Former Gov. Harry Hughes Dies

Former Maryland Governor Harry Hughes is dead at the age of 92. Gov. Larry Hogan confirmed Hughes' passing in a statement released this afternoon. Hughes served two terms from 1979 to 1987. “The First Lady and I are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Governor Harry Hughes, a longtime friend and Maryland legend whom I deeply admired. His dedication to our great state - as a distinguished member of the Maryland General Assembly and as our 57th governor - and his service to our nation as a member of the Navy Air Corps during World War II leave a legacy behind that will be forever remembered," Hogan said. (WBAL-Radio)

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Global 'pandemic' of fake drugs killing children worldwide, report says

The deaths of children are a cause for misery, and new research suggests one of the gravest perils comes in the form of falsified and substandard drugs for treating malaria, pneumonia and other diseases. Hundreds of thousands of children each year are dying due to a surge of poor-quality or outright fake medicines, the report says. "We're talking about 300,000 -- at least -- children who have died because of murder-by-alleged-medicines distributed by criminals," said Dr. Joel Breman, a co-author of the report and senior scientific adviser emeritus at the Fogarty International Center of the US National Institutes of Health. (CNN)

Maryland lawmakers pass bill undoing Gov. Hogan's edict for school to start statewide after Labor Day

The Maryland House of Delegates followed the state Senate on Wednesday in approving a bill to undo Gov. Larry's Hogan's 2016 order that public schools begin their academic year after Labor Day. Both chambers passed the legislation by margins large enough to override a Hogan veto, should he choose to exercise that power. It would become law without his signature if he doesn’t veto it. A spokeswoman for the Republican governor could not be immediately reached for comment. Hogan has sharply criticized Democrats for going against a policy he says has broad support around the state, calling their efforts “incredibly stupid” and urging constituents to call their lawmakers and complain. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland set to add 'X' gender designation to driver's licenses under bill by General Assembly

Marylanders who don't identify as either male or female could decline to identify a gender on their driver's licenses starting in October under a bill the General Assembly approved Wednesday. Instead of “M” for male or “F” for female, Marylanders who identify as “nonbinary” could have an “X” displayed on their IDs. The House of Delegates voted 91-47 to pass a bill the Senate approved last month. Gov. Larry Hogan has not weighed in on the legislation. The governor has the option to sign or veto any bill, or let it become law without his signature. (Balt. Sun)

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Before deploying to Afghanistan, Sen. Smith races to finish ambitious agenda

State Sen. William “Will” C. Smith Jr. fondly recalls talking politics with his dad. But he didn’t always appreciate those conversations as a teenager. Back then, he was often more interested in borrowing $20 to take a girl to the movies, he said. But his father, a cab and, later, a  limo driver, wanted him to sit down and discuss the latest item he’d clipped from the newspaper, often about rising African Americans politicians like Doug Wilder, first black governor of Virginia. His father would tack those news clips on his bulletin board, and they grew to be 15 years’ deep.

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New Md. 6th Congressional District could look a lot like old one

A commission dealing with the controversial layout of Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District has proposed a new map that brings all of Frederick County, part of Carroll County and a portion of Montgomery County back into the district. Walter Olson, a co-chair of the commission, said Wednesday that he believes the new map is a more fair reflection of the Western Maryland region and returns the district close to how it looked for for decades. The public can weigh in on the proposed new map. (Herald-Mail)

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Maryland Senate advances bill to make minimum wage $15 by 2025

The Maryland Senate gave initial approval Wednesday to legislation raising the minimum wage for most workers to $15 by 2025, a major victory for liberal Democrats that sets up a possible showdown with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. A final vote is likely by the end of the week. The left wing of the Maryland Democratic Party has pushed for years to increase the hourly minimum wage across the state, but bills never made it out of committee. (Wash. Post)

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Local legislators see some bills advance, others fail

A number of locally sponsored bills advanced this week in the Maryland House of Delegates, while others bit the dust as the House and Senate try to complete work in the closing weeks of the legislative session. Two bills from local legislators were poised to clear the House this week, including: A bill from Del. Paul Corderman, R-Washington, to divert $10 of the wedding ceremony fee in Washington County to the Washington County Historical Society. The Senate approved a companion bill. The measure would be effective Oct. 1. (Herald-Mail)

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