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Maryland legislative update

  • Published in State

With less than a month left to go in this year’s legislative session, both chambers of the Maryland legislature are still working their way through several key pieces of legislation as their final deadline draws near.

Here is an update thus far on a select number of a few state bills:

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2018 Maryland Legislative Preview

  • Published in State

Sen. Craig Zucker (D14)

D14 Craig ZuckerSen. Craig Zucker COURTESY PHOTOZucker said he is wary of potential federal cuts that could impact the state -- including cuts to programs for keeping the Chesapeake Bay clean. The General Assembly should be aware of such cuts during the budget process, Zucker said, adding that the Trump administration has created new expectations for the state. 

“We have to be proactive in our budgeting,” Zucker said.

In addition to funding for the Chesapeake Bay, Zucker emphasized that state funding for Montgomery County Public Schools is as key an issue for the County's delegation to Annapolis as it is for local elected leaders.

“I think it's important to make sure to meet our commitment on our education spending and on the capital side to make sure we are investing in our school construction,” he said.

Zucker said he plans to introduce a bill that would reverse a state law about serving alcohol to people with developmental disabilities. Currently in Maryland bars and restaurants can deny serving alcohol to of age adults with developmental disabilities. Zucker said his bill would make that illegal.

“That is not fair; it’s an equity thing,” he said.

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MoCo Dems begin the Summer of Resistance and Renewal

  • Published in Local

The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee launched its “Summer of Resistance and Renewal in Montgomery County” in mid-July, but the canvassing that makes up those efforts began in earnest this past weekend. Those canvassing efforts are aimed at drop-off voters with the hope of ensuring a Gov. Larry Hogan loss in 2018.

“There’s good turnout for general elections, for presidential elections, more of a drop-off with midterms,” said Jackie Coolidge, a precinct official in District 18. “This is going to be a very exciting year leading up to the election.”

Before the canvassing started, the small group of canvassers gathered in the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center, and one of the organizers, Marie Mapes, posed an important question: “What are the barriers to (drop-off voters) feeling engaged in the Democratic Party?”

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Palakovich Carr announces bid for House of Delegates

  • Published in State

Rockville City Council member Julie Palakovich Carr filed her paperwork this week to run for District-17 in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Palakovich Carr, a two-term member on the Rockville City Council, said she wanted to run for state government because she believes she can have a greater impact on education, transportation and economic issues at the state level.

“I decided to run because I think it's important to be pushing progressive reforms in Annapolis,” Palakovich Carr said.

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Maryland House debates safety commission as FTA cuts funding

  • Published in State

ANNAPOLIS – A Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) union member said at a bill hearing that he was concerned about the future of due process for employees if Maryland legislators pass a bill to create a new safety commission.

The commission would serve as WMATA’s state-level safety oversight agency, which Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia are required to set up by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The FTA has been acting as Metro’s temporary state-level safety oversight agency since October 2015 after it determined the previous oversight agency, the tri-state oversight commission, failed to fulfill its safety oversight role effectively. The Metro Safety Commission would take over from the FTA.

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Raskin successor in state senate named

  • Published in State

Del. Will Smith 2Del. Will Smith (D-20) COURTESY PHOTO  

Del. Will Smith (D-20) was selected to replace outgoing Congress-bound Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-20) in the Maryland Senate last Wednesday.

A former appointee by President Obama to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Smith will become the first African American to represent Montgomery County in the state Senate.

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"Noah’s Law" heads to conference

  • Published in State

ANNAPOLIS – Noah’s Law is bound for conference committee.

On Monday, the state Senate passed a version of the bill to cut down on drunken driving that is different than its counterpart passed by the House of Delegates earlier this month.

Members of the state legislature will have less than two weeks to pass identical versions of the bill through the House and Senate before the General Assembly adjourns April 11.

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State battles over "Noah's law"

  • Published in State

 

ANNAPOLIS – The House of Delegates and state Senate will need to reconcile two substantial differences and other minor ones in order to pass the Drunk Driving Reduction Act more commonly known as Noah's Law this year.

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Public notice legislation heard in House

  • Published in Local

State delegates question legitimacy of allowing government total control over public notification

ANNAPOLIS – Members of a House of Delegates committee Tuesday questioned the House sponsor of two bills that would allow localities to post public notices on their own websites instead of in newspapers of general circulation.

During a joint public hearing in front of the House Environment and Transportation Committee, state Del. Shane Robinson (D-39) defended House Bills 663 and 666 while fielding questions from state Dels. Anne Healey (D-22) and William Wivell (R-2A)

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