MOORE CONSIDERS STOCKPILING ABORTION DRUG: In the wake of a ruling by a federal district court in Texas revoking FDA approval for a major abortion drug, Gov. Wes Moore is working with the Maryland Department of Health to explore stockpiling the drug, mifepristone. Hunter Savery of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter.
BILLS SIGNED INCLUDE LIFTING LIMITS ON CHILD SEX ABUSE SUITS, WIDENED SAFETY NETS: Gov. Wes Moore signed his first batch of bills – 93 in total – on Tuesday, one day after the state legislature adjourned for the year, ensuring that proposals designed to protect victims of child sexual abuse, defend workers and assist Maryland families become law. Michael Charles of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter.
- Moore stopped to give special recognition to Del. C.T. Wilson (D-Charles County), who sponsored House Bill 1 (The Child Victims Act of 2023), which lifts statutory time limits to allow survivors to sue their abusers or the organizations that harbored them “at any time.” The legislation, scheduled to go into effect Oct. 1, caps liability for public entities at $890,000. William Ford/Maryland Matters.
- “There is no statute of limitations on the pain these victims continue to feel,” Moore said of the victims of child sex abuse. “There is no statute of limitations on the hurt that endures for decades after someone is assaulted. There is no statute of limitations on the trauma that haunts so many to this day, and this law reflects that truth.” Matt Bush/WYPR-FM.
- Del. Wilson rose to the podium in the governor’s reception room, eyes pointed toward his feet and head shaking. “I never thought God would let me see this moment,” he said, flanked by Moore and his fellow champions of the bill during the 2023 legislative session, House Judiciary Committee Chair Luke Clippinger and Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Chair Will Smith. Hannah Gaskill and Lee O. Sanderlin/The Baltimore Sun.
- Moore devoted the majority of his remarks to two laws that aim to alleviate poverty, the Family Prosperity Act of 2023 and the Fair Wage Act of 2023, by increasing the state’s earned income tax credit and raising the minimum wage. Callan Tansill-Suddath/The Baltimore Banner.
KIPKE APOLOGIZES FOR SINE DIE OUTBURST: Del. Nicholaus R. Kipke (R-Anne Arundel), who disrupted House of Delegates floor proceedings in the waning minutes of the 2023 General Assembly session, apologized Tuesday, after telling Speaker Adrienne A. Jones to “take a seat.” “I will apologize for my tone,” Kipke said Tuesday afternoon. “I went back and listened to it. I was tired and emotional.” Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.
- “I listened to the floor debate and agree that things got heated,” Kipke said in a statement. “I did call the speaker to apologize for my tone.” It was a shift for Kipke, who just hours earlier told The Banner in an interview that he saw nothing to apologize for. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
When asked how the apology went, Kipke declined to go into detail and said it was a personal conversation, but mentioned Jones was “very gracious” about it. After the conversation between the delegate and speaker, Jones issued a statement saying, “Delegate Kipke and I have served together for a long time, and I believe that when he called me this afternoon to apologize, it was genuine.” Michelle Larkin for Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter.
MOORE TO SIGN CANNABIS BILL; WON’T ANSWER IF HE STILL INVESTS IN INDUSTRY: One bill heading to Gov. Wes Moore’s desk could pose a potential conflict of interest: legislation outlining rules for recreational cannabis sales starting July 1. Moore is a former board member for Green Thumb Industries, which operates four medical cannabis dispensaries in Maryland. The Moore administration said the governor plans to sign the licensing and taxation bill, but did not answer if Moore still owns Green Thumb stock or if he has set up a blind trust, as he promised before election. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.
REQUIREMENTS RISE FOR SECURITY GUARDS: Most security guards in Maryland now will have to be trained, licensed by the state and covered by insurance, under legislation passed in the final hours of the legislative session Monday night. As things stand, only guards who work for private security companies in Maryland are required to have licenses issued by state police. Alex Mann and Darcy Costello/The Baltimore Sun.
POLITICAL NOTES: BUTLER SWORN IN; UK TRIP FOR MOORE; BOTH HANDS: Roland Butler was sworn in Tuesday as the first Black leader of the Maryland State Police in its nearly 90-year history. Gov. Wes Moore headed to England Tuesday evening to take part in the 20th Skoll World Forum in Oxford, where he is scheduled to deliver the keynote address Thursday. Moore started Tuesday’s bill signings using his left hand. At some point, he switched and began signing bills with his right hand. Bryan Sears and William Zorzi/Maryland Matters.
- The cost of the UK trip for Moore and the three staffers who will accompany him is $14,200 and will be paid for by the governor’s office, according to spokesperson David Turner. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.
A STUDY INSTEAD OF HEALTH CARE FOR UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS: For a moment, it looked like Maryland was going to open up the state’s affordable care act marketplace to undocumented individuals to purchase independent health care plans. That dream is dead for now after the state Senate did not advance the Access to Care Act by the end of Sine Die on Monday. Instead, the General Assembly passed a bill requiring the state Department of Health and the health benefit exchange to study options for affordable health care and dental coverage for undocumented residents statewide. The findings need to returned to the General Assembly by Oct. 31. Emily Hofstaedter /WYPR-FM.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY GETTING MORE DIVERSE, MIRRORING STATE: The 2023 session saw a group of legislators in the Maryland General Assembly that was more representative of the state in terms of race, gender, party affiliation and age than a decade ago, according to a Capital News Service analysis. But underrepresented groups still face challenges in the state capital when it comes to getting their legislative priorities through. Nicky Wolcott and Christine Zhu of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter.
ONE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAD MORE ABUSIVE PRIESTS: While many churches in the Archdiocese of Baltimore have been home to clergy accused of child sexual abuse, St. Mark’s in Catonsville had more abusive priests assigned to it over the years than any other — 12 between 1964 and 2000. That’s a remarkable number of accused priests for one church, national and local experts say. Liz Bowie, Jasmine Vaughn-Hall, Meredith Cohn and Jessica Calefati/The Baltimore Banner.
8 CANDIDATES TO BE CONSIDERED FOR REZNIK’s HOUSE SEAT: The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee will consider one of its own members among the eight candidates seeking to fill a vacancy for the District 39 House of Delegates seat — even as it weighs a rule change that would put restrictions on committee members who apply for future vacancies. The seat was vacated in March by Kirill Reznik, who left to join Democratic Gov. Wes Moore’s administration. Ginny Bixby/MoCo360.