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Maryland need not honor Virginia

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There has been much discussion about efforts taken in Virginia to restore the legal rights of convicted felons, including the right to vote as well as the right to possess firearms. Recently those rights in Maryland were explored by the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of James Hamilton v. William Pallozzi.

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Seniors and how they lose in state government

 

There are currently about three million seniors living in the state of Maryland and, of those, there are more than 850,000 over the age of 65. Each year, as the senior population loses members, new members join; those that were 64 last year become 65 this year. In two years those currently at 63 will join the club.
The senior club does at least one thing better than any other group; they vote. Accordingly, one must wonder why Governor Larry Hogan as well as the Maryland State Legislature have chosen to once again forget this rather considerable constituency when it comes time for some good old fashioned tax relief.

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Power to the Attorney General

  • Published in State

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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Hogan, O’Malley agree on gerrymandering reform

  • Published in State

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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Try some “Trickle Up” economics

The State of Maryland currently faces shortfalls in revenue predictions for both fiscal year 2017 and 2018. Tax revenues for FY2017 are expected to be about $16.6 billion which is down some $365 million from initial projections. Likewise, tax revenues for FY2018 are expected to be about $17.2 billion which is down some $418 million from initial projections.

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Hogan calls for repeal of road scoring bill

  • Published in State

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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Strathmore Music Center gets $10 million tune up

xStrathmore renovation rendering 2Artist's conception for the renovation at Strathmore. COURTESY PHOTO  

The Music Center at Strathmore will undergo a $10 million renovation that will enable concertgoers to enjoy dinner at the Bethesda venue but will not change at all the concert hall. 

When the Center celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2020, the Montgomery County venue that features concerts by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the National Philharmonic, the Washington Performing Arts and many popular musicians will be 5,000 square feet larger.

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Legislators examine police surveillance power

  • Published in State

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

  • Published in State

 

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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New laws begin in Maryland

  • Published in State

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. 

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