FIREARMS BILLS UP FOR COMMITTEE HEARING: Of his three gun-related bills scheduled for a committee hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Waldstreicher’s most important is Senate Bill 1, the Gun Safety Act, which in part would prohibit a person from knowingly wearing, carrying or transporting a firearm within 100 feet of a “place of public accommodation.” Senate Bill 86 that would prohibit anyone younger than 21 years old from owning a rifle or shotgun and Senate Bill 113 would allow victims of gun violence to sue gun manufacturers. William Ford/Maryland Matters.
BILLS WOULD CREATE FRAMEWORK FOR CANNABIS MARKET: Maryland lawmakers introduced legislation Friday to create the framework for a legal cannabis market ahead of the July 1 start of legalization. Identical, cross-filed bills introduced in the House and Senate create a regulatory structure for Maryland’s new cannabis industry. Greg Morton and Dorothy Hood of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.
- The bill would set up a system to tax sales and provide funding mechanisms for communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. The state would tax cannabis sales to consumers at 6% for the fiscal year starting July 1. Hannah Gaskill and Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
- Lawmakers are looking at an aggressive timeline to get the market up and running by July 1. But the draft of the bill indicates many of the details of the new industry won’t be settled until much later. Hannah Gaskill and Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
- The two lawmakers who are cosponsoring the Cannabis Reform bill in the Maryland House of Delegates and are responsible for shepherding it through the legislative straits were both opponents of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. William Zorzi/Maryland Matters.
YEAR OF SERVICE PLAN INTRODUCED: Gov. Moore’s plan for a year of service for the state’s youth began to take shape with the introduction of a bill to establish and fund the program. HB 546, the Serving Every Region Through Vocational Exploration Act of 2023, was introduced Thursday. Kara Thompson of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.
MOORE LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE FINDS SOME GOP SUPPORT: Gov. Wes Moore’s initial legislative package is picking up some support from House Republicans. The General Assembly’s presiding officers introduced nine bills on Moore’s behalf, reflecting many of the broad priorities the new governor outlined in Wednesday’s State of the State address and for months before on the campaign trail. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
- Among other things, those nine policy ideas would automatically increase the minimum wage, make permanent anti-poverty programs that were enhanced during the pandemic and encourage banks to set up shop in underserved areas. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
SENATE LEADERS IMPRESSED WITH MOORE JUVENILE SERVICES PICK: Senate leaders Friday sidestepped questions about Gov. Wes Moore’s pick to lead the Department of Juvenile Services and the nominee’s views on trying offenders now considered legal adults in family court. The Senate Executive Nominations Committee will take up the first nine of Moore’s Cabinet secretary appointments, including the Departments of Budget and Management, Aging, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Labor. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.
UP TO 80,000 MARYLANDERS COULD LOSE MEDICAID COVERAGE: Maryland officials are preparing for as many as 80,000 residents who could no longer qualify for Medicaid coverage this spring, as the federal government reinstates a requirement that existed before the COVID-19 pandemic for states to verify the eligibility of recipients. Brian Witte/The Associated Press.
ATTY GEN SEEKS WAYS TO PRESERVE DOCTOR’s DNA EVIDENCE FROM 1970s: Attorney General Anthony Brown and several other officials are looking for ways to safeguard a collection of physical evidence from more than 2,000 rape exams starting in the 1970s, years before police began to preserve forensic DNA and incorporate it into yearly inventories and oversee its processing amid growing concerns of its vulnerability. Catherine Rentx/ProPublica.
MARYLANDERS IN DANGER OF LOSING BLACK HISTORIANS: Maryland’s Black communities have long been losing their lands to housing developments, flooding and erosion. Now they are also in danger of losing their history. Over the past six months, two prominent chroniclers of Black Marylanders have died — James Stanley Lane in Crisfield and Louis S. Diggs in Catonsville. Each told the stories of their communities. Rona Kobell/The Baltimore Banner.
REAL ID DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 2025: Marylanders who don’t have their REAL IDs have additional time to get the star in the upper-right corner of their state-issued licenses, which will be needed to board domestic flights and enter certain federal buildings. The new deadline is May 7, 2025. Ngan Ho/The Baltimore Sun.
MOORE TO ATTEND STATE OF UNION WITH CARDIN: Gov. Wes Moore will accompany U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin on Tuesday to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address. Cardin invited Moore “to celebrate renewed prospects for robust federal-state partnerships” in the state, according to a news release from Cardin’s office. Ngan Ho/The Baltimore Sun.
- Cardin said he and Moore would attend the Secretary of the Senate’s annual dinner before attending the joint session of Congress for the address. Meredith Cohn/The Baltimore Banner.
BILL WOULD REQUIRE GENDER INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE AT PUBLIC TOILETS: Bills in the Maryland General Assembly would make the state No. 6 in the nation to require gender inclusive language for all public bathrooms. It’s the third time the measure has been introduced to lawmakers, but how it would be enforced has evolved with each version. Matt Bush/WYPR-FM.
NEW STATE HEALTH CHIEF TAKES ON ACCESS, DISPARATIES: Laura Herrera Scott, Gov. Wes Moore’s newly appointed acting secretary of health, inherits an agency grappling with the effects of some of the biggest challenges facing the state, including a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic, health disparities and access to behavioral-health treatment. Those who know her say Herrera Scott, who was a major in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army Reserve and was deployed to Iraq, has a long history of marrying clinical and policy knowledge to build consensus and lead. Jenna Portnoy/The Washington Post.
SCHIFANELLI LEAVES GOP TO FORM NEW PARTY: Gordana Schifanelli , the former Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, has left the Maryland Republican Party and is officially listed as being a member of “Other parties” but is working to create her own party, the Patriot Party. Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin.
VAN HOLLEN SHARES PRIORITIES: U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) shared his priorities for public safety, transit and more during a virtual meeting Friday and conferred with Montgomery County Council members about the support they want from the federal government. Ginny Bixby/MoCo360.
OPINION: EXTREMISTS DEBATE CONSERVATISM AT TSU: The Towson University Chapter of Turning Point USA, the group associated with grifter Charlie Kirk and in the news last October when bigoted messages were leaked, is having a debate on “The Right Way Forward.” The debate is ostensibly to discuss “the right path forward for the American right.” The only problem is, they forgot to invite any conservatives to participate. Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin.
ARUNDEL POLICE BOARD RESPONDED TO 28 COMPLAINTS IN FIRST YEAR: In its first yearly report, the Anne Arundel County Police Accountability Board last month said that in the board’s first six months of operation, it has responded to 28 complaints against local police forces, including the Anne Arundel County Police Department, the Annapolis Police Department and the Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office. Neither the Anne Arundel Community College Public Safety and Police or Crofton Police departments had any complaints issued against them. Luke Parker/The Capital Gazette.
ANGELOS FAMILY MEMBERS DROP LAWSUITS: The dueling lawsuits over control of the Orioles and other assets of longtime team owner Peter Angelos are being dropped by the parties, according to a court document. It says the suits, pitting members of one of Baltimore’s most famous families against one another, are withdrawn and cannot be refiled. It also means the end of a bitter, public feud between Angelos’ sons— one of them aligned with their mother— over a fortune estimated to be worth more than a billion dollars. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.
HARRY LORD, FORMER DEPUTY AG, DIES AT 84: Henry R. “Harry” Lord, a retired lawyer and former deputy attorney general whose interests ranged from civic, cultural and environmental affairs to writing, baseball and long backpacking treks died Monday of cardiac arrest at his Reisterstown home. The former Bolton Hill resident was 84. Frederick Rasmussen/The Baltimore Sun.