Sen. Chris Van Hollen Announces ‘Customers Not Cargo Act’

Senator Chris Van Hollen announced Wednesday that he is introducing legislation that would “prohibit airlines from forcibly removing passengers after they have already boarded the plane due to overbooking or airline staff seeking to fly as passengers.” This comes in the wake of outrage at a video of a United Airlines passenger being dragged off a plane that the airline originally said was overbooked, which was flying from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to Louisville, Kentucky Sunday night. (WJZ-CBS)

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Pugh says Baltimore fared well during 90-day legislative session

Mayor Catherine Pugh said Wednesday the 90-day legislative session ended with some victories for Baltimore. Pugh, a former state senator, said among the legislative successes that will benefit the city is $2 million to help pay for the newly approved consent decree between the police department and the U.S. Department of Justice. She noted that the state also will send money to build new schools and help close $130 million budget shortfall in the school system. “I am very pleased with the way the session ended for Baltimore City specifically,” Pugh said at a weekly news conference. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland ACLU joins lawsuit on travel ban implementation

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland joined a nationwide lawsuit on Wednesday in an effort to learn more about the implementation of President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Forty-one ACLU affiliates filed the suit, alleging U.S. Customs and Border Protection had not adequately responded to a request for documents filed this year under the Freedom of Information Act. The ACLU, in this most recent lawsuit, is seeking information about the order’s local implementation, which by most accounts was chaotic. Customs officials did not interpret the order uniformly, and the administration quickly sought to clarify portions of the ban. (Balt. Sun)

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Pugh reflects on the two years since Gray's death in police custody

Reflecting on the two years that passed since Freddie Gray’s arrest, Mayor Catherine Pugh said fundamental changes have been made to the way the police department operates but the city needs to get a handle on the drug trade to fully transform certain communities. Pugh was asked Wednesday about the changes made since Gray, 25, was arrested and died. Gray’s death after suffering a severe spinal cord injury in police custody sparked widespread rioting and looting. “The CVS has been rebuilt, but has the community changed dramatically?” Pugh said, speaking about the pharmacy in West Baltimore that was burnt down during the unrest. (Balt. Sun)

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April 12 // A session ‘we can all be proud of,’ Hogan, Busch, Miller agree

“It was a great session,” Gov. Larry Hogan said about the just closed 90-day meeting of the Maryland General Assembly. “This is the way government is supposed to work…. This was all about compromise.” “It was a session we can all be proud of,” House Speaker Michael Busch, sitting next to Hogan at a bill signing ceremony Tuesday morning. “This year your staff did a great job.” (Capital News/Md. Reporter)

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Franchot announces task force to study Maryland liquor laws

Frustrated by the state's "outdated" regulation of alcohol, Comptroller Peter Franchot plans to create a task force to review Maryland liquor laws. Franchot, a Democrat who collects alcohol taxes and enforces the liquor laws, is dubbing his effort "Reform on Tap." Franchot did not announce who would be on the task force, but said the group would hold public meetings this spring and summer with the goal of making recommendations in the fall. Any changes to state liquor law would require approval from the General Assembly. (Balt. Sun)

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Black Caucus calls for special session on medical marijuana

The head of the Legislative Black Caucus said Tuesday her organization wants Gov. Larry Hogan to recall the General Assembly to Annapolis for a one-day special session to pass a law expanding the medical marijuana industry. That legislation failed in the waning minutes of the annual 90-day session on Monday night, ending a months-long fight to grant lucrative medical cannabis growing licenses to companies owned by minorities. (Balt. Sun)

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Van Hollen camp pays fine over dispute with Emily's List

Sen. Chris Van Hollen’s campaign has agreed to pay a fine and return some $3,300 in contributions over a dispute with a political group that supported his opponent in last year’s Democratic Senate primary. Emily's List, the women's group that backed former Rep. Donna Edwards' campaign for Senate, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission in 2015, alleging Van Hollen’s campaign used the group’s finance reports to identify potential donors – which is prohibited. (Balt. Sun)

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