Fewer Marylanders donated to Trump inauguration

Of the $106.7 million donated to President Donald Trump’s January inauguration, $2.2 million came from Maryland donors – less than the contributions from the state for President Barack Obama’s 2013 inauguration, according to a newly released financial report. Records with the Federal Election Commission from the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee show that 22 different people and companies from Maryland donated to Trump’s inauguration, in contrast to the hundreds of people from the state who gave money for Obama’s inauguration festivities. (AP)

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Ruppersberger tours Middle East ahead of budget fight

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger is back from a week-long tour of the Middle East, where he visited troops, leaders and refugees, his office announced. The Baltimore County Democrat, a member of the House appropriations committee's subcommittee on defense, was joined by appropriations Chairman Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, a New Jersey Republican. They went to Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon. (WBAL-radio)

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Annapolis mayor officially files for re-election

Mayor Mike Pantelides officially has filed for re-election. The first-term Republican, who has been actively campaigning since March, announced the filing Thursday. He will run against Nevin Young in the fall primary. Pantelides has served as Annapolis mayor since late 2013 when he defeated Josh Cohen by a mere 59 votes. He ran on a platform of "sweeping" Annapolis clean and hammered Cohen on the Market House, which had been closed for extensive repairs under Cohen's administration. (Capital)

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Montgomery County Council looks to add $1 million more to public election fund

Montgomery County Council members are looking to bolster the county’s new public election fund in anticipation of an influx of local candidates using the system for matching contributions in the 2018 election. The council’s Government Operations committee on Friday voted 3-0 to add $1 million more to the $4 million budgeted by County Executive Ike Leggett in his proposed fiscal 2018 budget. The additional money, if approved by the full council, would bring the fund’s total to $11 million, including the $6 million previously allocated. (Bethesda)

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House bill gives fire investigators law enforcement capabilities in Howard County

Howard County fire investigators will begin training with the county's police academy following the passing of House Bill 1343, which gives the fire officials law enforcement privileges when responding to a fire-related incident. As police and fire departments work together at the scene of a fire, fire investigators will focus on the fire's origin and cause, while law enforcement's arson detectives determine any potential criminal connection. (Howard)

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Sex-assault bill failed because of process, not lawmakers, Wilson says

In the two weeks since the Maryland General Assembly adjourned for 2017, a national buzz has been growing over legislation that didn’t pass. Del. Brett Wilson, R-Washington, said the lawmakers appointed to oversee negotiations on the bill are getting a bad rap. At the center of the drama was a bill that would give rape victims the right to end parental rights of their assailants if the assault resulted in pregnancy. For advocates, it was a no-brainer. But this was the ninth year such legislation had been filed, and despite being passed in both houses, it failed at the last minute because differences in the House and Senate versions meant it had to go to a conference committee. (Herald-Mail)

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Growing pains: Election in a small Maryland city exposes racial, class divides

Mount Rainier residents receive frequent postcards with unsolicited offers to buy their turn-of-the century Victorians and 1920s bungalows. All around Shepherd Street, contractors strip houses that will be flipped by investors eager to turn a profit in one of Prince George’s County’ oldest municipalities. The pace of change has quickened in this former streetcar suburb, where artists and immigrants have flocked for the past three decades. Anxiety over the influx of more affluent residents is fueling an unusually sour political season — tinged by a nasty debate over the decision to allow noncitizens to vote in municipal elections such as the mayoral and council contests that will be decided May 1. (Wash. Post)

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April 21 // Maryland Democrats resist latest Obamacare repeal effort

Four Democratic members of the state's congressional delegation told voters gathered at a town hall meeting in Baltimore on Thursday that they will continue to push back on Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare, including a new plan expected in coming days. "I don't know that we're going to be able to avoid to fight this every single month," said Rep. John Sarbanes of Baltimore County, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "I pledge to you [that] we're going to fight as hard as we can." (Balt. Sun)

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