BILL WOULD REQUIRE STATE LICENSE FOR SECURITY GUARDS: Legislation set for a hearing today would require all security guards in Maryland, regardless of their employer, to be licensed by the state. It also would establish minimum training standards — a curriculum that teaches appropriate use of force, de-escalation tactics and basic criminal law, among other topics — for every security guard and require guards or security agencies to report to state police when a guard uses force against a civilian. Alex Mann and Darcy Costello/The Baltimore Sun.
4-DAY WORKWEEK PILOT PROGRAM DERAILED: Efforts to bring a four-day workweek pilot program to Maryland is over at least for this year. Sponsors of the House and Senate bills withdrew the legislation amid concerns it would institutionalize a 32-hour work week. Costs of the five-year pilot program and ingrained attitudes concerning the traditional 40-hour work week appear to have derailed legislation for this year. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
CANNABIS REFORM ACT ON HOUSE FLOOR TODAY: The Cannabis Reform Act of 2023 is expected to hit the floor of the Maryland House of Delegates today accompanied by amendments, as the bill to prop up an adult-use recreational marijuana market progresses through the General Assembly. With more edits still possible, lawmakers pushed the bill out of the House Economic Matters Committee last week, voting 16-5 along party lines. Three delegates were excused from voting. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.
DESPITE STRONG SUPPORT, OFFSHORE WIND NO SURE THING: A bill that would expand the offshore wind energy industry in Maryland has been co-sponsored by more than half the members of a key House committee — including 13 of the panel’s 17 Democrats — and by the powerful chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Energy and the Environment. It aligns with the environmental and economic development priorities of the state’s new governor. It’s been endorsed by a robust coalition of business leaders, organized labor, environmental groups and others. But in Annapolis, that’s no sure recipe for success. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
AID IN DYING ADVOCATES: MY BODY, MY CHOICE: In a state where lawmakers want to become a national model in protecting a woman’s right to an abortion, advocates of aid in dying are reframing their argument in their fight for the bill’s passage, asserting that bodily autonomy should be viewed no differently at the beginning of life than it is at the end of it. Ovetta Wiggins and Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
CIVILITY RULES IN ABORTION DISCUSSION: Before sending a constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights to the House floor, Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk invited her committee colleagues to discuss and ask questions — of her, of each other and of the analysts in the room — before they voted on one of the most personal issues in American politics, abortion. Those watching witnessed a civil, frank and composed discussion between ideological opposites — a seemingly unimaginable civic act in today’s tumultuous political climate. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.
STATE EXPANDS QUARANTINE OVER SPOTTED LANTERN FLY: Eighteen of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions are now under a quarantine order from the state Department of Agriculture due to the spread of the spotted lantern fly, an invasive pest capable of harming local plant life. The order requires businesses transporting plants, yard waste, outdoor construction equipment and other items within or from the quarantine zone to receive a permit from the state, and have employees complete a training course about slowing the spread of the lantern fly. Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun.
FREDERICK DELEGATION WRESTLES WITH DISENFRANCHISEMENT: In response to concerns that Frederick city residents were being disenfranchised, two state lawmakers have separately sought to change how members vote during Frederick County delegation meetings. By voting on contentious Frederick County bills, nonresident lawmakers have disenfranchised voters in Sen. Karen Lewis Young’s district, which is most of Frederick city she said. Jack Hogan/The Frederick News Post.
BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES SEE UPTICK SINCE MOORE INAUGURATION: Black-owned or -run businesses reported 30% to 40% increases in business the week of Gov. Moore’s inauguration, they said. That uptick has continued in the weeks that followed, they say, adding that the overwhelming majority of the patrons responsible for the increase have been Black. John-John Williams/The Baltimore Banner.
OPNION: NO ROOM FOR HOGAN IN GOP PERSONALITY CULT: Former Gov. Larry Hogan announced that he was calling off his potential presidential candidacy on the same weekend Donald Trump was in Maryland playing a two-hour greatest hits set at the Conservative Political Action Conference meeting at National Harbor. The former governor’s pitch of low-key pragmatism isn’t what his party’s core voters are buying. Editorial Board/The Baltimore Sun.
FORMER COLLEGE PARK MAYOR JAILED WITHOUT BOND: Patrick Wojahn, the College Park mayor who resigned last week after being charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, will be jailed without bond as he awaits his trial, a judge ruled Monday morning. Katie Mettler/The Washington Post.
STATE SUPREMES HAND AMAZON WAREHOUSE LEGAL VICTORY: The Maryland Supreme Court has delivered Amazon a legal victory, clearing the way for the online shopping and shipping service to operate a distribution center in Upper Marlboro over the objections of nearby residents. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.
OPINION: THE FIX FOR VIOLENT CRIME IS WHOLE FAMILIES: For the multifarious solutions that are suggested to stem the rising tide of violence in our large cities that are concentrating on jurisprudence and prevention, Baltimore City has taken a minor step toward action. Baltimore finally again has a state’s attorney who gets the need for serious gun prosecution and tougher sentences. More significant by far, he is aware of the considerable effect of broken families on Baltimore youth and the rest of the population. Richard Vatz/The Daily Caller.