Tag: legislature

A 2018 legislative obituary: Weed legalization, a ban on Styrofoam, gerrymandering and more

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Photo by Kevin Galens, via Flickr

Many lawmakers this morning are praising the now-concluded 2018 Maryland General Assembly session as a productive one. By the time the clock struck midnight last night, both houses had passed bills that, with the governor’s signature, would ban bump stocks and LGBT conversion therapy, shore up the market for Obamacare, revoke parental rights for rapists, ramp up school security and expand the state’s medical cannabis industry with 20 new licenses.

Specifically for Baltimore, politicians in Annapolis also passed legislation to protect more (but not all) residents from water lien tax sales, expand Safe Streets (as well as introduce regressive new mandatory minimum sentences) and form a commission to probe corruption by convicted Gun Trace Task Force officers.

But even with that sample flurry of legislative activity from the last 90 days, a number of high-profile bills floundered. We’re here this morning not to celebrate, but rather to pay our respects to the proposals that didn’t escape the State House.

Hogan Promises Lawmakers He Will Veto Paid Sick Leave Requirement for Small Businesses

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Still via video from Gov. Larry Hogan/Facebook

With less than a month left before Maryland’s 2017 legislative term ends, Gov. Larry Hogan says he wants lawmakers to get their act in gear and move various bills forward to full votes. But for one highly debated proposal about mandatory paid sick leave for small business employees, the governor says he plans to stop it from becoming law.

Death Penalty Repeal Opponents Plan to Put Up Fight

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martin-omalley

Courtesy Citybizlist – One week after the Maryland Senate passed a bill to repeal the state’s death penalty, the House of Delegates is poised to do the same.

But in spite of the expected success of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s bill to abolish capital punishment, there are Republicans and Democrats in the House still arguing that Maryland should be able to sentence to death the worst of the worst, such as people who enter schools and murder children and teachers.

A number of them intend to offer amendments to that effect starting Wednesday.

Gay Marriage in Maryland’s Unlikely Supporter: Dick Cheney

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As the gay marriage bill moves to the Maryland Senate this week, it’s gaining some supporters you might not expect. Like, oh, say former vice president Dick Cheney.

The marriage equality bill squeaked by the state House of Delegates last week with a 72-67 tally — just one vote above the minimum needed for passage. Baltimore County delegate Wade Kach, a last-minute supporter, was one of two Republicans who helped push the bill forward. (The other was Robert Costa of Anne Arundel County.) He said he made up his mind after seeing happy, supportive same-sex couples… and after getting a phone call from Cheney, whose daughter is a lesbian and who has come to be a prominent supporter of gay marriage.

Kach issued a statement saying that “While no one event or conversation prompted me to come to this decision, I was significantly moved by the testimony of families — who are raising children in a loving environment and deserve every right to enjoy the same protections and responsibilities that our laws provide for others.”

As we noted yesterday, now Maryland is one step closer to being the eighth state to approve same-sex marriage. The next hurdle:  the Senate vote, which is expected to take place this week. Last year, the chamber passed a similar measure, so there’s a cautious — but exuberant — hopefulness in many homes this week.

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