Del. Cardin: Bill would end competitive elections for Circuit Court judges

“People don’t know what they’re doing when they vote for judges. Judges are not permitted to really campaign, not permitted to talk about how they would rule on things and they can’t talk partisan politics,” said Del. Jon Cardin, D-Baltimore County. “They’re not allowed to by their rules and so essentially it is a name contest — whosever name you like the best is who you vote for. And that is not the way that we should be picking our judiciary.”

Widow of Capital Gazette editor gives emotional testimony on gun-safety bill

“Maryland may have some of the strongest gun laws in the country but it’s not enough,” said Andrea Chamblee, a volunteer with the Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America whose husband. John McNamara, was killed in the June 2018 shooting along with four other Gazette employees. “There are significant loopholes that endanger our families, including the loopholes corrected by this bill.”

Miller sparks bipartisan conversation about reducing crime in Baltimore

@BryanRenbaum
bryan@marylandreporter.com

On his first full day as a common legislator, Sen. Mike Miller, D-Calvert, emphasized the need to address violent crime in Baltimore City and in the process touched off a conversation that attracted bipartisan enthusiasm. “We’re sitting here while Rome is burning,” Miller said in a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday. The governor has put forth this plan. I don’t know if it’s a good plan or not –assign 25 assistant attorney generals to the city or what have you – – but this is a problem we need to address. We really need to address it.

2020 legislative session kicks off post-Miller era

@BryanRenbaum
bryan@marylandreporter.com

Commencement of the 441st legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly on Wednesday marked the first time in more than three decades since the Senate has had a new president. Sen. Mike Miller, who has led the upper chamber since 1987, is considered an institution in Maryland politics and is well-known on the national stage. Miller, who is 77, is battling prostate cancer and handed over his office to 36-year-old Sen. William Ferguson, D-Baltimore City. Ferguson, a teacher and an attorney, has served in the Senate since 2011. His rise to the upper echelon of Maryland politics comes less than a year after the death of four-term House Speaker Michael Busch culminated in the election of Del.

Larry Hogan

Hogan: Crime and corruption are top priorities for new session

By Bryan Renbaum

@BryanRenbaum
bryan@marylandreporter.com

A day ahead of the start of Maryland’s 441st legislative session, Gov. Larry Hogan claimed overwhelming popular support throughout the state –  and Baltimore in particular – for a series of legislative proposals aimed at reducing violent crime. “Our bills have the support of more than 90% of people in Maryland and even higher support in Baltimore City,” Hogan said at a news conference on Tuesday at the State House in Annapolis. Hogan did not cite or indicate where he got the 90% figure from. “This absolutely must be job one for the legislature when they begin this session…Nothing is more important.”

MarylandReporter.com asked Hogan if he has spoken with Baltimore Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young about the proposals. “We’ve talked to Jack Young about this extensively and obviously we’ve been working together on this crime problem for quite some time and we’re hoping to get the mayor’s support,” Hogan said.