Monday, April 22, 2024 | Baltimore, MD


Senate Climate Bill Likely to Get a Makeover in House as ‘Presentment’ Deadline Looms

One of the most closely watched bills of the General Assembly session, the Climate Solutions Now Act, is due for a hearing in the House Environment and Transportation Committee on Thursday after passing in the Senate last week along party lines. Even though the House has its own version of the weighty legislation — chopped into three parts — House leaders have chosen to use the Senate bill as the vehicle to put their own stamp on the state’s climate policy.

Maryland governor says extending gas tax suspension ‘may be necessary’

Maryland’s suspension of the nearly 37-cent state gas tax is set to expire April 16. But Gov. Larry Hogan told WBAL Radio that it “may be necessary” to extend it beyond the original 30-day period approved by lawmakers. The move to suspend the state’s gas tax came after Comptroller Peter Franchot floated the idea for a 90-day “gas tax holiday” during a meeting of the Board of Revenue Estimates earlier this month. At the Board of Public Works meeting Wednesday, Franchot repeated his support for a 90-day suspension of the gas tax.

Read More: WTOP
Judges should be cautious with recommendations, Md. ethics panel says

Judges may write letters of recommendation for lawyers who appear before them provided the attorneys are more than an acquaintance and the judges do not give the appearance of pressing the power of their office to the letters’ recipients, the Maryland Judicial Ethics Committee stated in a published opinion released Tuesday. The letters should also be addressed to specific individuals, as the generic heading “to whom it may concern” could cause “embarrassment or unanticipated conflicts” for the judges depending upon the recipients, the committee stated.

Maryland Lawmakers Rush To Pass Bills, Including One That Bans Ghost Guns
In less than three weeks, the Maryland General Assembly will wrap up its legislative session and lawmakers are furiously trying to pass whatever bills are still a priority. On the issue of crime, lawmakers are still considering a bill that if it passes, would ban ghost guns. Ghost guns are untraceable guns with no serial numbers. People could buy parts online with no background check then assemble them at home.
Read More: WJZ
Gov. Hogan is taking Biden’s caution of potential Russian cyberattacks as a ‘serious problem’

Gov. Larry Hogan has spent most of the last two years worrying about how to deal with COVID-19, now he’s thinking about the president’s warning on Monday that Russia may be ready to launch new large-scale cyberattacks against entities in the United States. Reported by the Associated Press, Biden said the administration has issued “new warnings that, based on evolving intelligence, Russia may be planning a cyberattack against us. The magnitude of Russia’s cyber capacity is fairly consequential, and it’s coming.”

Read More: WBAL NewsRadio
Maryland’s high court set to hear gerrymandering case that delayed state’s elections

Maryland’s highest court will begin hearing arguments Wednesday in the gerrymandering case that has shaken up the state’s elections calendar, as Republicans and others argue that 16 recently redrawn legislative districts are politically, demographically or racially unfair. The map, approved by the Democratic-controlled General Assembly in December, dictates the boundaries for state Senate and House districts. Under the state Constitution, each legislative district is supposed to consist of adjoining land, be compact and have a substantially equal number of residents. The map can give some regard to natural boundaries and the boundaries of political subdivisions.

Grocery store booze, gun penalties and vanishing texts among issues unlikely to pass Maryland legislature after crossover day

As the Maryland General Assembly’s annual 90-day lawmaking session grinds into its final three weeks, there remains plenty of time for politicians to hammer out deals and line up votes on everything from leadership’s major priorities to a backbencher’s most modest proposals. Little remains settled, with only a single piece of legislation — a monthlong gas tax holiday — having made it to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk so far this year.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Senate dramatically changes governor’s bill to hold judges accountable

A judicial bill intended to hold Maryland judges accountable is making its way through the General Assembly, but it’s not exactly what Gov. Larry Hogan had hoped for. The Maryland General Assembly isn’t immune to growing concerns about violent crime and what to do about it. The problem is recognizing the source of the crime and passing legislation that will make a difference. Hogan said his Judicial Transparency Act would address concerns about the sentencing of violent criminals.

Read More: WBAL NewsRadio
Emphasizing continuity, Gov. Larry Hogan endorses Kelly Schulz to ‘continue the legacy’ as next governor

Outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday threw his official endorsement behind fellow Republican Kelly Schulz for Maryland’s next governor, citing their years of close political collaboration and calling Schulz the only candidate able to “continue the legacy” of his two terms in office. The move by the governor to endorse Schulz, who spent seven years as a cabinet secretary under Hogan, hardly came as a surprise.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Judge to Rule Soon on Whether Redrawn Baltimore County Council Map Complies With Voting Rights Act

U.S. District Court Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby said at a Monday hearing that she would try to rule this week as to whether a new Baltimore County council redistricting proposal complies with the federal Voting Rights Act. Attorneys for challengers to the county council’s map — which includes just one majority Black council district and was adopted by the county council after Griggsby blocked their original proposal —  said the new version still doesn’t comply with the Voting Rights Act.

The Morning Rundown

We’re staying up to the minute on the issues shaping the future. Join us on the newsletter of choice for Maryland politicos and business leaders. It’s always free to join and never a hassle to leave. See you on the inside.