agents or homeowners to disclose that a property is prone to sinkholes opening up under their homes, Steve Bohnel of the Frederick News Post reports.

ARUNDEL BILL ON PUBLIC HOUSING: Powerful testimony from Ward 6 Alderman Dajuan Gay’s mother about her experience living in Annapolis’ public housing motivated Anne Arundel state lawmakers to expedite and unanimously pass a bill that would not allow the city to exempt public housing from licensing and inspections, reports Olivia Sanchez for the Capital Gazette.

HOGAN ON ‘SHAM’ IMPEACHMENT PROCESS: Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who considered a primary challenge to President Trump last year, said Friday that the impeachment process that ended with the president’s acquittal this week was “kind of a sham and a joke,” Rachel Chason of the Post reports.

FLU HOSPITALIZATIONS UP — 24,865 ILL: More people are being hospitalized due to influenza so far in the 2019-2020 flu season than in the previous year, reports Heather Mongilio of the Frederick News Post reports. Between Jan. 18 and Jan. 25, there were 238 hospitalizations for influenza. As of Feb. 1, 24,865 cases of the flu were reported, according to the Maryland Department of Health.

ADVOCATES: OPPORTUNITY ZONES HARMED BY BILLS: Backers of a federal program touted as a pipeline for investment into downtrodden communities worry that a pair of General Assembly bills may curtail the initiative’s chances to succeed in Maryland, Adam Bednar reports for the Daily Record.

MO CO DELEGATION GUTS REAL ESTATE BILL: Caitlynn Peetz of Bethesda Beat writes that Montgomery County’s House delegation on Friday gutted a proposed bill that would have prohibited real estate agents from advertising a home for sale based on its school assignment.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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