Baltimore City lawmakers push back against Stronach Group as it ramps up fight to move Preakness, while offering slight hope it will keep race at Pimlico but only with large state, city investment; minimum wage bill – now $15 by 2025 – heads to Senate; Harford County Democratic Central Committee joins call for Del. Lisanti’s resignation; legislation would require short-term rental sites to collect the 6% Maryland sales and use tax; Gov. Hogan’s redistricting panel proposes new plan; state to distribute fentanyl testing kits; bill allowing some patients to obtain drugs to end their own lives moves forward; lawmaker questions whether Attorney General Frosh has financial resources for probe of archdiocese; and hundreds of questions from the public to delay new applications for medical marijuana businesses.
House of Delegates unanimously censures Del. Lisanti as she refuses to resign seat – calling it ‘easy way out’ — following charge that she used racial slur; Senate Budget/Tax panel supports temporary tax break for several major companies; county leaders go to Annapolis to support bill that could add $1.8 billion to the state’s school construction funding; Styrofoam food container ban moves forward; hearing today on bill to require set funding for HBCUs; Preakness at Pimlico backers to rally in Annapolis; bill to overhaul UM Board of Regents approved by House; legislation would change name of Maryland Court of Appeals to Supreme Court of Maryland, judges to justices; Sen. Edwards seeks expansion of Opportunity Zones; and federal spending at NIH up 14%.
House rejects Republican amendments to minimum wage hike bill as it advances; political leaders across Maryland call for Del. Lisanti to resign over racial slur; some criticize Speaker Busch for “lack of leadership” over Lisanti situation; Baltimore City leaders call for action on saving Pimlico, keeping Preakness there as Stronach Group says it wouldn’t move to Laurel until after 2020; Senate committee hears testimony on proposed long-gun regulations; bill proposed by Gov. Hogan to expand number of schools in technology education program dies in committee; and Kirwan plan gets support from Maryland congressional delegation.
Delaying state workers 3% raise among proposals to deal with state revenue shortfall; House of Delegates to begin debate on $15 minimum wage; Del. Lisanti stripped of leadership post following use of n-word; Wicomico sheriff says he won’t enforce long gun bill if it passes; gun rights advocates protest bill to ban untraceable guns; Senate OKs bill to provide interest-free loans to federal workers during another shutdown; Laurel Park owners blasted for using vast majority of state aid to upgrade that facility; Supreme Court to hear Bladensburg Cross case today; and Elizabeth Embry tapped by Attorney General Frosh to oversee probe into Archdiocese sex abuse scandal.
Minimum wage bill moves out of House committee, with longer time to reach $15, other changes; Comptroller Franchot files ethics complaint against Sen. Kramer; Del. Mary Ann Lisanti apologizes to Black Caucus over apparent use of racial slur; Baltimore city seeks more state funding for BSO; 90% of Stronach’s state renovation subsidies going to Laurel Park; in the latest installment of the Hogan Prez Watch, a Trump operative seeks to undercut any attempt by Gov. Hogan to run in presidential primary by signing up Maryland Republicans and Hogan says he won’t run unless President Trump’s GOP support weakens; a California billionaire comes to Baltimore to push U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings on impeaching Trump; and a county housing authority gets an Open Meetings reprimand.
Speaker Busch to withdraw bill to enshrine woman’s right to abortion until next year; Senate refuses to confirm handgun board nominees; Johns Hopkins returns to Annapolis pushing for armed campus force after gun violence in Baltimore City; ‘sweeteners’ in JHU cops package would benefit Baltimore City program; in liquor battle between Sen. Ben Kramer and Comptroller Franchot, Kramer claims Franchot ‘extorts’ money from alcohol industry; Franchot counters that he will file ethics complaint; Busch hopes to protect through state law five large oyster restoration projects; Senate panel OKs move to ban styrofoam food containers; and a Montgomery County bill to impose fees on tax-capped country club properties fails.
The fight over Comptroller Franchot’s authority bubbles over in dueling pressers; Del. Parrott suggests county-by-county minimum wages; the Hogan Prez Watch is heating up with Gov. Larry Hogan accuses RNC of shielding President Trump from primary challenger, considers trip to New Hampshire “must stop” event in April; Senate President Miller suggests ways to settle the 13-year-old lawsuit with Maryland’s HBCUs;bill would protect funding for Attorney General’s office; and jailed women’s services come up in two bills: one directed at pregnant women and minors, another at lack of vocational training.
University of Maryland Regents backing proposed overhaul legislation; bill mandates governor to fund attorney general’s budget; bill would raise number of schools teaching about the environment to 50%; Del. Glenn returns with legislation to arm city school police officers; bill allowing gender “X’ option on Maryland driver’s licenses moves forward; Washington County lawmakers continue to push to ban medical marijuana in local jails; and in our latest installment of the Hogan Prez Watch, Gov. Hogan appears on CBS, siding with Attorney General Frosh on lawsuit against President Trump’s national emergency declaration over “exaggerated” claims on border problems.
Assembly chiefs set up work group to study legalizing marijuana, ensuring that vote will be delayed a year; despite opposition, lawmakers re-elect Nancy Kopp as state treasurer; bill would require health care workers to report every vaccine given; bill would allow minors to consent to taking HIV preventative; Baltimore City Mayor Pugh blasts Stronach Group over Laurel “super track” proposal that could leave Pimlico in the dust; Supreme Court rejects Maryland appeal to protect drug price-gouging law; legislation would block some 9-1-1 info from Maryland Public Information Act; and Arundel Council passes polystyrene food container ban.
Goucher Poll finds that Marylanders like Gov. Hogan as governor, but not so much as presidential candidate; African-Americans, whites sharply differ in viewing fairness from police, criminal justice system; more than 60 JHU faculty sign on to oppose armed campus police; Senate panel rejects nominees for Handgun Review Board as lawmakers struggle with its future; Sen. Ferguson proposes bill that would undercut Electoral College; delegate questions limiting Marylander hunters’ taking of geese; and Maryland joins 15 states in suing Trump administration over national emergency declaration.