State Roundup, March 18, 2019

Gov. Hogan, General Assembly leaders call out board of trustees of UMMS for “self-dealing,” calls for an end of the practice; as senator, Mayor Catherine Pugh failed to disclose business relationship with UMMS as money was channeled into her campaign account; Senate panel seeks to cut $1 million for University of Maryland top office in part due to revelation that Chancellor Caret pushed charm bracelets, then retaliated against chief of staff who complained; House set to OK bill to require background checks to purchase long guns; House gives initial OK to lift statute of limitations from filing lawsuits on child sex abuse complaints; state Sen. Smith gets ready for Afghanistan deployment; city lawmakers kill bill to allow public school police to carry guns; and in the latest of our Hogan Prez Watch, the governor gets laughs at St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

State Roundup, March 15, 2019

Full House of Delegates passes $46.7 billion spending plan while Senate panel constrains funding on Kirwan recommendations; Assembly leaders outraged over UMMS board members – including Mayor Pugh — profiting from relationship with hospital; Gov. Hogan asks Trump administration for more work visas for crab industry; Senate passes $15 minimum wage hike; Senate President Miller says legalized sports betting dead for this year; consumer groups take notice of utility-backed bill; and despite objections from rural lawmakers, House passes pesticide ban.

Rural legislators lose fight on pesticide ban

Rural delegates fought a losing battle on the House floor Thursday against banning a pesticide that has been linked to autism, ADHD and childhood cancers. Lawmakers from the state’s rural areas said banning the commonly-used pesticide would be a blow to farmers who rely on it to grow their crops and put them at a competitive disadvantage.

State Roundup, March 14, 2019

Former Gov. Harry Hughes, champion of the Chesapeake Bay and leaders of “a very quiet administration,” dies at 92; House of Delegates OKs budget with 4.2% hike, including more funds for Kirwan initiatives; Senate Finance Committee to hear testimony on legislation that would make it illegal for hospital board members to profit from in-house contracts; attempt to kill clean energy bill fails in committee; bill to allow gender-neutral designation on drivers licenses heads to governor’s desk; proposed redistricting map gets first public airing; and U.S. Rep. Cummings loads up on large investigative staff to scrutinize President Trump and his appointees.

House advances $46.7 billion budget

State support for public schools will exceed $7 billion for the first time in a budget plan given preliminary approval Wednesday by the Maryland House of Delegates. The $46.7 billion state budget bill for fiscal 2020 also includes a 3% general salary increase for state workers (5% for law enforcement officers) effective July 1.

State Roundup, March 13, 2019

With veto-proof majority, Maryland now poised to become first state to ban foam food containers, while Gov. Hogan seems non-committal on signing legislation; owners of medical marijuana shops concerned that legislation will not prevent out of state ownership, consolidation under large corporations; over protests, U.S. Rep. Cummings gives emotional appeal for armed JHU police force; bill would mandate outside investigation of killings by police; Senate passes expansion of child-care credit; measure would ban discrimination against owners of certain dog breeds; bills would push educating students to become organ, tissue donors; and Trump budget proposal would slice 13% from Bethesda-based NIH.

State Roundup, March 12, 2019

About 8,500 teachers and their supporters rally in Annapolis for major increase in school funding, drawing support from county executives, as House of Delegates takes first look at 2020 budget proposal; residents surrounding Hopkins push back against proposal for private police force; attending Handgun Permit Review hearing enlightening in its lack of clarity, overturning of State Police decisions; state Senate expands child care tax credits; redistricting public hearing to be held today as Gov. Hogan, former California Gov. Schwarzenegger file brief with Supreme Court; and President Trump’s proposed budget slashes 90% of funds for Chesapeake Bay.