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?
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.
At annual pre-session confabs, Democrats, Republicans rally the troops, with Dems concentrating on federal shutdown and its affect on Maryland; Comptroller Franchot fails to get a shoutout at shoutout-laden Dem event; there are plenty of newcomers in this year’s General Assembly, from many backgrounds, with many talents; Gonzales poll finds Marylanders want controls on prescription drug prices; lawmakers will likely address rules for out of state ownership of Maryland medical marijuana businesses; Gov. Hogan proposes package to target violent crime in Baltimore city; with a Republican delegation in a Democratically controlled General Assembly, Carroll County finds itself in an interesting spot; throughout Maryland, individuals, banks and businesses are dealing with the federal shutdown; and DNR secretary resigns.
Task force recommends stripping alcohol industry oversight functions from Comptroller Peter Franchot after he pushes to ease restrictions on craft brewers; in latest Gonzales Poll, Gov. Larry Hogan’s approval ratings remain high across the board, while President Trump’s disapproval ratings also remain high; those polled also say yes to a referendum on sports betting, but aren’t so convinced it’s a good idea; heavy rains force Chesapeake Bay Foundation to downgrade bay health for first time in a decade; ah, and yes, the General Assembly session starts tomorrow. So what lawmakers should we be paying attention to? Who are those rising stars? And what are the issues that will come to the fore?; still there is a partial federal government shutdown, and Marylanders are being sorely affected; two Maryland congressman, however, have decided to forgo their pay during this situation; and U.S. Rep. Van Hollen is shaking things up a bit to get government running again.
As Gov. Hogan’s redistricting reform panel meets, Supreme Court agrees to hear Maryland gerrymandering case; Gov. Hogan joins D.C., Virginia in repeating call for President Trump, Congress to end shutdown of federal government; new members of the General Assembly coming in with high hopes, progressive issues; Comptroller Peter Franchot continues to push for craft brewing industry; General Assembly to consider “ranked choice voting” for Baltimore City; incoming Montgomery delegate to introduce bill to tie pollution studies to new state road proposals; Virginia lawmakers seeks pact with Maryland, D.C. on Redskins stadium; judge rules Maryland law aimed at stopping foreign interference in local elections on social media seems to encroach on First Amendment; former Del. Nina Harper dies at 68; U.S. Rep. Sarbanes touts congressional ethics bill; and Arundel County to lose prosecutors..
As General Assembly gets ready to open its doors, lawmakers line up lots of issues to address, including marijuana legalization, sports betting, abortion and health care; study finds opioid crisis hits Maryland, Baltimore especially hard financially; Maryland’s county executives advocate for creation of state panel to make prescription drugs affordable; Gov. Hogan touts Opportunity Zones as an economic driver; in CNS series on courts, defendants who reject plea deals face harsher sentences if convicted; Maryland congressional delegation is back in D.C. and ready for an interesting year; Bay states receive federal grants for water, wildlife protection; and former Gov. Martin O’Malley won’t run for president again, endorses Texan Beto O’Rourke.
Board of Public Works rejects TransCanada pipeline plan for Western Maryland, despite approvals from state, federal regulators; state lawmakers consider new health insurance mandate; court orders mediation in discrimination case brought by HBCUs; algorithms used in making bail decisions; lawmakers expect to revisit regulations on brewing industry; BPW agrees to share settlements with private attorneys suing opioid manufacturers; Atlantic sturgeon making a surprise comeback in Maryland waters; and Baltimore County Exec Olzsewski taps TJ Smith as press aide.