Monday, April 22, 2024 | Baltimore, MD


Md. Senate, House pass conflicting ‘ghost gun’ ban bills

The Maryland Senate and House of Delegates have passed conflicting legislation to ban the possession of “ghost guns,” the increasingly prevalent untraceable firearms that can be assembled at home with parts bought online, regardless of the assembler’s age or criminal history. The Senate voted 35-11 on Wednesday for a measure that would put the ban in place on March 1, 2023. The House voted 94-41 earlier this month for a bill that would make the prohibition effective two months earlier, on Jan. 1.

Maryland has debated paid family leave for a decade. Is this the year it passes?

The prospect of paid family leave for employees in Maryland has been debated among lawmakers in Annapolis for at least a decade — a span in which working groups were formed, studies were commissioned, bills were introduced and bills failed. This year, two years into a pandemic that has exposed the fragility of the nation’s workforce, advocates believed they saw an opening.

Baron Picks Communications Professional to Run for Lt. Governor

Jon Baron, the former nonprofit executive and political novice making a longshot bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, announced Friday that Natalie Williams, a former TV journalist and communications professional from Prince George’s County, will be his running mate. Williams, 50, is currently senior director of communications and public affairs for the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, and she’s held several positions in politics, policy and civic life in Maryland and Washington, D.C., and at the national level.

‘I say the serenity prayer’: Maryland redistricting court cases keep candidates, election officials in limbo

On a February weekend, state Sen. Mary Washington left her Northeast Baltimore rowhouse, got into her car and headed north on York Road toward the city-county line. She was seeing that section of Baltimore County from a fresh perspective. On Jan. 27, Maryland state lawmakers approved a new map of state House and Senate districts that extended Washington’s district into the county for the first time. She considered her drive an advanced orientation to her new constituents.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Person dropping paper on box
Maryland suburban school board races ‘fertile ground’ for conservative activists angered by COVID-19 mandates

In suburban Maryland restaurants and warehouses, activists and frustrated parents have gathered by the dozens this past year. They’re hanging American flags, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and nodding their heads as speakers have encouraged them to take control of their schools. Their meetings spring from exasperation after months of pandemic-related disruptions to education. But while they oppose mask, testing and vaccine mandates for students, their mission has broadened to push back against schools using books with gender identity and immigration themes, as well as lessons on race and other social issues that the parents fear label their children as oppressors.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Winners and Losers From the Primary Delay

Three weeks. It doesn’t sound like a whole lot of time. But under certain circumstances, a three-week delay can be agony. Three weeks: That’s how long the Maryland Court of Appeals has told us to wait for the Maryland primary elections. They were supposed to be held on June 28, and on Tuesday the court decreed that they will take place on July 19 instead. God forbid anyone should have summer vacation plans. Along with changing the primary date, the court set a new filing deadline for candidates, which had already been pushed back once, to April 15 instead of next Tuesday. So that’s two deadlines we now have to worry about on the 15th.

Senate and House Take Different Approaches to Paid Family Medical Leave

Key committees in the Maryland Senate and the House of Delegates moved forward with a measure that would establish a statewide paid family and medical leave program, but proposed different paths to get there. The Time to Care Act would guarantee workers 12 weeks of paid leave following childbirth or to take care of themselves or a family member experiencing serious health issues. Depending on their salary, Marylanders — who worked either part-time or full-time for at least 680 hours in the last year — would receive a partial wage replacement of between $50 and $1,000 a week.

House of Delegates Rejects Florida-Like Amendment to School Anti-Discrimination Bill

The House chamber erupted in an emotional debate on Thursday as Del. Kathy Szeliga (R-Baltimore and Harford) introduced an amendment to an anti-discrimination bill that would have prohibited public school staff from discussing sexuality and gender. “It’s pretty simple, it just says that our public schools shouldn’t teach kids [aged] four, five, six and seven about sex and gender identity,” Szeliga said.

House, Senate pass conflicting bills to raise minimum marriage age to 17

The House of Delegates and Senate have passed conflicting legislation to raise the minimum age for marriage in Maryland from 15 to 17. The House voted 100-35 on Wednesday for a measure that would prohibit 17-year-olds from marrying someone more than four years their elder. House Bill 83 would also require the 17-year-old to assure a judge that he or she is getting married voluntarily and not under duress. By contrast, Senate Bill 29, which senators approved last month, would require the 17-year-old to be either an expectant parent or have a parent’s or guardian’s consent to marry.

Carroll commissioners approve grant for courthouse security updates, continuation of adult drug treatment court program

Window film will be installed on all public-facing windows and doors at the Carroll County Circuit Court in Westminster “to add an extra layer of security,” according to Fred S. Hecker, administrative judge for the Carroll County Circuit Court, the result of a $12,000 grant awarded to the county and accepted by commissioners Thursday. “I hope we never need it, but since they were offering, we took the opportunity,” Hecker said.

The Morning Rundown

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