Mayor Young is accused of “backdooring” the parking lot plan for Druid Hill Park

Two things were clear at the end of a City Council hearing last month on a proposed new parking lot at Druid Hill Park: Councilman Ryan Dorsey was adamantly opposed to the plan (“a terrible, awful idea”) and other members felt strongly that one of the key nearby communities had not been properly briefed on it. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

When innocent people go to prison, jailhouse informants are often to blame. Some Maryland lawmakers want to change the system.

When Demetrius Smith went to prison in 2008 for a murder he didn’t commit, a jailhouse informant was a damning witness. Another exonerated man, Clarence Shipley Jr. of Baltimore, spent 27 years in prison ― after a suspect arrested in a series of vehicle thefts falsely fingered him as a killer. And the city of Baltimore paid out $9 million to another innocent man, James Owens, who spent two decades in prison. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Lawmakers debate banning flavored tobacco products

Bills that seek to outlaw the sale of flavored electronic and combustible tobacco products in Maryland have piled on state lawmakers’ desks this session — sparking debate among business owners who sell the products, citizens who say the flavors help with smoking cessation, and anti-smoking health experts and parents. During a hearing Thursday, Feb. 13, the state Senate Finance Committee absorbed a peppering of public comment on two of the bills — similarly-intentioned Senate bills 410 and 233, which are taking aim at flavored electronic-only tobacco products and all flavored tobacco products, respectively. (Star Dem.)

Read Full Article

Anti-Anti-Vaccination Bill Would Allow Teens to Get Immunized Without Parental Permission

In the age of so-called anti-vaxers, legislation in Annapolis may allow a small number of Maryland minors to receive immunizations without consent from their parents. If enacted, the bill would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to consent to receive vaccines without permission from their guardians, should their health care provider determine that they are independently capable of making informed decisions. (Md. Matters)

Read Full Article

Senate bill would help fund diversity programs at law schools

The deans of Maryland’s two law schools and former law students addressed a Senate panel Wednesday in support of a bill that would funnel state funds into programs at both schools to support incoming students from the state’s historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs. Senate Bill 435, sponsored by Sens. Charles E. Sydnor III, D-Baltimore County and city, and Cory McCray, D-Baltimore city, had a first hearing Wednesday afternoon by the Senate’s Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. (Daily Record)

Read Full Article

Prince George’s Delegates Defend Closed-Door Meeting on School Construction

House leaders delayed a much-hyped vote on a school construction bill that is a top priority for Democrats Thursday, after Republicans and Democrats questioned whether jurisdictions they represent would get a big-enough slice of the $2.2 billion pie. (Md. Matters)

Read Full Article

Baltimore Mayor Young launches 50-day ‘pothole challenge,’ pledges city will fill 5,000 potholes

Baltimore work crews will fill 5,000 potholes over the next 50 days, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced Wednesday, as part of the administration’s multi-pronged effort to improve roads and clean up the city. “This is an all hands on deck effort,” Young said. “The challenge will be met.” The nearly two-month blitz coincides with the roughest time of year for potholes, a perennial problem across Baltimore neighborhoods. Department of Transportation Director Steve Sharkey said that while on a typical day his crews fulfill roughly 60 pothole repairs, they’ll kick it up to more than 100 a day during this initiative. Young asked residents to call the non-emergency help line, 311, to report problems they see on city streets. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Bill from Carroll County senator requires cooperation with ICE; sheriff says that already happens locally

Even as Maryland Democrats move to make collaboration between federal immigration officials and local law enforcement agencies more difficult, state Sen. Justin Ready of Carroll County has filed legislation to do the opposite, and Carroll’s sheriff is pushing back as well. A bill sponsored by Ready would require state and local correctional facilities to notify the U.S. Department of Homeland Security when they have a person in custody who is wanted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees on Jan. 29 issued a letter supporting Ready’s bill. In that letter, DeWees said he “won’t have any legislative body” prevent him from communicating with any other law enforcement agency. (Carr. Co. Times)

Read Full Article