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Senate, House weigh bills changing Board of Regents makeup

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Then-chair of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents James T. Brady announces the board’s recommendation to retain former Maryland football coach DJ Durkin on Oct. 30, 2018, in Baltimore. (Daniel Oyefusi/Capital News Service)

By Daniel Oyefusi
Capital News Service

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland — The University System of Maryland Board of Regents structure would be altered and its decision-making would be made more public under legislation the state Senate and House of Delegates are considering.

Cummings and other lawmakers press to eliminate job discrimination against former felons

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Image via campaign website

By Ambriah Underwood
Capital News Service

WASHINGTON — Former felons could have more success securing employment under bipartisan legislation introduced Thursday that would bar federal employers from asking requests for applicants’ criminal histories before conditional job offers.

Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Baltimore) and Doug Collins (R-Georgia) joined with Sens. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) to propose the Fair Chance Act, an attempt to decrease rates of recidivism by helping ex-convicts secure jobs.

Legislation would update Justice Reinvestment Act

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Sen. Bobby Zirkin (D-Baltimore County) the chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. Megan Brockett/Capital News Service file photo

By Natalie Jones
Capital News Service

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland — After a comprehensive law overhauled the state’s criminal justice system, Maryland has seen a decline in the state’s prison and jail populations and more streamlined treatment for addicts who are charged with crimes. Still, advocates want to add to the law to keep inmates from returning behind bars.

Rams LB Micah Kiser’s football IQ dates back to time at Gilman

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Woodlawn native and current Los Angeles Ram linebacker Micah Kiser addresses reporters at Super Bowl media night in Atlanta Jan. 28. (James Crabtree Hannigan/Capital News Service)

By James Crabtree-Hannigan
Capital News Service

As Los Angeles Rams linebacker Micah Kiser came downfield toward the Houston Texans backfield during the third week of the 2018 NFL preseason, he was met by Texans offensive lineman Roderick Johnson.

Johnson pushed Kiser back about 10 yards, thwarted the rookie’s grasping attempts to bring down running back Lavon Coleman and eventually sent Kiser to the ground as the play ended.

A few minutes later, Kiser again charged toward the line of scrimmage as Coleman took a handoff. This time, Kiser deftly sidestepped a pulling lineman and immediately engulfed Coleman with a textbook tackle, dropping him for a 2-yard loss.

Gov. Hogan talks bipartisanship at fifth state of the state

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Governor Larry Hogan delivers his State of the State Address in Annapolis, Maryland, on January 29, 2019. (Daniel Oyefusi/Capital News Service)

By David Jahng
Capital News Service

At his fifth State of the State address, Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday pushed for bipartisan support from the Democrat-controlled legislature on his initiatives regarding taxes, healthcare, education, transportation, redistricting, violent crime and the environment.

Maryland legislature’s Democrats announce 2019 priorities

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The inside of the General Assembly chambers in Annapolis. Photo by Roxanne Ready, via Flickr, used with a Creative Commons license.

By David Jahng
Capital News Service

Banning 3D printed and “ghost” guns, preserving health care access, raising the minimum wage, increasing the purchasing age of tobacco and lowering child care costs for parents are priorities for the 2019 session, Democrats in Maryland’s legislature announced on Tuesday.

Kirwan Commission chair gives recommendations to lawmakers

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Photo by Martin Falbisoner, via Wikimedia Commons

By David Jahng
Capital News Service

Parents can expect to see advances in pre-K, tutoring and special education first, among all of the recommendations of a statewide education reform panel, according to its namesake chairman, William “Brit” Kirwan.

“What parents will see is just a steady drumbeat of improvement in the experiences that their children are having in the schools,” Kirwan told Capital News Service.

Hogan announces free rides for unpaid federal employees

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Gov. Larry Hogan speaks with TSA employees at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Photo via Gov. Larry Hogan’s office.

By Charlie Youngmann
Capital News Service

Unpaid federal employees feeling the effects of the government shutdown will receive free rides from Maryland Transportation Administration services, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday at Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport.

Starting Friday morning, all MTA services will be available for free to unpaid employees upon showing a federal ID, according to state Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn.

Unions, Maryland Food Bank partner to help federal workers

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Brandi Hunter, a Maryland Food Bank employee, passes out frozen goods from the truck bed to attendees of Wednesday’s food giveaway for furloughed government employees. Photo by Jesse Nash/Capital News Service.

By Eugene “Jesse” Nash IV, Brian Abate and Ambriah S. Underwood
Capital News Service

At lunchtime Wednesday, underneath a dim overcast sky, 77 families of furloughed federal workers showed up to a union parking lot for food.

In the crowd was Donna, a Baltimore employee of the Treasury Department. Having fallen on hard times thanks to the partial federal government shutdown, she felt uncomfortable giving her last name for this story.

“The shutdown has changed things a lot for my family,” Donna told Capital News Service. “Now we only eat the necessities, which means nothing like desserts. My credit has gone down and it’s tough to pay my son’s college tuition.”

Audit finds conflict of interest in MTA contracts

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Photo by Elvert Barnes, via Flickr

By Charlie Youngmann
Capital News Service

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland —The state’s Office of Legislative Audits uncovered potential conflicts of interest among contracts made by a former Maryland Transit Administration employee, according to a report released Monday.

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