Van Hollen Blasts McConnell Over Senate Inaction on Gun Bill

U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) lambasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Wednesday for inaction on gun control legislation, saying it would be “grossly irresponsible” for the Kentucky Republican to not bring up legislation for a Senate vote. “It’s irresponsible for [McConnell] to hand authority over to the executive branch,” Van Hollen said in an interview with Capital News Service. “We’re a co-equal branch of government and should not be contracting out our responsibilities.” (Md. Matters)

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Trump Killing $66M in Md. Military Projects to Fund Wall, Brown Says

Three previously-approved military projects in Maryland have been canceled by the Pentagon as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to locate funds for a wall on the southern border, U.S. Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D) reported on Wednesday. Defense officials axed a $37 million project to relocate a hazardous materials pad at Fort Meade along with $16.5 million in road improvements there. Also cut: a $13 million child care facility at Joint Base Andrews. (Md. Matters)

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Hogan: Judges should decide how much to pay 5 wrongly incarcerated men

Gov. Larry Hogan proposed Wednesday using administrative law judges to revive the state’s practice of awarding payments to wrongly incarcerated individuals ― an action the state hasn’t taken in 15 years. Under pressure from lawmakers to act on the cases of five men who collectively spent more than 100 years behind bars, the Republican governor said he believed administrative law judges are better qualified than the Board of Public Works ― which he chairs ― to determine how much to pay the former inmates. (Balt. Sun) 

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Gov. Hogan Says Baltimore City Schools ‘Must Be Held Accountable’ After Warm Weather Forces Early Dismissal

On just the second day of the school, Baltimore City Public Schools without air-conditioning were closed two hours early. Temperatures were well over 90 degrees Wednesday in Baltimore City. Gov. Hogan posted a statement on Facebook about the incident. “It is outrageous and completely unacceptable that the third-highest funded large school system in America still refuses to put air conditioning in their schools and had to send kids home from 57 hot school buildings. The Baltimore City School System must be held accountable.” (WJZ)

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Toll Cuts ‘Could’ Boost Revenue, Transpo Authority Chief Says

If a series of proposed changes goes into effect, Maryland motorists who drive certain vehicles will get a break at the toll booth, and those who refuse to get an E-ZPass transponder will gain new, faster ways of paying their tolls. The changes are among several that the Maryland Transportation Authority board recommended in July. A public comment period runs until Oct. 3 and the first of nine public hearings is being held Tuesday evening. The proposals are part of a gradual push by the state toward cashless tolling. (Md. Matters)

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Maryland Elections Board Responds to Lawmakers’ Concerns Ahead of 2020

Maryland elections officials responded last week to a concerns from congressional Democrats ahead of the 2020 election. “The State Board of Elections has no higher priority, working with our local partners, than protecting the integrity of our elections,” Administrator Linda H. Lamone wrote to Maryland’s Democratic U.S. senators and representatives. “We have and will continue to take every appropriate action and utilize all available resources to ensure Marylanders can vote securely.” (Md. Matters)

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Why mounting a racial discrimination lawsuit against Baltimore County police is a rare step for the Trump team

The Justice Department sued Baltimore County, Maryland, and its police department last week, accusing them of discriminating against black applicants for entry-level police jobs -- a rare step in making an allegation of systemic misconduct by law enforcement under the Trump administration. The lawsuit alleges a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination against employees or applicants based on race, among other things. It appears to be one of the only examples of a so-called pattern-or-practice lawsuit -- a full-scale civil rights inquiry into policing practice -- filed under the President Donald Trump-led Department of Justice against a police agency. 

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Hogan proclaims September 'International Underground Railroad Month'

Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday, Sept. 3, proclaimed September as International Underground Railroad Month, which recognizes Maryland as the most powerful destination for authentic Underground Railroad history. It also commemorates all those involved in the Underground Railroad, including Maryland’s Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and thousands of freedom seekers.“Maryland has the most documented successful escapes and was heavily active in the Underground Railroad,” Hogan said. (Star Dem.)

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