Opinion: Live streaming of legislative sessions would honor journalists

I spent three hours off-and-on last Thursday watching the live gavel-to-gavel coverage on C-Span of the new U.S. House of Representatives being sworn in, including the return to power of that Baltimore girl turned San Francisco maven, Speaker Nancy D’Allesandro Pelosi. Wednesday the new Maryland General Assembly is being sworn in and we can watch the live gavel-to-gavel of the proceedings NOWHERE.

Public will get to propose 6th Congressional District lines to commission online

The public will have the opportunity to help redraw the contorted lines of Maryland’s gerrymandered 6th Congressional District, the Governor’s Emergency Redistricting Commission announced at its organizational meeting Friday in Annapolis, just hours before the Supreme Court agreed to consider the case from Maryland. The Supreme Court’s decision to review an appeals court’s order to redraw the lines of the 6th CD because it is unconstitutional could make the work of the governor’s commission irrelevant if the high court decides to reverse the lower court order. But the commission plans to press ahead with hearings and redrawing the lines of the 6th and adjacent districts.   

State Roundup, December 20, 2018

Kirwan plan to increase state aid to schools delayed a year after House Speaker Busch, Senate President Miller say there isn’t time for legislature to deal with it; opposition from environmentalists, Prince George’s residents grows to Gov. Hogan’s plan for Redskins stadium at 300-acre federal parkland; ; Board of Public Works OKs new contract for toll roads projects; study says Eastern Shore imperiled by rising seas; BPW OKs new medical care provider for inmates; D.C. Council OKs sports betting: What will it mean for Maryland?; and state grants proposed Garrett performing arts center $685,000.

Legislative leaders shelve new school funding another year

The most expensive and most controversial issue facing the new legislature — increasing the formulas for school funding — has been shelved for another year.
The House speaker and Senate president told the Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education in a letter that there was not enough time for the legislature to take up both its policy changes and its funding decisions in the 90-day session that starts in three weeks.

Md. lawmakers look to ban untraceable guns in next session

With about a month until the 2019 legislature convenes on Jan. 9, the new Democratic House of Delegates majority leader is looking to continue the progress made last session on gun violence prevention by banning 3D and ghost guns in the state.  House Majority Leader Kathleen Dumais, D-Montgomery, said she will be introducing a bill banning the possession of 3D-printed guns — plastic guns capable of shooting live ammunition and made in a 3D printer — and ghost guns — nearly complete and without serial numbers — in Maryland. Federal law already prohibits the creation of untraceable guns.

Not quite a legislative facebook: Printable photos of senators, delegates

The fresh crop of newly elected senators and delegates began two days of orientation at the State House Wednesday. The poster above by the Department of Legislative Services is the first compilation of the 2019 Maryland General Assembly with names, districts and photos. A printable set of photos and districts is at the bottom of the story.

Newbies at the State House: Newly elected senators, delegates oriented

The fresh crop of newly elected senators and delegates began two days of orientation at the State House Wednesday. The poster above by the Department of Legislative Services is the first compilation of the 2019 Maryland General Assembly with names, districts and photos. A printable set of photos and districts is at the bottom of the story.

Kirwan Commission to recommend billions more to raise teacher pay

The commission will be proposing a major bump in teach pay, raising pay for all Maryland public school teachers by 10% between 2020 and 2022, with a minimum teacher salary of $60,000 phased-in by 2024. The commission is also proposing a new career ladder for teachers and additional certifications for teachers under the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. This will raise average teacher pay in Maryland from the current $69,557 to $93,137 by 2029. In the final year of phase-in, the additional state spending is $1.3 billion, according to preliminary costs estimates by the Department of Legislative Services.