Speaker Busch announces that House will begin live-streaming floor sessions in 2020; lawmakers hope to restore prescription drug program for retired state workers; ex-U.S. Rep. McMillan urges lawmakers to avoid corruption of college sports, should sports betting be legalized; legislators working on clean energy bills concerned that Gov. Hogan is slow-walking study on Renewable Portfolio Standards; Judiciary opposing partial expungement bill; Michael Bloomberg urges state to allow JHU police to carry guns; BPW to vote on contract for Tubman, Douglass statues; local officials to call for end to federal government shutdown; pro-business group says Montgomery County growth sluggish, high taxes are making it less attractive for private investment; and presidential hopeful Kamala Harris to open campaign office in Baltimore, but where?
Michael Bloomberg to meet with Annapolis lawmakers over gun control; state senators to introduce bill to make it illegal for people to own guns after getting PBJ on stalking charges; Baltimore County Exec Olszewski to seeks $100 million a year for school construction; Annapolis mayor wants to hike state reimbursement for its services; in suit to get more money for lead paint victims, state expected to hit limit; Maryland’s foreign trade zone to add two counties; and bronze statues of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass set to be installed in State House by next year.
Gov. Hogan introduces $46.6 billion spending plan that includes education funding boost, 2% tuition hike for in-state university students and increases in health, public safety; Higher Ed Commission has awarded $9 million in tax credits to 9,500 state residents with student loan debt; psychotherapist seeks to overturn state ban on conversion therapy; liberal think tank offers way to pay for Kirwan education funding proposals; Black Caucus seeks meeting with Hogan to resolve suit over funding disparity for HBCUs; speculation over Hogan running for president continues in the New York Times, Politico; Hogan campaign returns $31,000 in campaign donations to developer; and U.S. Rep. Andy Harris says he was unaware of man’s links to white supremacists.
Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposed $46.6 billion budget gives state workers a pay raise, sets record in education spending at $6.9 billion and $200 million for Kirwan plan, aids opportunity zones and reserves $1.3 billion; stating unfair labor practices, state files claim against AFSCME; state audit finds potential conflicts in contract awarding at MTA; socialist Bread and Roses party finally certified to get on ballot; ICE ends contract with Anne Arundel County; Mayor Pugh’s campaign war chest nears $1 million; meanwhile new county execs, once the underdogs, are finding fundraising a whole lot easier; small businesses air problems with federal shutdown; and a new apple is in the offing for Maryland growers.
Gov. Larry Hogan is sworn in for second term, touting bipartisanship, condemning dysfunction, divisiveness in Washington; speech draws praise from Republicans and Democrats; you can see the inauguration, ball in pictures; more than 60 companies sponsored inaugural event; in the meantime, lawmakers are considering fast-tracking legalized sports betting to avoid referendum process; Purple Line opponents file 3rd federal suit claiming that U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to protect streams, wetlands; Washington County sees 66% spike in drug- and alcohol-related deaths over the last year, ranking it among worst in Maryland; meanwhile, Hopkins gets $2.1 million federal grant to study methods for treating for opioid addiction; and shutdown does benefit one group: commuters see lighter traffic.
Moody’s director says Maryland economy good for now, but urges lawmakers to move forward with caution; Gov. Hogan announces $5 million spending plan for security at houses of worship, schools; under Maryland’s new red flag law, guns seized from 148 people, including five threats to schools; Del. Chang hopes to see expansion of hate crime law this session; Hogan suggests single-delegate districts in redistricting reform effort; oh, and by the way, it’s inauguration day for Gov. Hogan and Lt. Gov. Rutherford; Attorney General Frosh announces new hotline for victims of church abuse; and UMBC, police, prosecutors seek dismissal of lawsuit brought by sex assault victims.
Comptroller Franchot estimates that with 172,000 Marylanders affected by federal shutdown, loss to state in income tax hits $60 million, in sales tax hits $2 million; advocates and lawmakers begin concerted push to raise minimum wage to $15 in bill with no exceptions; Maryland Tech Council to oppose bills that might make it harder for drug companies to do business; gerrymander panel hold public hearing in Frederick; utilities get OK to build 5,000 EV charging stations throughout state with taxpayers footing most of the bill; Black Caucus meets, apparently raises questions on future of Treasurer Nancy Kopp; Jeb Bush, Ike Leggett to speak at Gov. Hogan’s 2nd inaugural; Montgomery Exec Elrich to seek to lure info-tech companies; and Arundel Exec Pittman explains ending immigration program.
Delays have added at least $215 million to cost of the Purple Line; Sen. Kathy Klausmeier, Del. Adrienne Jones preside over Senate and House for absent Senate President Miller, House Speaker Busch; progressive coalition pushes for $15 minimum wage; despite road congestion, Prince George’s, Montgomery oppose Hogan administration plans to widen highways; transgender group surprised name was tied to illegal robocall put out by Del. Impallaria staffer; new book discovers a Chesapeake Bay we never knew; Montgomery County Exec Elrich fails to get recognition for early fiscal restraint; Maryland economy could very well suffer as federal shutdown continues; and U.S. Rep. Cummings takes center stage on 60 Minutes.
Sen. Mike Miller, longest serving Senate president, confirms prostate cancer, treatment and vows to continue General Assembly work as senators express sadness and Sen. Klausmeier prepares to take gavel when needed; Governing Mag profile Miller and what has made him successful; new poll finds most Marylanders support $15 minimum wage; aide to Del. Impallaria charge with making illegal robo-calls targeting fellow Republican Del. Kathy Szeliga; Del. Clippinger sets new tone for Judiciary Committee meetings; many dismayed that Maryland Parks Service merging social media accounts of all parks; Hogan administration to increase funding for drug problems; Del. Parrott, prepping to run for Congress, replaced as chair of Washington County delegation; and Western Marylanders’ objections to Redskins stadium land swap begins to surface.
As opening day in Annapolis gets under way, Senate President Mike Miller readies a statement on his health, while sources say he is being treated for prostate cancer; Senate, House of Delegates sworn in as family, friends gather around; despite the pomp, issues still bubble to the forefront: education funding, a $15 minimum wage. Gov. Hogan’s crime initiative for Baltimore City. Prince George’s and Montgomery County execs show up; former Del. Saqib Ali sues state over executive order denying government contracts to businesses that boycott Israel; and local consequences of federal shutdown continue to pile up.