Judges order Miller, Busch to give depositions in Maryland redistricting lawsuit

A three-judge panel has ordered Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and House Speaker Michael E. Busch to give depositions and turn over documents in a federal lawsuit challenging the 2011 redrawing of the state's congressional districts. The ruling affirmed an earlier order by U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar, which had been appealed by the Maryland Attorney General's Office citing "legislative privilege." (Balt. Sun/AP)

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Maryland court hears 1st of several challenges to travel ban

Hours before President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban was to take effect, the first of several challenges to the executive order began Wednesday in a Maryland courtroom, where attorneys told a federal judge that the measure still discriminates against Muslims. More than half a dozen states are trying to stop the ban that targets people from six predominantly Muslim countries. Hearings were also scheduled Wednesday in Washington state and Hawaii. (AP)

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Maryland Senate rewrites Hogan's deadly drug bill to target fentanyl

The Maryland Senate passed legislation Wednesday that would target the lethal synthetic opioid fentanyl. To do so, they completely rewrote a bill proposed by Gov. Larry Hogan that would have imposed lengthy prison sentences on drug dealers who dole out deadly doses of heroin. The bill would now impose up to an additional 10 years of prison time on dealers convicted of supplying fentantyl. It cleared the Senate on a 46-1 vote. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland abuse victims would have more time to file lawsuits under advancing bill

Year after year, Del. C.T. Wilson gathered his courage, told his colleagues about how he was abused as a child and urged them to allow victims more time to file lawsuits against their abuser. And year after year, Wilson saw the bill die in a House of Delegates committee without ever being called for a vote. That changed Wednesday. The House Judiciary Committee — where the bill had been bottled up — voted to advance Wilson's bill to the full chamber, where he expects the bill to pass easily. (Balt. Sun)

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Bill to keep antibiotics effective clears panel

A Maryland measure aimed at keeping antibiotics effective is headed to the state Senate. The Keep Antibiotics Effective Act will be before the Senate this week. The Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee passed the bill out of committee Tuesday on a 7-4 vote. The bill is in response to "superbugs" that are becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics. Supporters say part of the problem is the inappropriate and excessive use of human antibiotics in agriculture. (AP)

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As Maryland lawmakers near budget vote, trepidation about future looms

As the House of Delegates nears an up-or-down vote on Gov. Larry Hogan's $43.5 billion spending plan Thursday, House budget chief Maggie McIntosh sees a lot of good news from her perspective — a revenue shortfall erased, critical programs preserved and a healthy reserve fund. Del. McIntosh, the Baltimore Democrat who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, said legislators crafted a plan that seeks to avoid past wrangling with the Republican governor while giving him the fiscal wiggle room to contribute state money to help the Baltimore school system make up a $130 million shortfall. (Balt. Sun)

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After Frederick County family's anguish with victim notification system, law might change

More than once, surviving family members of murder victims in Maryland have received messages stating incorrectly that their loved ones’ convicted killers were released from prison. The announcement, especially when it’s not expected, can throw families into a panic. A bill under consideration in the Maryland General Assembly would address the issue. It would require the state to explore changes to the victim notification system with a focus on increasing the detail, accuracy and timeliness of messages sent. (News-Post)

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Md. lawmakers kill local school, utility security bills

Legislative committees made short work of two locally sponsored bills presented last week, defeating both in votes that were reported Tuesday. The first was a bid by Sen. Andrew Serafini, R-Washington, to create new oversight for poorly performing schools that drew opposition from several education organizations. The bill would have established a new administrative district targeting the state's poorest performing schools. (Herald-Mail)

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