Stripping parental rights from rapists could be special session topic, Maryland senate president says

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said Tuesday that if a special session of the General Assembly is convened, the legislature should take up a bill that would strip parental rights from rapists. The likelihood of that special session is unclear, but the Senate's top Democrat on Tuesday introduced a new wrinkle to its agenda. In the final hours of this year's session, lawmakers failed to pass a bill that would have let rape victims who become pregnant during the assault terminate parental rights of their alleged attackers. It was the ninth year the bill died, and the panel that failed to reach a compromise consisted of five men, including three who had sponsored the proposal. (Balt. Sun)

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Van Hollen camp disputes turnout allegation in book

Sen. Chris Van Hollen's campaign on Tuesday denied allegations raised in a new a book about the 2016 presidential election that he urged unions to not aggressively turn out the state's African American vote because it would help his Democratic primary opponent. The book, "Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign," suggests Van Hollen sought to put the brakes on union-centered black turnout efforts and that Clinton dismissed the idea. At the time, Van Hollen was running against former Rep. Donna F. Edwards, who is black, for the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat left open by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's retirement. (Balt. Sun)

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Conservative group urges Maryland to do more to weed out ineligible voters — or it will sue

A conservative legal watchdog group said it will sue the state of Maryland unless it takes more aggressive action to remove ineligible voters from the registration rolls of Montgomery County, its largest jurisdiction. In a letter to the Maryland State Board of Elections last week, Judicial Watch cited data showing that there are more registered voters in Montgomery than there are citizens of voting age (18 and over). The group called it “strong circumstantial evidence” that the state’s rolls are swollen by voters who are deceased, have moved away or who are not citizens. (Wash. Post)

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Hogan signs 'Bryer's Law' targeting uninsured drivers

With the stroke of Gov. Larry Hogan's pen, a bill that resulted from a local tragedy became state law on Tuesday. Five-year-old Bryer Hendricks died in 2014 from injuries received when the car she was riding in was struck from behind while waiting to turn onto Garrett's Mill Road from Md. 67 in southern Washington County. Karen Yvonne See of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., was driving the other vehicle. She initially was convicted of knowingly driving without insurance. But she was acquitted on appeal when the court found that the law under which she was convicted applied only to Maryland residents and provided no criminal penalty for drivers from other states. (Herald-Mail)

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April 18 // As President Trump proposes $0 for Bay cleanup, Dems and advocates want $100M

With President Donald Trump's "skinny" budget looking to cut all federal funding toward Chesapeake Bay cleanup programs, Democrats and environmental advocates on Monday looked to send a message to the president. They need $100 million — not $0. Outside of the Hemingway's Restaurant in Stevensville, Chesapeake Bay Foundation president William Baker was joined by Democratic senators and Eastern Shore legislators to oppose Trump's proposed budget, which would cut the $73 million in federal funding for Bay cleanup efforts. (Balt. Sun)

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Frick files with FEC to start fundraising for congressional bid

Del. Bill Frick is preparing for a possible congressional run. The Bethesda representative and current Maryland House Majority Leader filed a form with the Federal Elections Commission on Friday that allows him to fundraise for a possible 2018 District 6 House of Representatives bid. That seat is occupied by Rep. John Delaney, a Potomac Democrat, who said last week he is considering running for governor against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Delaney said he would make a formal decision about whether to enter the gubernatorial contest in June. (Bethesda)

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Anne Arundel County Council approves medical marijuana zoning tweak

Anne Arundel County Council members on Monday night passed legislation tweaking the county's medical marijuana zoning rules, a change officials said will align the law with the council's original intentions. Council Bill 21-17 specifies that medical marijuana dispensaries located north of Route 50 or north of the northeast shore of the South River are not allowed within 1,000 feet of a house or school building. Those restrictions do not apply elsewhere in the county. (Balt. Sun)

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Harford executive proposes budget with stable tax rates, pay increases

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman has submitted a $543.1 million general fund operating budget for fiscal 2018, which includes funding increases for salary bumps for county employees, Harford County Sheriff's Office deputies and public school teachers. Taxes will remain unchanged. The general fund is part of a $692.08 million operating budget, which includes general government spending and standalone funds such as water and sewer and the highways funds. Glassman also proposes a $118.9 million capital budget for next year. (Aegis)

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