State Roundup, March 18, 2019

Gov. Hogan, General Assembly leaders call out board of trustees of UMMS for “self-dealing,” calls for an end of the practice; as senator, Mayor Catherine Pugh failed to disclose business relationship with UMMS as money was channeled into her campaign account; Senate panel seeks to cut $1 million for University of Maryland top office in part due to revelation that Chancellor Caret pushed charm bracelets, then retaliated against chief of staff who complained; House set to OK bill to require background checks to purchase long guns; House gives initial OK to lift statute of limitations from filing lawsuits on child sex abuse complaints; state Sen. Smith gets ready for Afghanistan deployment; city lawmakers kill bill to allow public school police to carry guns; and in the latest of our Hogan Prez Watch, the governor gets laughs at St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

State Roundup, March 15, 2019

Full House of Delegates passes $46.7 billion spending plan while Senate panel constrains funding on Kirwan recommendations; Assembly leaders outraged over UMMS board members – including Mayor Pugh — profiting from relationship with hospital; Gov. Hogan asks Trump administration for more work visas for crab industry; Senate passes $15 minimum wage hike; Senate President Miller says legalized sports betting dead for this year; consumer groups take notice of utility-backed bill; and despite objections from rural lawmakers, House passes pesticide ban.

State Roundup, March 14, 2019

Former Gov. Harry Hughes, champion of the Chesapeake Bay and leaders of “a very quiet administration,” dies at 92; House of Delegates OKs budget with 4.2% hike, including more funds for Kirwan initiatives; Senate Finance Committee to hear testimony on legislation that would make it illegal for hospital board members to profit from in-house contracts; attempt to kill clean energy bill fails in committee; bill to allow gender-neutral designation on drivers licenses heads to governor’s desk; proposed redistricting map gets first public airing; and U.S. Rep. Cummings loads up on large investigative staff to scrutinize President Trump and his appointees.

State Roundup, March 13, 2019

With veto-proof majority, Maryland now poised to become first state to ban foam food containers, while Gov. Hogan seems non-committal on signing legislation; owners of medical marijuana shops concerned that legislation will not prevent out of state ownership, consolidation under large corporations; over protests, U.S. Rep. Cummings gives emotional appeal for armed JHU police force; bill would mandate outside investigation of killings by police; Senate passes expansion of child-care credit; measure would ban discrimination against owners of certain dog breeds; bills would push educating students to become organ, tissue donors; and Trump budget proposal would slice 13% from Bethesda-based NIH.

State Roundup, March 12, 2019

About 8,500 teachers and their supporters rally in Annapolis for major increase in school funding, drawing support from county executives, as House of Delegates takes first look at 2020 budget proposal; residents surrounding Hopkins push back against proposal for private police force; attending Handgun Permit Review hearing enlightening in its lack of clarity, overturning of State Police decisions; state Senate expands child care tax credits; redistricting public hearing to be held today as Gov. Hogan, former California Gov. Schwarzenegger file brief with Supreme Court; and President Trump’s proposed budget slashes 90% of funds for Chesapeake Bay.

State Roundup, March 11, 2019

House Appropriations Committee OKs $320 million more for Maryland public schools, including salary hikes, pre-K expansion; Gov. Hogan counters $15 minimum wage hike with $12.10 proposal; former member of Hangun Permit board ejected from hearing when she overstays testimony time; MVA adding staffing, hours to accommodate Real ID applicants; House OKs aided suicide bill; Baltimore city bills target lead paint poisoning, control of city police department; Hogan raised $1.6 million for inaugural; and Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association Sunshine Week study finds police reports throughout the state are expensive to obtain.

State Roundup, March 8, 2019

After emotional debate, Maryland House approves bill to allow terminally ill adults to obtain end-of-life prescription drugs; Senate advances minimum wage bill that delays $15 hike for small businesses until 2028; income taxes account for drop in state revenue projections; General Assembly will likely meet in special summer session over redistricting map; key senators back JHU policing bill; amid growing revelations of sexual misconduct, bill would prevent cited teachers from moving to other schools by banning non-disclosure pacts; and U.S. House Dems push ethics bill written by Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes to cut role of big money in politics and ensure fair elections.

State Roundup, March 7, 2019

House expected to vote on bill to allow terminally ill patients to obtain drugs to end their lives; bill to set up Prescription Drug Affordability Board under cloud of court ruling on previous law as pharmaceutical reps blast effort; seeking to secure $102 million in unpaid tolls and fines, legislation targets out-of-state scofflaws; measure would force testing of stored rape kits; Attorney General Frosh, 8 other states seek freeze on offshore seismic testing for oil; and in our Hogan Prez Watch, the governor returns to Maryland from Iowa confab saying he’s no closer to making a decision to run against President Trump.

State Roundup, March 6, 2019

State Senate approves bill to ban polystyrene food, drink containers beginning in 2020. Maryland could become first state to do so; Comptroller Franchot may be popular with the voters, but his fellow Democrats may strip him of his regulatory authority; after Del. Lisanti put some breathing room between her and legislature, her future and that of bills she sponsored are uncertain; Brit Kirwan warns of under-educated high school grads; Democratic lawmakers vow funding of Kirwan initiatives; bills target prescription drug pricing; lawmakers propose ambitious renewable energy goals; and study finds that white, non-residents donate to Baltimore City campaigns.

State Roundup, March 5, 2019

House, Senate leaders introduce bill to boost funding for education by hundreds of millions of dollars; Gonzales poll finds half of Marylanders oppose bill to allow gender-neutral drivers licenses; in latest poll, Gov. Hogan maintains high approval rating; House of Delegates considers bill to eliminate statute of limitation in reporting by child sex abuse victims; assisted suicide bill for terminally ill patients faces hurdles; anti-abortion group adds medically assisted suicide to their annual protest; Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio likely to be confirmed as head of DNR; delegate seeks to delay changes in congressional districts; in our latest installment of Hogan Prez Watch: Gov. Hogan said President Donald Trump isn’t vulnerable … yet; and, finally, let’s not forget that the first Marylander to declare his presidential candidacy is John Delaney.