BILL ADVANCES TO END STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON SEX ABUSE LAWSUITS: A bill allowing victims of sexual abuse to file a lawsuit for incidents that occurred decades ago appears on its way to final Senate approval after clearing a key preliminary hurdle. The action Tuesday sets up the potential for final Senate approval later this week. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
JUDGE OKs ATTY GEN REDACTIONS ON CLERGY SEX ABUSE REPORT: A Baltimore judge approved the needed redactions Tuesday for the attorney general’s report on sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, clearing the way for its public release. Lee O. Sanderlin/The Baltimore Sun.
PARENTS SAY COLLEGE SAVINGS PLAN OVERHAUL DOESN’T MAKE THEM WHOLE: Maryland lawmakers today will consider a bill designed to overhaul Maryland 529, the state agency that helps families save for college, by dissolving its independent board and phasing out the prepaid trust it manages, which has been in disarray since it distributed, and then took back, money from thousands of account holders last year. But the legislation doesn’t offer the one thing parents affected by the situation say they want the most — a commitment to pay them back. Jessica Calefati/The Baltimore Banner
BILLS WOULD SPEED VOTE COUNTING, EASE BALLOT CORRECTIONS: House and Senate lawmakers have approved nearly identical bills ahead of elections next year to speed counting of mail ballots and make it easier for voters to correct ballots that weren’t filled out properly. Callan Tansill-Suddath/The Baltimore Banner.
ABORTION REFERENDUM EXPECTED TO GO TO VOTERS: After the House of Delegates approved the bill last week to create a referendum on enshrining a right to abortion in the state constitution, the Senate passed its companion bill Tuesday. Each chamber needs to approve the other’s bill before Maryland voters can expect to see the question on their ballots in the 2024 election. But with overwhelming support thus far in the House and Senate, such passage appears very likely. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
FEDERAL AGENTS SEARCH FOR McGRATH: Federal agents on Tuesday descended on the Naples, Fla., neighborhood where Roy McGrath has lived since shortly after he resigned under scrutiny from his brief stint as former Gov. Larry Hogan’s chief of staff. Lee O. Sanderlin and Alex Mann/The Baltimore Sun.
- Law enforcement also questioned McGrath’s wife, Laura E. Bruner, according to McGrath’s lawyer, Joseph Murtha. Murtha said Bruner is cooperating with the investigation and told authorities she does not know McGrath’s whereabouts. Multiple neighbors told The Daily Record that law enforcement had gathered outside McGrath’s home late Tuesday morning. Madeleine O’Neill/The Daily Record.
CROSSOVER NEARS FOR HOT BUTTON BILLS: Next Monday marks a crucial date, the day by which bills must be passed in one house in order to be directly considered by the other chamber. Delegates and senators have taken on some meaty issues this session, some in response to two recent decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court on abortion rights and gun ownership, while another clears the way for survivors of sexual abuse to sue negligent institutions. And as if there weren’t enough hot buttons, the state is setting up a recreational cannabis market. Brenda Wintrode and Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
DNR TO UPDATE OUTDATED YOUGHIOGHENY MAPS WITH GIS: Paper maps from 1986 will be replaced by Geographic Information System tools before any trail plans are made for the Youghiogheny River area, state Department of Natural Resources Secretary Josh Kurtz said Monday. Kurtz and Sen. Mike McKay were at the Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center in Garrett County for an interview about the potential for trail development in the Wild Yough. That’s been a controversial issue since $4 million marked for trail construction showed up unrequested by DNR in its critical maintenance program last year. Teresa McMinn/The Cumberland Times-News.
BILL LIMITING WEAPONS CARRYING PASSES SENATE: The Maryland Senate passed the controversial Gun Safety Act of 2023, which limits the circumstances where someone can carry a weapon even with a concealed carry permit, on Monday evening following a spirited debate. Jennifer Gable of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.
BILL WOULD GIVE STATE SCHOOL SUPER WIDER CURRICULUM AUTHORITY: After conservative Carroll County parents called a school health curriculum “sexual indoctrination” last year, Maryland lawmakers proposed a way to enforce state standards. But in the span of a few weeks, the bill evolved into a measure that would give the state superintendent unprecedented power to take funds away from school systems if they do not comply with Maryland’s curriculum guidance. Kristen Griffith/The Baltimore Banner.
ADVOCATES SEEK EXPANDED ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS: A few dozen health care advocates and supporters converged on Lawyers’ Mall in Annapolis Monday to encourage state lawmakers to pass legislation to expand access to affordable health care programs. The rally happened exactly one week before the legislature’s “crossover day,” the day bills must get through one chamber of the legislature to guarantee consideration in the other. One bill backed by the group is House Bill 588/Senate Bill 365, “The Access to Care Act.” William Ford/Maryland Matters.
FRESHMAN REPUBLICAN FINDS HIMSELF ON THE HOTSEAT: Freshman Republican Del. Christopher Eric Bouchat of Carroll County is suggesting that the strategy adopted by his fellow Republicans in fighting against the Democratic juggernaut has its limits. He asserts that Republicans have become too performative during House floor debates and that they run the risk of obsolescence. That lament has angered several of Bouchat’s more senior colleagues — who characterize his stance as a form of surrender. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.