Calling violent crime in Baltimore a crisis, the governor re-designates his violent-crime package as emergency legislation and begs the General Assembly to immediately pass the bills so he can quickly sign them into law. “We don’t want to hear any more excuses. There cannot be any more delays. We need to stop playing politics. Pass these bills.”
Teens could be exempted from Maryland’s child pornography laws in certain cases if the General Assembly passes any one of four bills filed this session.
“All of the bills you will be considering over the next 61 days are important and worthy of debate and discussion. But none of them are nearly as important as addressing the out-of-control violent crime, the shootings, and murders that are destroying Baltimore City,” Gov.Larry Hogan said Wednesday in a 25-minute speech to a joint session of the House and Senate at the State House in Annapolis.
State spending on schools is at record levels — as it is every year — but legislators are looking for ways to pay for a package of education reforms that will cost billions more.
The Democrats say their proposal would provide more resources to prevent recidivism. It would mandate a statewide audit of gun crimes to find out where problems exist. It would increase penalties for possession of guns that are lost and stolen, and increase cross-jurisdictional cooperation to solve crimes.
Kratom, a substance that users told lawmakers they take as a pain and addiction treatment, would see more stringent regulation in Maryland under legislation making its way through the General Assembly.
Maryland lawmakers overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes five times on Thursday, but gave up on three other bills, including one designed to make freight rail safer. A major economic development project played a role in that bill’s doom.
Danielle Veith, a volunteer with the Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, pushed back against opponents’ claims that the legislation would restrict the activities of responsible gun owners. “Extremists arguing against this common-sense legislation would like us to believe that private gun sales are always between responsible gun owners and a neighbor or a friend they know well. If that were true, we wouldn’t be here asking legislators to close this dangerous loophole,” she said.”
Maryland drivers who have their licenses confiscated due to Real ID non-compliance would be protected under legislation being heard this week in the General Assembly. In 2005, the federal Real ID Act mandated that all U.S. residents obtain an updated identification card in order to travel on commercial aircraft and access federal facilities. The rule, which goes into full effect on Oct. 1, requires states to verify documentation that proves name, birth date and residence.
House Minority Leader Nic Kipke, R-Anne Arundel, said legislation that would require background checks for secondary transfers of “long guns” such as rifles and shotguns would do little to reduce violent crime in Maryland. The bill “doesn’t work. It’s been tried in different places around the country,” he said at a news conference at the State House on Wednesday. Kipke instead urged Democrats to get behind a series of GOP-sponsored crime reduction proposals.
Traffic congestion estimates in the Maryland-Washington, D.C. metropolitan area are stable despite the region’s rapid population growth, the acting secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation told a panel of state lawmakers on Tuesday.