Incoming Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson sets his leadership team

Incoming Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson is setting his leadership team for his first year presiding over the chamber. Ferguson, a Baltimore Democrat, announced Thursday a handful of changes in the Democratic leadership structure in a memo to senators. He wrote that he tried to balance considerations of geography, gender, race and senators’ areas of expertise. (Balt Sun)

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Mosby says Hogan’s idea to fund new AG staff to fight city crime is ‘problematic,’ shouldn’t be in budget

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Thursday that Gov. Larry Hogan’s idea to increase funding for more city-focused prosecutors in the office of the Maryland attorney general was “problematic” given the potential for overlap between the crime-fighting efforts of city and state lawyers, and should be removed from the governor’s proposed budget. (Balt Sun)

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Pete Buttigieg holds Baltimore fundraiser and receives Lamar Jackson jersey

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg held a Baltimore fundraiser Thursday in which he discussed issues facing the city and was presented with a Lamar Jackson jersey. After delivering remarks to about 140 donors at the home of neurosurgeon Neal Naff, Buttigieg touted a plan — which he has named for abolitionist Frederick Douglass — in response to a question about how he would help Baltimore if elected president. (Balt Sun)

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Montgomery County Council mulls camera technology to catch distracted drivers

The Montgomery County Council is looking at a new camera technology that capture photos of drivers texting as a means to reduce distracted driving; however, some lawmakers are hesitant to move forward on it over privacy concerns. “We have an epidemic of serious crashes from distracted driving,” Council Vice President Tom Hucker, District 5 Democrat, told The Washington Times. “We have 38,000 around the state each year, and they are associated with far too many fatalities and serious injuries, and no one has proposed a workable solution to addressing that.” (Wash Times)

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Legislators to weigh bills to protect the rights of cannabis patients

The Maryland General Assembly, having legalized the medical use of marijuana, will continue to consider ways to prevent discrimination in employment, workers’ compensation, housing and handgun permit applications for patients who use a drug still regarded as illegal by the federal government, legislators say. (Daily Record)

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Eyeing 2020, House passes bill named after Elijah Cummings that would empower Medicare to negotiate drug costs

Sharpening their 2020 election message, House Democrats on Thursday pushed through legislation that would empower Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and offer new benefits for seniors. The vote along party lines was 230-192. Speaker Nancy Pelosi's bill would cap Medicare recipients'out-of-pocket costs for medicines at $2,000 a year. It would use about $360 billion of its projected 10-year savings from lower drug costs to establish Medicare coverage for dental care, hearing, and vision, filling major gaps for seniors. (Balt Sun)

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County Evaluating Potential Shared Library Site

Library officials are evaluating property offered by the City of Pocomoke as a potential site for a new facility. The Worcester County Commissioners last week approved library plans to consider accepting a piece of property near the Discovery Center and to hire an architect to do a preliminary design of a shared facility that would serve as a library and senior center. The commissioners said they supported the concept of a shared facility and praised the potential location. (Dispatch)

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Baltimore Co. taps deputy state prosecutor to run new ethics office

Deputy State Prosecutor Kelly Madigan will lead Baltimore County’s new independent agency charged with investigating government fraud and waste. County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced plans to establish the Office of Ethics and Accountability earlier this year and on Thursday named Madigan its first executive director. “Kelly brings a wealth of experience in litigation, deep professional integrity, and a passion for government accountability,” Olszewski said in a statement. (Daily Record)

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