Maryland House of Delegates OKs bill lifting age limits on filing child sexual abuse lawsuits

The Maryland House of Delegates on Monday approved a bill removing the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits arising from child sexual abuse. The House passed the bill by a bipartisan vote of 136-2 without debate, sending it to the state Senate for consideration. The bill would allow victims of child sexual abuse to file a lawsuit anytime. And victims who previously were barred from filing a lawsuit because of the prior limits would have a two-year window to file a lawsuit. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland House of Delegates OKs bills requiring long gun background checks, banning 3D guns

The Maryland House of Delegates gave final approval Monday to bills that would ban 3D printed guns and require background checks for all sales of long guns, such as shotguns and rifles. The bills are among the priorities of gun-control advocates, but just as strongly opposed by gun-rights supporters. After the background-check bill was approved on a 90-49 vote, a couple of observers on the House balcony shouted: “We will not comply! We will not comply!” — a slogan favored by gun rights supporters, indicating they won’t follow the bill if it becomes law. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland House, Senate pass different versions of bill banning tobacco sales under age 21

Maryland’s Senate and House of Delegates on Monday approved different versions of a measure to raise the age for buying tobacco and nicotine products from 18 to 21. The Senate included an exception in its bill intended for members of the military. Individuals 18 to 20 could still purchase tobacco products if they show a military identification, under the Senate version. The House of Delegates considered the same exception but declined to put it in its version of the bill. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland bill reforming beer franchise laws survives crossover deadline in Annapolis

At least one significant measure aimed at reforming brewing laws in Maryland has survived the General Assembly's "crossover day" deadline. Legislation that would create more flexibility in the relationship between brewers and beer distributors has made it to the floor of both chambers of the assembly and, as of Monday afternoon, appeared on track to pass in the House of Delegates. The Senate approved a version of the bill by unanimous vote on March 14. The change was a top priority this year for the Brewers Association of Maryland and its membership, which comprises about 100 craft breweries across the state. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Bill Targeting Franchot Moves Forward

The Senate moved forward Friday on House Bill 1052, which would remove regulatory powers over alcohol and tobacco from the comptroller’s office. Widely viewed as political retribution for Democratic Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot’s advocacy on behalf of small brewers, and his accusations that legislative leaders operate in smoky backrooms, the bill transfers those regulatory powers to a new five-member Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, to be appointed by the governor. (Md. Matters)

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Bill requiring background checks for private long gun sales moves forward in Maryland House of Delegates

The Maryland House of Delegates is moving forward a bill that would require background checks for all purchases of long guns, including shotguns and rifles. The measure is a priority of gun control advocates and, after receiving preliminary approval Saturday, it is set for a final vote Monday. The bill closes what some say is a gap in state law that allows private sales of shotguns and rifles without background checks. All sales of handguns and long guns from licensed dealers require background checks. (Balt. Sun)

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Van Hollen urges immediate work on Baltimore Washington Parkway to fix problems that slowed speed limit

U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen is asking the National Park Service to take immediate action to fix problems with the Baltimore Washington Parkway that have slowed traffic to 40 mph. The park service has scheduled repair work to begin in late summer, but Van Hollen calls that timeline unacceptable and asks for it to begin earlier. “It is an unsafe situation that needs to be remedied immediately through expedited action by the National Park Service and its federal partners,” Van Hollen said in the letter. Van Hollen said the poor road conditions are causing congestion, crashes and debris on the road. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore delegates vote to kill state House bill allowing school police officers to carry guns inside schools

Baltimore lawmakers voted down legislation Saturday that would have allowed city school police officers to carry guns while patrolling in schools. The city’s House delegation voted 10-5 against the bill — effectively killing it for this General Assembly session. The vote was met with approval from advocates who have been pressuring lawmakers against the bill, arguing city officials should focus on providing more resources for youth, not arming police. (Balt. Sun)

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