Tuesday, November 30, 2021 |
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Maryland bill would repeal some jury disqualifications in bid to bring about reenfranchisement

A Maryland bill would repeal certain disqualifications for serving on a jury, and proponents argue that it is centered on reenfranchisement. HB260, which is cross-filed in the Senate under SB625, “alters the circumstances under which an individual may be disqualified from jury service,” according to the bill’s fiscal analysis. The bill aims to repeal part of current Maryland law that states that if a person has been sentenced to more than one year of incarceration or they have pending charges for a crime that is punishable for imprisonment more than one year, then they cannot serve on a jury.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
As Maryland officials celebrate opening of FEMA-run COVID vaccine site, Greenbelt mayor and Hogan spar over rollout

Maryland officials celebrated the official opening of federally operated mass coronavirus vaccination site in Greenbelt, touted as being capable of administering thousands of shots daily into the arms of primarily Prince George’s County residents. Gov. Larry Hogan, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, Greenbelt Mayor Colin Byrd, and representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is running the site at the Greenbelt Metro Station, headlined the news conference Wednesday.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
New plan for Maryland sports gambling would lift limits on businesses, allow betting daily at licensed stadiums

A new plan for sports betting is moving forward in the General Assembly that would open the new industry to an unlimited number of in-person and online businesses. The plan being put forth by the state Senate would be one that is wide-open to applicants, compared to one approved by the House of Delegates. “We are doing our best not to pick winners and losers, but to let the market work itself out,” said Sen. Craig Zucker, a Montgomery County Democrat.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Maryland to get $54 million from federal sources to help roll out more COVID-19 vaccine

Maryland will get more than $54 million from federal sources to help distribute COVID-19 vaccine to underserved populations, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday. The $54.6 million is set to go to local health departments, community groups and others to increase uptake of the vaccine and ensure greater equity and access. Minority groups, including Black and Hispanic people, have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Hesitancy to getting the vaccine has been documented among some minorities but access has been identified as a larger barrier for many.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Close Adviser to Glassman Enters Race to Replace Him

Billy Boniface, a longtime adviser to Harford County Executive Barry Glassman (R), became the first candidate Tuesday to formally enter the race to replace him in 2022. Boniface, a former Harford County Council president and currently chief adviser to Glassman, had signaled for weeks that he planned to run next year, when Glassman is term limited.

Stage set for final negotiations at Maryland State House over legislation to change policing

Maryland lawmakers set the stage Tuesday for final negotiations over a series of major policing bills that are the General Assembly’s top remaining priority with the legislative session ticking to a close. After several hours of contentious debate, the House of Delegates passed the final piece Tuesday of a Senate-drafted package of bills, a measure that would give the public limited access to disciplinary files and complaints against officers through public records requests and place new limits on no-knock search warrants.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Lawmakers Debating Whether to Allow Tiered Local Income Tax Brackets

Maryland’s Senate moved forward with a bill to let counties to set local income taxes at different rates for lower-income and wealthy residents. The Senate version of the “Local Tax Relief for Working Families Act of 2021” passed out of the chamber on a partisan vote last month. But Republicans revived their concerns about the bill Tuesday as the House version received initial approval in the Senate.

Business liability protection bill in Md. falls by the wayside
With the Maryland General Assembly session coming to an end, a top priority for the state’s business community — legislation to protect businesses from lawsuits claiming that a customer had caught the virus at those businesses — has failed to move past initial hearings in either chamber. Business leaders and advocates had fiercely pushed for the legislation, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Christopher West, R-Baltimore County, and in the House by Del. Dalya Attar, D-Baltimore.
Baltimore City Council Passes Bill To Give Renters Options On Security Deposit

Baltimore City Council has passed a bill, giving people more options when it comes to paying their security deposit. Rather than paying the lump sum at one time, renters can now pay it in installments or get insurance for it.  Opponents worry the bill could actually cost families more if they chose the insurance option. It now heads to Mayor Brandon Scott’s desk.

Read More: WJZ-TV
Maryland Faces ‘Extreme’ Threat of Gerrymandering, New Report Says

Maryland is under “extreme” risk for gerrymandering when lawmakers draw up new election districts, according to a new report from an anti-corruption watchdog group. The Gerrymandering Threat Index from the nonprofit group RepresentUs lists Maryland, alongside 26 other states, in the highest risk category for gerrymandering. States are listed under the group’s “extreme” risk category for giving “politicians complete control over an often-secretive, poorly-protected redistricting process.

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