BILL TO BAN HAIR BIAS: Tales of hair discrimination flooded the Maryland Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday afternoon, as African American community leaders from across the state testified about the need for an expansion in Maryland’s definition of race to include hair texture and protective styles that are often associated with African American identity, Olivia Sanchez of the Capital Gazette reports.
- Civil rights attorneys have long challenged corporate hairstyle policies — such as a requirement that hair be kept short and unbraided — as having a “disparate impact” on racial minorities, Steve Lash of the Daily Record reports.
PUBLIC VOICE ON BAY BRIDGE WORK: In the wake of a much-criticized Bay Bridge resurfacing project, the state Senate on Tuesday gave tentative approval to a measure that would expand the public’s role in rehabilitation projects on the span, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters writes.
HEART ASSOCIATION SEEKS STRONGER E-CIG BILL: The American Heart Association said Tuesday that recommendations in a report newly released by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot’s office aimed at curbing underage access to electronic smoking devices are good but do not go far enough because they do not call for an outright ban of flavored nicotine products, reports Bryan Renbaum of MarylandReporter.
OPINION: FOR BETTER QUALITY EDUCATION: The editorial board for the Sun, in pushing for the Kirwan education proposals, asks, “What does Maryland need to do to raise the quality of its public schools to world-class standards? And once that is settled, the second question is this: How should the state balance its budget? The point is subtle, but it’s important. Kirwan isn’t about taxes. …It’s about coaxing excellence from K-12 public schools.”
PLASTIC BAG BAN: Plastic carryout bags would essentially be a thing of the past in Maryland if a bill in the General Assembly gathers enough lawmakers’ votes, Hugh Garbrick of Capital News Service writes. The bill would ban plastic carryout bags at the “point of sale” next year in July, require stores to charge customers a 10 cents per “durable” carryout bag – like paper bags – and create a “Single-Use Products Workgroup.”
BILL WOULD SEND BEHAVIORAL PATIENTS TO CRISIS CENTER: Tim Curtis of the Daily Record reports that supporters say legislation to allow law enforcement to take behavioral health patients to a crisis center instead of an emergency department would help patients get better care sooner and allow emergency departments to operate more efficiently.
REINING IN JAILHOUSE WITNESSES: Advocates battling wrongful convictions asked legislators Tuesday to increase transparency around the use of so-called jailhouse witnesses by requiring the disclosure of information to the defendant and a statewide database that tracks when witnesses testify as part of a deal with the state, Heather Cobun of the Daily Record reports.
HIGHEST-PAID STATE EMPLOYEES: Team coaches, university administrators and medical school professors topped The Baltimore Sun’s list of the state’s highest-paid employees — a group dominated by men, Jeff Barker is reporting.
HOGAN NAMES NEW STATE POLICE SUPER: Gov. Larry Hogan appointed Woodrow W. “Jerry” Jones III to be the superintendent of the Maryland State Police on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. Jones has been serving as the chief of police for the Maryland Transportation Authority. He spent 27 years with the state police before becoming chief of the MDTA. Jones’ predecessor, William Pallozzi, is retiring after 30 years with the Maryland State Police.
MEAT-LABELING BILL DIES IN COMMITTEE: A bill that would define what can be labeled as meat died in committee last week, Hannah Himes reports in the Frederick News Post. The bill targets meat products that contain lab-grown animal tissue or are made from plants or insects, and states that a food is misbranded if it’s labeled as meat but contains or is made from those sources. The Maryland Senate Finance Committee gave the bill an unfavorable report.
OPINION: LIFETIME TRUST ELIMINATES PARENT’S DECISION: In an op-ed for the Sun, Vicki Ferguson, the mother of a special needs child, opines that the “proposed Maryland Lifetime Infant Care Trust will stop parents like us from deciding what’s best for our children. … No one knows our kids like we do, but if this law passes, a trust will make decisions about their care. The trust will not recognize their potential or their differences.”
OPINION: REMOVING ABANDONED BOATS: The editorial board for the Capital Gazette urges passage of a bill that would have a positive impact on Maryland’s waterways by reducing the time police have to wait before considering that a boat has been abandoned, extend the definition of abandoned vessels to those left unattended in public waterways for too long or those that present a hazard.
FORMER DOJ LAWYER SIGNS BARR RESIGNATION REQUEST: Annapolis resident Robert Frantz had seen enough. Frantz, a former Department of Justice lawyer, is one of more than 2,000 former department officials who signed an open letter urging Attorney General William Barr to resign after Barr intervened in the case of Roger Stone, a long-time ally and adviser of President Donald Trump, Brooks Dubose reports in the Capital Gazette.