Baltimore moves to legalize stun gun possession

The Baltimore City Council is moving to legalize stun gun possession by city residents in response to a federal court ruling. A bill introduced at Monday's City Council meeting on behalf of the Pugh administration would allow a person to "possess and use an electronic control device as a form of non-lethal self-defense in the home and in public." The legislation would, however, put some restrictions on the use of stun guns. It states, for instance, that they may not be possessed by a person who "poses an unacceptable risk to public safety." (Balt. Sun)

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Councilman Scott proposes citizens committee to advise Baltimore police

Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott introduced legislation Monday that would create a 20-member committee of local residents to advise the city police department on a wide range of issues. Scott said the proposed Citizens Advisory Committee for Public Safety is needed even though the consent decree entered into by Baltimore police and the Department of Justice already calls for the creation of a Civilian Oversight Task Force, which will propose how civilian oversight of the police department can be improved. In addition, Baltimore already has a Civilian Review Board, which investigates allegations of police misconduct. (Balt. Sun)

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Officials raising awareness about water systems

Elected officials toured the Ashburton Filtration Plant to raise awareness about the country's public water systems. City and federal leaders are calling on congress to provide more funding for cities that could use extra help with water infrastructure. The nation has been on watch since high levels of lead were found in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan after parents reported their children getting sick. Here in Maryland, lead screening has expanded for one and two year olds under Governor Hogan, and water in the state is tested twice a year. (WMAR)

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Baltimore County to hold budget hearing Tuesday

Baltimore County residents who wish to weigh in on the county's budget can attend a public hearing Tuesday night. The Baltimore County Council's public hearing is the only opportunity for the public to comment on the budget, which will guide the county government's spending for the 12-month period that starts July 1. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has proposed a budget that keeps the rates for property taxes and income taxes the same as they have been for more than two decades. The county general fund budget of nearly $2 billion is slightly less than last year. When state and federal funds and water and sewer payments are included, the county's total budget is about $3.5 billion. (Balt. Sun)

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April 24 // 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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