Hogan calls for repeal of road scoring bill

Governor says five major projects in the county are in peril unless law changes


Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced Wednesday plans to introduce emergency legislation to repeal a transportation scoring bill that he said will kill 66 out of 73 transportation projects, including five major projects in Montgomery County.

The General Assembly overrode his veto of the bill in April.

Hogan at a press conference in Annapolis identified individual legislators by name and listed transportation projects in their home jurisdictions he said will die if the bill is not repealed. He did not single out any individual legislator from Montgomery County.


Raskin successor in state senate named

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.


Legislators examine police surveillance power

The General Assembly House Judiciary Committee is revisiting whether police use of surveillance technology without a warrant is constitutional as delegates prepare for the 2017 legislative session.

State Del. David Moon (D-20), who represents Montgomery County and sits on the committee, said the committee halted two surveillance bills marked “unfavorable” during the 2016 legislative session, to schedule a study, or briefing, which they held in Annapolis Oct. 25.

Moon and state Del. Charles Sydnor III (D- 44B) of Baltimore County each sponsored one of the bills.

Moon said he is concerned law enforcement officers can test new technology without notifying the public.

“We know the trend is law enforcement is going to use it until they’re told not to or until (they’re regulated),” Moon said.


Noah’s Law takes effect in Maryland


ROCKVILLE – A new law intended to curb drunken driving went into effect in Maryland on October 1, 10 months after a drunk driver struck and killed Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta.

“Noah’s Law” expands the ignition interlock installation requirements of those convicted of drunk driving. The devices require the driver to take a breathalyzer test prior to driving.

If the driver has a blood alcohol level above a predetermined amount the vehicle will not start thus keeping an inebriated driver off the streets.


New laws begin in Maryland

Starting Oct. 1, various laws will go into effect in Maryland, including laws to deter drunken driving, increase police accountability and public safety, promote workers’ rights, establish opioid addiction outreach programs and protect the freedom of the press. 


Democrats support, Republicans oppose Question 1 on fall ballot

Del. David MoonState Del. David Moon (D-20) authored HB 260, a constitutional amendment to change how officials are appointed to fill vacancies in the comptroller's and attorney general's offices. FILE PHOTO  

Maryland voters this fall will decide whether the governor must pick someone of the same party as the attorney general or comptroller if either of them cannot complete their elected terms.

A special election would follow the next year to complete the term, according to the terms of the proposed constitutional amendment voters are set to consider Nov. 8.

Voting down the measure would allow the governor to make the temporary appointment without regard for party affiliation.

State Del. David Moon (D-20), whose district includes Takoma Park, authored House Bill 260, a constitutional amendment which passed the General Assembly this year and now is up for a statewide referendum.

It’s often referred to as Question 1.


'Let Summer be Summer'

Hogan echoes the sentiment with an executive order which pushes public school start date after Labor Day

MoCo 1st Day of SchoolPrincipal Cabell Lloyd of Meadow Hall Elementary School greets students on the first day of school.  PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan said he wanted to "let summer be summer."

On Wednesday, Gov. Larry Hogan granted Meehan's wish, signing an executive order mandating the state's public schools start after Labor Day. The executive order will take effect beginning at the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

Hogan said starting school after Labor Day will generate $74 million in economic activity citing a 2013 study done by the Maryland Bureau of Revenue Estimates saying starting school after Labor Day will bring in $3.7 million in new wages and $7.7 million in state and local tax revenue.

“Starting Maryland public schools after Labor Day is not just a family issue – it’s an economic and public safety issue that draws clear, strong, bipartisan support among an overwhelming majority of Marylanders,” said Hogan at a news conference on Ocean City's boardwalk.


Sarbanes pushes back against public cynicism of government

John Sarbanes - 8-8-16Rep. John Sarbanes (D-3)  PHOTO BY DANICA ROEM  

ROCKVILLE – “I wish the country wasn’t so angry at the government right now.”

Public cynicism about politics and people spending more time online than outdoors at events has made it harder for public officials to communicate with their constituents, according to Rep. John Sarbanes (D-3).

“The public is so cynical. They’re so turned off,” said Sarbanes Monday at the office of the Montgomery County Sentinel.


Legislator takes aim at guns

State Del. Luke Clippinger (D-46) said he is planning to reintroduce a bill that would prevent people on the federal Terror Watch list from purchasing a firearm in Maryland.

The bill by the Baltimore delegate would use the federal terror watch list, which bans people from boarding airplanes, from purchasing a firearm in Maryland. 

After the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, a similar bill was introduced in the United States Senate that would have banned anyone on a federal watch list from purchasing a firearm. 

Many congressional Democrats argued such a ban would have prevented Orlando shooter Omar Mateen from purchasing a firearm.