State Roundup: Bike lane, road safety bills before lawmakers; Moore denounces Alabama court IVF decision; cyberattack imperils filling prescription drugs

State Roundup: Bike lane, road safety bills before lawmakers; Moore denounces Alabama court IVF decision; cyberattack imperils filling prescription drugs

A Bethesda man whose wife was killed while riding her bicycle has testified before a General Assembly committee on the importance of drivers recognizing bike lanes. This is one of a number of road safety issues brought up in Annapolis. Photo by Aaron Doucett on Unsplash

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BIKE LANE SAFETY, OTHER ROAD BILLS BEFORE GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Bethesda resident Daniel Langenkamp told state lawmakers Thursday that he believes his wife, Sarah, was killed while riding her bicycle “all because a careless driver didn’t realize that a bike lane was something that you need to take care about.” Langenkamp testified before the General Assembly Environment and Transportation Committee in Annapolis in support of a bill that would impose harsher penalties on drivers who hit cyclists in hopes that drivers would be more careful when driving next to bike lanes. Ginny Bixby/MoCo 360.

  • Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller put her weight behind two road safety bills in the General Assembly this week, including one that would significantly raise fines for speeding in work zones and another adding potential jail time for motorists that crash into users of dedicated bike lanes. Transportation and road safety are key issues for the former Montgomery County Delegate and civil and transportation engineer for her home county’s transportation department. Daniel Zawodny/The Baltimore Banner.

MOORE DENOUNCES ALABAMA SUPREME COURT IVF RULING: Gov. Wes Moore on Friday denounced the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos have the same rights as children. Moore, a Democrat, said that the court’s decision was completely “out of step” with where citizens in the country are. Torrence Banks and Brennan Stewart of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.

CYBERATTACK IMPERILS PRESCRIPTION DRUG FILLING: Pharmacies in Maryland are delayed and may not be able to fill some prescriptions due to a cyberattack on UnitedHealth Group, which forced the company to shut down operations. Scott Maucione/WYPR-FM.

SUPPORT FOR AID-IN-DYING BILL WOBBLES: A controversial bill that would allow qualifying terminally ill patients to prompt their own death with the help of a physician might be in trouble again, after Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) indicated Friday the legislation may not have enough support. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

LAWMAKERS SEEK TO STOP COUNTIES FROM RESTRICTING CANNABIS: An effort by some counties to use zoning to limit if not prevent the opening of cannabis dispensaries has drawn the ire of the chair of a House committee. House and Senate committees are considering legislation that would make it tougher for local governments to restrict where cannabis dispensaries can locate. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

MARYLANDERS MAY BE ABLE TO ORDER DRINKS THROUGH DELIVERY SERVICES: Marylanders might soon be able to order a six-pack or a bottle of wine using delivery services like DoorDash, Uber Eats and Instacart if a new bill under consideration by the General Assembly passes this session. Amanda Yeager/The Baltimore Sun.

COMMENTARY: REFORM PROCESS FOR FILLING VACANCIES: When a Maryland state legislator leaves office early, members of their political party select a replacement instead of turning directly to voters to fill the seat with a special election. As a member of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee, I have witnessed firsthand the intimidating atmosphere, opaque dealings, and repercussions faced by those who do not fall in line with the favored choice for a prized appointment. Liza Smith/The Baltimore Banner.

POLITICAL NOTES: DEBATE OVER EXPANDED INSURANCE TO UNDOCUMENTED: A bill to allow undocumented immigrants to purchase health care coverage from the state’s insurance marketplace passed in the House of Delegates Friday, but not without a fiery debate from lawmakers. A bill introduced by Sen. Chris West would require a producer, distributor, or retailer of architectural paint to participate in a paint recycling program managed by the Maryland Department of the Environment. Danielle Brown, William Ford and Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

COMMENTARY: HOGAN’s VETOES SPEAK VOLUMES: During his eight years as governor, Gov. Larry Hogan left an official record of where he stands on critical issues — his vetoes of state legislation perhaps serving as the clearest expression of his policy positions, as he seeks to move to a legislative position as a U.S. senator. Larry Ottinger/Maryland Matters.

BILL WOULD GIVE COURSE CREDIT FOR ENGLISH-LANGUAGE LEARNING: State lawmakers are considering a bill that would grant course credit to multilingual community college students for the English courses. Bri Hatch/WYPR-FM.

SPEEDING UP LICENSING PROCESS IN STATE GOVERNMENT: Whether it’s a hunting license, an elevator inspection certificate or a storm water permit necessary for a business, Maryland departments play a role in the processes of obtaining them. The state’s governor and legislators are trying to make those all run a little easier for residents. Dwight Weingarten/The Hagerstown Herald Mail.

SEVERAL CARROLL PROPOSALS BEGIN TO MOVE THROUGH ANNAPOLIS: Several pieces of proposed legislation put forth by the Carroll County delegation are taking their first steps in the General Assembly. In December, the county’s all-Republican delegation held a public hearing to gather requests from local organizations and county representatives on what they needed legislatively from the state. The delegation approved several of the requests and forwarded them to other state lawmakers for review. Sherry Greenfield/The Carroll County Times.

PORT OF B’MORE REBOUNDS; HITS RECORD IN CARGO HANDLING: The Port of Baltimore hit records for handling cargo last year, state officials said Friday, showing a rebound from global supply chain difficulties and disruptions curing the coronavirus pandemic. Both state-owned public marine terminals and private terminals handled a record 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo worth $80 billion in 2023, Gov. Wes Moore said in a news release. Lorraine Mirabella/The Baltimore Sun.

AMERICAN WITH RUSSIA CITIZENSHIP HELD IN RUSSIA: A young woman with dual Russian and American citizenship is being detained in Russia, accused of treason. Experts say the woman, a ballerina with Maryland ties, is being used by Russia for leverage. Paul Gessler/WJZ-TV News.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

cynthiaprairie@gmail.com
https://www.chestertelegraph.org/

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at: cynthiaprairie@gmail.com

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