Hundreds of new Maryland laws take effect Tuesday, Oct. 1

Hundreds of Maryland laws go into effect Tuesday, spanning subjects from increasing the age to buy cigarettes and vapes to taxing online sales and banning bump stocks for firearms. Here is a short summary of more than 70 of the new laws, including a link to their full legislative history and slug lines that make the list easy to scan.

Bitter Cold Part 5: Programs leave many out in the cold

Customers whose power is off at the end of October aren’t protected by state regulations that restrict — but don’t eliminate — disconnections from Nov. 1 through March. To be reconnected during the winter or after it, customers who owe utilities money must make arrangements to pay up. But that’s a financial hurdle for many.

Fighting with legislature over Maryland’s future a priority for Hogan’s second term

The fifth annual speech to Maryland Business for Responsive Government was billed as a chance for Gov. Larry Hogan to lay out his “second-term priorities” on fighting crime, improving education and fixing traffic problems. But the top priority he laid out in his 2,800-word speech to a crowd of more than 600 business leaders at the Live Casino Hotel in Arundel Mills seemed to be fighting Democratic legislators to keep them from blocking his initiatives, raising taxes and turning back to the “failed policies” of the O’Malley years.

Analysis: The data behind 90 days in Annapolis

Capital News Service gathered data from the 2019 legislative session and conducted an analysis to report on some of the most striking takeaways from the General Assembly. In the Senate and House of Delegates, 188 legislators introduced 2,497 bills, which includes 16 joint resolutions. Both chambers passed 866 bills, two of which were joint resolutions.

Debts put some Marylanders in jail

Jailing a person for an unpaid debt has been illegal for almost two centuries in the United States.But in Maryland, through a roundabout court procedure, hundreds of people every year are jailed for essentially just that: Owing money.

State Roundup, May 2, 2019

As Dels. McIntosh, Davis seek end to their public brawl over which one of them would be the next speaker, Del. Adrienne Jones emerges as the unanimous victor in a stunning turnaround that minimizes the divisions within the Democratic Caucus; praise pours in for Del. Jones, who has served late Speaker Busch behind the scenes for almost 17 years; meanwhile, what was the Senate doing during its required session?; Board of Public Works to vote on controversial road widening while one member sought a delay due to her absence; eagle deaths on Eastern Shore prompts state, federal probe; Baltimore City Solicitor writes resignation letter for Mayor Pugh, while her attorney announces press conference. But will she resign?; and Anne Arundel resident takes over Secret Service.

The state of the State House press corps

In a tradition that goes back at least a dozen years, members of the State House press corps gathered at half past midnight on April 9 after an unusually somber Sine Die. We had just marked the first session in 17 years without Michael Busch wielding the speaker’s gavel, ending with a memorial joint session of House and Senate. It was a pretty robust year for State House reporting, though the session was fairly tame.

State Roundup, April 19, 2019

Gov. Hogan signs 195 bills into law, including UMMS board overhaul, tougher penalties for cyberbullying and reclassifying human trafficking as a violent crime; June 28 officially becomes Freedom of the Press Day in Maryland; 17 progressive groups seek answers from candidates for House Speaker on transparency, openness of legislative process, term limits; Hogan calls lawmakers back to Annapolis on May 1 to elect new Speaker; state tool shows impact to homeowners of proposed widening of Capital Beltway, I-270; Maryland lawmakers oppose proposed off-shore seismic testing; Maryland U.S. reps weigh in on Mueller report; Westminster considers banning single use plastic bags; and Kensington mulls lowering voting age for local elections.

ACLU, 16 groups ask speaker hopefuls for greater openness, legislative reforms, term limits

The ACLU, Common Cause and 15 other progressive groups and unions are asking the candidates for speaker of the House of Delegates to answer a questionnaire that commits them to greater openness in the legislative process and to term limits for the speaker and committee chairs.The twelve-part questionnaire raises many of the issues that have long troubled witnesses, advocates, lobbyists and journalists about how the legislature operates.

Del. Alice Cain reflects on session, Speaker who shared their district

Del. Alice Cain of Annapolis, one of eight Democrats to take a seat held by a Republican, reflects on her first session and on the death of Speaker Mike Busch, who shared the two-member district with her. “I was thinking how much I’m going to miss him, how much the State House is going to miss him, and how much the community of Annapolis is going to miss him,” she said. “It was great to see him in action here myself.”