Sunday, April 14, 2013
A state legislator introduces the 'Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013.'
A 7-year-old boy at Park Elementary School in Anne Arundel County was recently suspended for two days for chewing a strawberry-filled breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun, pointing it and saying “bang, bang.” The incident captured national attention with political commentator George Will naming the child the Pop-Tart Terrorist. The Washington Post reports that in the almost three months since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, two Washington, DC-area children have been suspended for pointing their fingers like guns. A 10-year-old in Alexandria was also arrested for displaying a toy gun, and a 5-year-old girl in Pennsylvania was suspended for talking about shooting her Hello Kitty bubble gun. Late last week, Maryland Sen. J.B. …
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The ban is expected to pass the Maryland General Assembly.
Drivers in Maryland still using hand-held mobile devices on the road should be prepared to either make the move to hands free or simply keep their cell phones put away. The Maryland Senate voted 40-6 Monday to approve a bill that makes the use of hand-held electronic devices while behind the wheel a "primary offense," The Baltimore Sun reports. Currently, drivers in Maryland can only be cited for using a cell phone if an officer pulls them over for committing another offense — such as speeding. If the proposed ban is approved—which, according to reports, is likely—drivers could be pulled over for using their mobile phones without committing another offense. "A dozen states and the District of Columbia have laws banning use of hand-held …
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
New Goucher College poll finds the public is almost evenly split on the job performance of both Gov. Martin O'Malley and the Maryland General Assembly.
A narrow majority of Marylanders believe the state is headed in the wrong direction and most are split on the job performance of Gov. Martin O'Malley and the General Assembly. Forty-seven percent of those surveyed in a poll conducted by the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College believe the state is on the wrong track compared to 44 percent who think it is going in the right direction. The same poll gave mixed reviews on the job performance of the governor and state legislators. Forty-six percent of Marylanders polled said they held a favorable view of O’Malley compared to 45 percent who said they held an unfavorable view. When asked O’Malley's job performance as governor, 47 percent approved and 43 percent disapproved. …
Monday, March 11, 2013
The construction of a wind power farm off the coast of Ocean City could begin as early at 2017.
- GOING GREEN
Monday, March 11
By Jessica Wilde Capital News Service Gov. Martin O’Malley’s offshore wind energy bill is on its way to his desk for a signature, having passed in the House in February and in the Senate on Friday. Five friendly Senate amendments are expected to be approved easily by the House. The new legislation will funnel $1.7 billion of ratepayer subsidies over a 20-year period toward the construction of a wind power farm 10 to 30 miles off the coast of Ocean City as early as 2017. “It’s about a better Maryland for tomorrow,” said Sen. James Mathias Jr., D-Worcester, the former mayor of Ocean City, who changed his vote to support the bill. O’Malley’s previous two attempts to push the legislation—the first more ambitious —never made it to the Senate …
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 …
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 …
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
The Howard County executive says his top priority in the 2013 General Assembly Session is to avoid additional cuts in state aid.
UPDATED (4:00 p.m.)—If Howard County Executive Ken Ulman had one wish for the coming General Assembly session it would be to avoid the type of cuts to local aid that have affected his county and others for the last five years. "Just don't cut me any more," Ulman said Tuesday during an appearance on the Midday with Dan Rodricks show on WYPR radio. [Listen to the show.] Ulman lamented cuts to local aid which in recent years have seen transportation funding cut by as much as 90 percent and a shifting of some teacher pension costs to the local jurisdictions. "It's been a rough time to be a county executive," Ulman said of the cuts and trying economic times. The Howard County executive's pleas echo those of leaders from other counties. Many …
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 …
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 …