General Assembly advancing bills that would update Maryland sexual assault laws

A half-dozen bills moving through the General Assembly would update Maryland's sexual assault laws and, advocates say, make it easier for victims to secure justice. One measure would sweep aside a centuries-old vestige of English law that requires prosecutors to prove that rape victims resisted their attackers. Another would broaden the definition of rape to include a wider of range of attacks. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland bail bond industry's contributions hang over contested bill

The economic clout of the bail bond industry hangs over a debate in the General Assembly that could decide the future of cash bail in Maryland. As the legislature's 2017 session heads toward a close at midnight on April 10, bail reform remains one of the most hotly contested topics. And bail bond companies are among Maryland's biggest political campaign contributors. According to a study released by Common Cause Maryland this year, bail bond companies and their key players contributed more than $288,000 to the campaigns of Maryland politicians between 2011 and 2016. (Balt. Sun)

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Reprieve coming for towns overpaid by comptroller

Maryland jurisdictions that received $21 million in overpayments of income tax receipts between 2010 and 2014 will not have to pay it back under a bill headed towards passage in the Maryland General Assembly. The bill, SB397, is sponsored by the Sen. George Edwards, a Western Maryland Republican, and Sen. Richard Madaleno, a Montgomery County Democrat. (Md. Reporter)

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Nearly 1 in 3 Marylanders say corruption is a big problem in state government

Nearly a third of Maryland residents see corruption as a major problem in state government, according to a Washington ­Post-University of Maryland poll, a perception that coincides with a push by lawmakers and Gov. Larry Hogan to strengthen ethics laws. The House of Delegates gave final approval Friday to compromise legislation crafted by Hogan (R) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) that would increase financial disclosure requirements and expand the definition of what constitutes a conflict of interest. (Wash. Post)

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Maryland considers cracking down on drivers who linger in the left lane

Drivers who hog the left lane soon could face fines up to $250 in Maryland under a bill designed to ease bottlenecks and reduce road rage by making it easier for motorists to get around slower vehicles. The bill, which has passed the House and is pending in the Senate, would put Maryland among a growing number of states cracking down on drivers who seem to defy a basic lesson of high school driver’s education: Use the left lane to pass, then move back to the right. (Wash. Post)

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Frederick County opts to help federal immigration officials

When people are booked at Frederick County's jail, they're handed a form asking a series of questions, such as whether they're on medication or experiencing any pain. It's a standard list used in many jails and booking centers, but with two additions: What country were you born in? What country are you a citizen or national of? The answers to those can trigger a process unique in Maryland to Frederick County. Correctional officers trained by the federal government open an investigation into whether the arrestee is in the country illegally. If so, the officer alerts an on-site federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, who can begin immigration proceedings against them. (Balt. Sun)

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William B. Dulany, attorney and state delegate, dies

Willliam B. Dulany, founder of Westminster law firm and a former member of the House of Delegates who was a longtime McDaniel College trustee, died March 19 at Sinai Hospital from cancer. He was 89. "Bill was a very gifted attorney and the law and his family were his true loves," said Thomas C. Beach IV, who is a partner in the firm, Dulany, Leahy Curtis & Beach LLP. "He didn't play golf and truly loved the law. He worked six days a week." (Balt. Sun)

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March 24 // Dems blast Hogan’s silence on Bay cleanup cuts; administration fires back

Democrats in Annapolis Thursday railed against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan for not doing enough to protect the Chesapeake Bay under the Trump administration’s  proposed cuts to the Bay cleanup plan and under a new EPA administrator historically hostile to environmental regulations. “The Bay can’t speak for itself obviously and needs a spokesperson,” said Senate President Mike Miller, leading a press conference of House and Senate Democratic leaders. “Obviously the person in the highest office in the state is not speaking out for the Chesapeake Bay, so we’re here to say this Bay is ours, it’s the largest estuary in the world…and we’re going to protect our Chesapeake Bay.” (Md. Reporter)

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