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Power to the Attorney General

Democrats look to expand attorney general powers to sue the federal government

 

The General Assembly passed a bill Wednesday that will give the state’s attorney general more power to sue the federal government on the state’s behalf.

After several executive orders from President Donald J. Trump alarmed Democratic leaders in Annapolis, members of the General Assembly, along with Attorney General Brian Frosh, have crafted a bill to expand the attorney general’s powers in the state. The bill passed the House of Delegates Wednesday after passing the Senate last week. The bill does not require the governor’s signature.

“Frankly, the need for this arises from the, I would say, erratic and implosive and you might even say reckless nature of what’s going in the past few weeks,” Frosh said in a committee hearing on the bill. “There’s been blizzard of executive orders, many of which are ill-advised.”

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Maryland House debates safety commission as FTA cuts funding

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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Hogan, O’Malley agree on gerrymandering reform

Maryland’s two most recent governors agree on one of the most divisive issues in the state – gerrymandering.

Gov. Larry Hogan had faint praise for his predecessor, former Gov. Martin O’Malley, after getting wind of remarks O’Malley made at a speech at Boston College.

In his speech, which O’Malley published online in January, O’Malley called for a nonpartisan commission to draw congressional districts, a reform that Republicans in Maryland are in support of.

“America needs non-partisan redistricting commissions not only for drawing Congressional districts every ten years, but for state legislative districts as well,” O’Malley said. “This simple reform, already being adopted in some states, must become the new norm of American democracy.”

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Hundreds protest Trump's immigration ban at BWI

BALTIMORE – More than 800 people headed to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport Sunday to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order to temporarily ban immigration from select countries and all refugees.

Hundreds of protesters waved signs and shouted about Trump’s executive order and the people who are barred from entering the country for the next three to four months: noncitizens from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen as well as refugees.

Marc and Marybeth Leblanc, residents of Brunswick, attended the protest with their two young children.

“We feel that it is important to speak out,” Marc said.

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Maryland's Harris meets with Trump - perhaps about NIH post

WASHINGTON - Maryland Rep. Andy Harris, who reportedly is in the running to head the National Institutes of Health, met with President-elect Donald Trump in New York on Wednesday.

Harris, the lone Republican in Maryland’s congressional delegation, is also the only member of Congress to have conducted NIH-funded research.

The Johns Hopkins-educated anesthesiologist’s name has been tossed around for weeks as the possible new director of the medical research center in Bethesda, which has about 18,000 employees in the state.

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Maryland’s General Assembly gavels for 2017 session

CNS General Assembly 011The Maryland House of Delegates room was filled with delegates, friends and family members for the first day of the legislative session on Jan. 11, 2017, in Annapolis. Del. Michael Vaughn (D) from Prince George’s County was absent, as he resigned from his seat. PHOTO BY HANNAH KLARNER OF CAPITAL NEWS SERVICE

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland -- The 2017 session of the Maryland General Assembly began Wednesday amid confusion stemming from federal investigations plaguing Democrats and concern among Republicans over the possible override of several vetoes issued by Gov. Larry Hogan at the end of the 2016 session. The Senate is scheduled to begin to debate the vetoes on Jan. 18. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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