Tuesday, February 12, 2013
A Montgomery County state senator is opposing a bill that would allow gas companies to update old pipelines at a faster pace.
Would you pay more each month for gas utility service in exchange for updated gas pipelines? A bill that easily passed both houses of the Maryland General Assembly would increase Marylanders' gas bills by $2 and allow gas companies to more quickly upgrade old pipelines that are near schools and neighborhoods, the Washington Post reports. Two senators, one from Anne Arundel County and another from Charles County, sponsored the measure, which is different from the current law because it allows companies to charge for upgrades before they are complete. This pre-payment, which has been proposed five times in the past four sessions, according to the Post, is akin to deregulating the utility system, say some opponents. “This is about ending …
Thursday, February 7, 2013
The county's delegation of senators will spend the afternoon discussing where and how businesses can sell beer and wine.
It is unclear what the rules are regarding state legislators drinking on the job, but this afternoon's agenda for the Montgomery County Senate Delegation may be enough to make anyone reach for the nearest glass of vino. Here's what county senators will be discussing and possibly voting on today: 1) Winery Special Event Permits - Farmers' Markets, sponsored by Del. Eric Luedtke (D-Dist 14). Essentially, farmers' markets need permits to host special wine tasting events. With all of the markets in Montgomery County, legislators want to amend the law to allow them to be able to get a permit. Read more here. The House delegation already voted yes on this. 2) Montgomery County - Alcoholic Beverages - Refillable Beer Containers, sponsored by …
Monday, February 4, 2013
"People are suffering every day" and need medical marijuana, delegate says.
Monday, February 4
By Ethan Rosenberg Capital News Service Despite coming up short the last two years, several House legislators are trying again to legalize medical marijuana, while others are attempting to tighten restrictions on its synthetic counterparts. Delegate Cheryl Glenn, D-Baltimore, plans to reintroduce the Maryland Medical Marijuana Act to the House Judiciary Committee. The bill would allow the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to regulate the distribution of medical marijuana through compassion centers for patients who have an ongoing relationship with a physician. “People are suffering every day in the state of Maryland, and they are being subjected to going out on the streets to get the relief we should be providing,” Glenn said. The …
Sens. Richard Madaleno and Jamie Raskin, both of Montgomery County, are co-sponsoring a bill that would prevent discrimination based on gender identity.
For the first time, a bill that would make it illegal for Maryland businesses, companies and housing providers to discriminate against transgender people has the support of Senate President Thomas V. Miller (D-Calvert and Prince George's Counties), creating hope in the state's transgender community. “The protections in this bill are long overdue,” Equality Maryland Executive Director Carrie Evans told Washington Blade. “We are confident the General Assembly will demonstrate, as they did in 2012, that we are a state that treats all of its citizens with dignity and equality under the law.” (Evans refers to an act to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland, which was signed into law in March 2012 and upheld by voters last November.) The bill, …
Thursday, January 31, 2013
What's going on in Annapolis that affects Montgomery County?
'Tis the season, when dozens of legislators from Montgomery County file into Annapolis to create and pass (or shut down) a bevy of new laws that may or may not change our daily lives. The Maryland General Assembly convened Jan. 9, 2013 and it won't adjourn until April. Since you can't be there, keeping an eye on lawmakers from your town, we'll be rounding up some of their more important deeds each week. Here's what our local legislators did recently: Takoma Park Delegate Heather Mizeur, a Democrat who everyone says is running for governor next year, is doing something that only a person interested in state office would do—leave her district to give a speech. She's talking to the Queen Anne's County Democratic Club next month about "major …
Friday, January 18, 2013
The legislative package also includes bills regarding offshore wind, expansion of early voting and allowing voters to register and vote on the same day.
Calling it his top priority for the 2013 General Assembly session, Gov. Martin O'Malley Friday said he will introduce a set of proposed gun control laws. The bills are part of O'Malley's 25-item agenda that was announced Friday morning. The requests include bills on school safety, repeal of the sunset of the state DNA database program, offshore wind, jobs and expansion of early voting as well as making it possible for voters to register on the same day they vote. But the focus of the news conference was on O'Malley's gun control bills. "Military assault weapons don't just threaten children and they don't just threaten families," O'Malley said. "They also threaten the men and women, that on our behalf, execute search and seizure warrants. …
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
State Sen. Allan Kittleman wants voting sessions recorded, a Prince George's County senator suffers a basketball injury and two Baltimore County legislators team up to shorten the wait to get a divorce.
A proposal by Baltimore City to secure hundreds of millions in state money for school construction is missing a key ingredient, according to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. "The state needs to have a role in school construction," Miller said. Baltimore City wants the state to guarantee as much as $30 million a year for 20 years in the form of block grants for school construction and renovations. The city will then use that promise to leverage borrowing $1 billion for its plan. Miller rejects the plan saying it's a lot of money and that the state is needed to provide a check and balance to potential malfeasance and corruption. "I'm a historian, I study all history, OK," Miller said. "Whenever you have a one-sided government you …
Monday, January 7, 2013
Governor's announcement at Overlea High School includes $325 million for school construction and $25 million for air conditioning in schools.
Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Monday a plan to spend $336 million on school construction and facilities improvements in the coming budget year. The governor made the announcement during Jan. 7 news conference at Overlea High School. The proposal, which will be part of his Fiscal Year 2014 budget sent to state lawmakers later this month, will include $325 million for school construction and renovation, $25 million for air conditioning schools and $6.1 million for the aging schools program. O'Malley said that the proposed budget was unusual because of the funds earmarked for air conditioning. "This is the first time an allocation of state capital that large has been made for a specific purpose," he said. The governor also highlighted the …
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
The recent shootings Newtown, Conn., have prompted Gov. Martin O'Malley and others to promise gun control legislation in the upcoming session.
Tuesday, January 1
By JULIE BAUGHMAN for Capital News Service ANNAPOLIS - An increase in gas taxes, a repeal of the death penalty and a renewed discussion of liability for pit bull owners are some of the issues currently on the table for Maryland's 2013 legislative session. In addition, the recent shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., have prompted Gov. Martin O'Malley and others to promise gun control legislation in the upcoming session. However, with the ongoing fiscal cliff discussions in Washington threatening to dramatically affect taxes and the economy, plans for the 2013 session in Maryland may be severely altered depending on the outcome. Maryland has a huge public sector workforce, and is home to a multitude of government …
Monday, December 31, 2012
Numerous key laws passed in 2012 by the Maryland General Assembly take effect on Jan. 1.
Same-sex marriage, a first-in-the-nation arsenic ban for chicken feed and a law designed to protect children's credit reports are among the Maryland laws taking effect on Jan. 1. Some, including the marriage law and a Baltimore City charter amendment, were passed by voters in November. Others tweak existing rules, like renewable energy credits and car insurance. Here are the key laws you need to know about that take effect, according to a Maryland General Assembly document. Same-sex marriage: The Civil Marriage Protection Act, passed in the 2012 session, petitioned to referendum and ratified by Maryland voters in November, takes effect as scheduled on Jan. 1. Maryland was one of the first three states to ratify same-sex marriage at the …