Housing-voucher and guns bills are priorities for new Senate committee chair

The Home Act, if passed, would forbid landlords in Maryland from discriminating against would-be renters paying with government housing vouchers. The legislation has yet to be filed in either chamber of the General Assembly this year but was filed in each of the past three years. The Home Act has been opposed by housing and real estate agent associations that have said voucher programs burden landlords with more rules than they would otherwise face.

Md. youths needing psychiatric care find long waits, drives

Traveling long distances to access inpatient psychiatric care is a familiar problem for the parents of children and adolescents living in rural areas. Most juveniles who visit the emergency department for psychiatric reasons spend less than 24 hours there, but a growing number of children and adolescents are staying even longer as they wait in local emergency rooms for transfer to a more appropriate facility.

Maryland uses surveillance, data to track motorists, traffic

Motorists in Maryland may be aware of the cameras that enforce speed and red-light violations, but the state’s tracking practices include other layers to assist in law enforcement efforts, and for traffic and planning purposes. Through the different practices, Maryland collects both anonymous and identifiable information — depending on the method — about driving patterns, raising concerns for privacy advocates.

Hundreds of new Maryland laws take effect Tuesday, Oct. 1

Hundreds of Maryland laws go into effect Tuesday, spanning subjects from increasing the age to buy cigarettes and vapes to taxing online sales and banning bump stocks for firearms. Here is a short summary of more than 70 of the new laws, including a link to their full legislative history and slug lines that make the list easy to scan.

Slight uptick in state revenues, but caution urged

The Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates voted unanimously Thursday to increase the state’s projected revenues for the current fiscal year by just under $130 million, but cautioned that the uptick “is not indicative of long-term economic growth.”

Code Red Part 3: No trees, no shade, no relief as temperatures rise

In a city marked by startling inequity, leaf cover is just one more thing that has been historically distributed in unequal measure. Baltimore’s poorest areas tend to have less tree canopy than wealthier areas, a pattern that is especially pronounced on the concrete-dense east side, in neighborhoods like Broadway East.

Code Red Part 2: Health risks rise with temperature

Heat waves are especially perilous because consecutive days with the heat index at 103 degrees or above greatly increase risks for older people, children, pregnant women and anyone with heat-affected chronic disease.