Maryland Senate committee crafts compromise on transportation scoring law

A Maryland Senate committee has advanced a compromise measure that would delay implementation of a transportation project scoring law that Gov. Larry Hogan consistently pans as the "Road Kill Bill." The law, passed over Hogan's veto last year, requires officials to study local transportation projects, rank them and offer an explanation if any project receives state funding over one that is ranked higher. Hogan argues the law forces him to eliminate state funding for almost every project in Maryland and could mire projects in litigation. General Assembly Democrats and the Maryland attorney general's office disagree, saying the scoring system is only advisory. (Balt. Sun)

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DNR chief won’t say why he fired longtime manager of crab program

Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources Secretary Mark J. Belton on Monday offered lawmakers no explanation for why he fired the longtime manager of the state’s crab program days after watermen complained to Gov. Larry Hogan about the employee. Belton repeatedly declined to justify the dismissal during a joint hearing with the House and Senate environmental committees, as Democratic lawmakers questioned whether the termination of Brenda Davis, a 28-year state employee, was politically motivated. “Isn’t it true that since you couldn’t give these watermen what they wanted by changing crab policy, you gave them something else — Brenda Davis’s job?” asked Sen. Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George’s). (Wash. Post)

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Del. Shoemaker hopes to bring nickel bingo to seniors

Bingo, as played by children — thrilled simply to be the first to claim a row on their card has been called — may be fun, but adults have been known to add a little wagering to the game for extra zest. This may not be the equivalent of slot machines, but under Maryland law it is apparently not acceptable for residents in senior living facilities to play bingo involving money, according to Del. Haven Shoemaker, and that's something he is out to change. He has received a handwritten petition from the people living at The Residences at Hampstead School, an 84-unit senior living facility on Hampstead's Main Street asking for his help. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Annapolis City Council holds public hearing on pay increase

In a relatively short and light meeting, the Annapolis City Council held a public hearing Monday night on legislation that would increase the compensation of city aldermen and the city manager and introduced legislation to change how Market House is run. The compensation legislation is the result of a commission's report that recommended the aldermen's pay be increased from $13,500 to $15,000 and the minimum salary of the city manager raised from $120,000 to $140,000. The compensation bill does not raise the mayor's salary, which will remain at $98,000 annually. (Capital)

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March 13 // Legislation would remove ticket re-sell restrictions

Legislation heard Friday will allow ticket holders to re-sell them without restrictions. Bill supporters believe the legislation will have a positive impact on consumers. Opponents believe it will jack up the price of admission. For example, if a person has tickets to a Ravens game through Ticketmaster and at the last minute something comes up and they can't attend, re-selling, or even giving them away, is not always an easy option. (WBAL-TV)

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"None of it made sense": Martin O’Malley’s long year after running for president

Martin O'Malley remembers running for president like this: He is on a train, heading for a bridge. He can see the bridge is giving out. He is shouting and waving and pointing at a "better lane," he says. "But it's like I couldn't get anybody on the train to listen. It was the most frustrating experience I've ever had in politics." O'Malley was still a young mayor in Baltimore, elected at 36, when he started hearing people say he might one day "go all the way." Now, at 54, on the other side of that dream, he is at turns resigned to and not yet at peace with the eight months he spent as a candidate for the Democratic nomination. (BuzzFeed)

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Maryland plans to join lawsuit against Trump’s travel ban

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) said Friday that Maryland plans to join Washington in its lawsuit against President Trump's travel ban, the first legal action by Frosh since the General Assembly gave him authority to sue the federal government. Frosh called the ban "unwise, illegal and un-American" and said it makes the country "less safe, not more safe." (Wash. Post)

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Maryland House committee approves budget bill, companion measure

The House Appropriations Committee approved Gov. Larry Hogan's $43.5 billion budget Friday, along with a companion measure needed to bring it into balance. The measure will go to the House floor Monday, with the first votes on proposed amendments expected Wednesday. The legislation is expected to pass by the end of the week. It will then go to the Senate. (Balt. Sun)

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