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Maryland passed the nation’s largest tax credit for the poor. Democrats want it for noncitizens, too.

The Maryland General Assembly is mired in a partisan fight over whether to use one of the nation’s most effective anti-poverty tools to help immigrants who are not citizens. Democrats are advancing a bill to extend cash payments for the working poor to include taxpayers without Social Security numbers, citing a moral obligation to help all needy households amid a pandemic that has disproportionately harmed the poor and people of color. Their efforts put the state near the forefront of a national debate over expanding the social safety net for immigrants in the absence of federal immigration changes.

Md. Senate panel debates no-knock warrant limits

A Senate panel debated legislation Friday to permit no-knock warrants only if requested by the local police chief, or sheriff, and state’s attorney before submission for a judge’s signature. The Judicial Proceedings Committee is expected to vote Monday to approve the measure, which stops short of ending the use of the warrants as the bill’s sponsor had urged, and send it to the full Senate for its consideration later in the week.

Read More: Daily Record
Hogan’s ‘Green Bag’ Includes Appointees to State Board of Elections, Education, Regents

The customary “green bag” of gubernatorial appointees arrived in the Maryland Senate on Friday afternoon, just as it has for decades ― but this time it was via video. As a pandemic precaution, Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s appointments secretary, Chris Cavey, delivered the names of 154 appointees to 55 boards virtually on Friday. “I am especially proud of this group, who volunteered under very awkward circumstances. They have proven to me that even under current pandemic conditions, it does not affect the volunteer spirit of the citizens of Maryland,” Cavey said in the video, wearing a green tie as he customarily does when delivering the nominations.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh Calls For Cancellation Of Federal Student Loan Debt

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is joining a group of other attorneys general calling for the cancellation of federal student loan debt. They are urging Congress to pass resolutions that call President Joe Biden to cancel $50,000 per borrower. They say the struggle on recent graduates is significantly more during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More: WJZ
Students, parents protest Montgomery Co.’s phased return to school plan

Dozens of students and parents endured freezing temperatures Saturday to protest against a phased plan to in-person learning in Montgomery County, Maryland. Bundled up in parkas, wool caps and behind face masks, the crowd stood on Md. Route 355, in front of the county’s Board of Education headquarters, holding colorful handwritten signs that could be seen by passing cars.

Read More: WTOP
Class-action suit alleges officials mishandled COVID-19 outbreak at state-run Baltimore jail for federal pre-trial detainees

A federal lawsuit alleges that corrections officials have mishandled an outbreak of the coronavirus at the Chesapeake Detention Facility in Baltimore City, leading to one-third of its inmates and staff members contracting the virus in less than one month. Filed in U.S. District Court on behalf of a number of inmates at the facility, the class-action lawsuit names Warden Calvin Wilson and Robert Green, Maryland secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services, as defendants, saying their “actions have fueled this outbreak, and they also have failed to take appropriate action in response.”

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Policeman watching the St Patrick's parade
Black troopers accuse Maryland State Police of racism and discrimination, state senator says

Black troopers in the Maryland Department of State Police have accused the agency of racism and discrimination, pointing to disparities in discipline and promotions, as well as underrepresentation and alleged instances of retaliation, according to a state senator. Maryland State Sen. Joanne Benson of Prince George’s County met with more than 20 Black troopers who presented her with documents detailing their claims, WRC in Washington reported Thursday. The television station did not identify the troopers because those who spoke out are violating department policy.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore solicitor finds no fault with State’s Attorney Mosby for trips, says city rules unclear for official travel

After a week of legal research, Baltimore’s solicitor concluded that rules for travel by elected officials are ambiguous and inconsistently applied, a determination that places no fault on State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby for her many trips to conferences around the world. City leaders released the five-page opinion Thursday from City Solicitor Jim Shea. He found “no clear answer” to the question they presented him last week. Does an elected official need approval to accept plane tickets and hotel rooms from a private organization?

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Bill to curtail Maryland student school board members’ voting power dies in House committee

A bill in the General Assembly aimed at curtailing the voting power of student school board members in Maryland died in committee last week. The legislation, filed by Del. Reid Novotny in January, received an “unfavorable” report from the House of Delegates Ways and Means committee on Feb. 12, killing the bill with a 14-7 vote. The bill would have stripped student school board members in the state of their vote if it were a “deciding vote” on a motion.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore police report a 400% increase in untraceable ‘ghost guns,’ as legislators consider action

The Baltimore Police Department said it saw a sharp increase last year in recoveries of so-called “ghost guns,” untraceable firearms that can be built from kits and are once again drawing the attention of state lawmakers. Baltimore Police Lt. Col. John Herzog told legislators Wednesday that city police recovered 126 ghost guns last year, compared to 29 seized in 2019. The amount of ghost guns seized in Baltimore last year was more than the total number of ghost guns seized statewide in 2019, when 117 were recovered.

Read More: Baltimore Sun

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