General Assembly | WYPR

General Assembly

Rachel Baye / WYPR

A bill passed Wednesday by the state Senate gives state Attorney General Brian Frosh up to $1 million to hire five attorneys to help his office challenge federal policy. The measure, which already passed the House, is a direct response to executive actions taken by President Donald Trump.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

State legislation barring local and state police from looking into residents’ immigration status faces tough odds in the Maryland Senate.

Maryland State Archives

Stanley Andrisse is an endocrinology post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University. He’s also a convicted felon.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The General Assembly passed the state’s $43-billion budget Tuesday, with a little less than two weeks to go before the legislature’s 90-day session ends.

The final budget includes nearly $30 million to help Baltimore City Public Schools fill its own budget hole.

Rachel Baye

“Ta da!”

Senate President Mike Miller opened debate Monday on a bill banning hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, with gusto.

The Senate’s debate and subsequent approval of the ban came just over a week after Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement that he supports banning the controversial drilling practice.

Rachel Baye

Democrats in the General Assembly announced Friday a package of bills aimed at curbing Maryland’s opioid addiction crisis.

The legislation focuses on expanding access to treatment and educating students about the hazards of the drugs beginning in the third grade. It increases funding for health providers, expands substance-abuse treatment programs in prisons and establishes crisis treatment centers across the state.

Rachel Baye

Democrats in the General Assembly and environmental activists called Thursday for Gov. Larry Hogan to challenge President Donald Trump’s proposed $73 million cut eliminating the Chesapeake Bay Program. During Thursday's floor session, the legislators introduced a resolution criticizing the cuts and directing Hogan to act.

Rachel Baye

Seventeen-year-old Julia Francis was playing pinball with her older brother A.J. Francis at Crabtowne USA in Glen Burnie.

“I’m just trying to prove myself better than this guy,” said Julia, a junior at nearby Old Mill High School.

“Never happens,” her brother, a defensive lineman for the Washington Redskins, said from one pinball machine over. “I’m always the one that comes out on top, even when it comes to pinball. Mainly because I’ve been playing for a decade longer.”

The siblings were surprised to learn about a Maryland law that prohibits minors from playing pinball in public places in certain parts of the state.

Flickr: Maryland GovPics

Democrats in the state Senate are offering a plan that would create an independent commission to redraw Maryland’s congressional districts if five other states in the region agree to do the same. The bill was voted out of committee just as Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposed redistricting reform bill died.

Photo by K. Whiteford

Monday was a busy day in Annapolis, where state lawmakers hurried to meet a legislative deadline. Any bills not passed by either the state Senate or the House of Delegates by the end of the day have to go through the Rules Committee before they can continue on. WYPR’s Rachel Baye joins Nathan Sterner to talk about what bills made the cut and what will face additional hurdles.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Maryland’s House of Delegates gave preliminary approval Monday to a bill prohibiting state and local police from enforcing federal immigration law.

The bill prevents state and local police from inquiring about immigration status during a traffic stop or an unrelated arrest. It also prohibits state and local corrections officers from holding someone based on what’s known as a “detainer,” a request by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, agents to keep someone without a warrant while they look into his or her immigration status.

Rachel Baye

Monday marks the 69th day of the General Assembly session, known as "Crossover Day." Any bills not passed by either the House or the Senate at the end of the day will face additional hurdles to becoming law. News director Joel McCord chats with WYPR's state government reporter Rachel Baye about what legislation has made the cut and what might not.

Rachel Baye

The state Senate passed paid sick leave legislation with a veto-proof majority Thursday, just one day after Gov. Larry Hogan promised to veto it.

Rachel Baye

The state Senate is expected to vote by the end of the week on a bill requiring businesses to offer employees paid sick leave. But Gov. Larry Hogan promises to veto the bill in its current form.

Rachel Baye

A law passed last year requires the state Department of Transportation to rank transportation projects according to how well they meet certain goals, such as reducing traffic congestion and encouraging economic growth. Democrats say the measure creates transparency in the planning process by allowing residents to see how the state chooses which transportation projects to build. But Republican Gov. Larry Hogan dubbed it the “road kill bill,” arguing that the law stymies road projects.

At the beginning of the current General Assembly session, Hogan introduced a bill repealing the law — a nonstarter for the legislature’s Democratic supermajority. So the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee developed a compromise.

Wikimedia Commons

State lawmakers are questioning the decision by Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration to fire the long-time manager of the state’s blue crab program. State House and Senate committees grilled administration officials over the dismissal at a joint hearing Monday.

Rachel Baye

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced Friday a joint plan with the state to help fill the city school system’s budget gap with $180 million over three years. The plan needs to be approved by the full legislature and Gov. Larry Hogan.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Sitting handcuffed and shackled for a long car ride can be traumatic for a child. Deborah St. Jean, the director of the state public defender’s Juvenile Protection Division, said one of her clients particularly dreaded the shackles.

“When this girl has to come to court, she is handcuffed, shackled — black box, waist chains, 25 pounds — and she has tremendous anxiety about that,” St. Jean said. “And each conversation I have with her when I’m telling her she’s going to court, she will invariably ask me, ‘Do I have to be handcuffed? You know that’s so awful.’ It’s a three-hour ride for her.”

Rachel Baye

As Congress debates cutting access to Planned Parenthood for Medicaid recipients, Maryland’s legislative leaders are pushing a plan to replace the lost funding, which they estimate would be about $2.7 million a year.

Rachel Baye

Nicole Hanson can rattle off a long list of examples of people who couldn’t pay their bail.

The state House of Delegates voted Friday to reprimand Baltimore County Del. Dan Morhaim for failing to disclose his relationship with an applicant for a medical marijuana license. Morhaim helped craft the state’s medical marijuana laws and licensing framework while working as a consultant for a company applying for a license.

Effort to give mayor control of Baltimore Police is dead

Mar 3, 2017
P. Kenneth Burns

The sponsor of a bill seeking to return control of Baltimore Police back to the city said Friday afternoon he is withdrawing his proposal.

Del. Curt Anderson, a city Democrat, discussed the bill with his colleagues in the city delegation which he chairs.  He cited a three-page opinion from the Attorney General’s Office that said returning control of the police department to the city would be “extremely expensive.”

Rachel Baye


Maryland lawmakers are making a last-ditch effort to prevent gas companies from fracking in the state, particularly in the Marcellus Shale that lies under Garrett and Allegany counties.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan’s approval rating remains strong among Marylanders, with 63 percent of adults approving of the job he is doing, according to a new Goucher Poll out Monday.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan frequently offers a similar complaint about bills Democratic legislators introduce in the Maryland General Assembly — that the bills take away his power as governor. Hogan says this year’s legislative session features more than 30 such measures.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The Maryland House of Delegates voted along party lines Wednesday to make it easier for the state attorney general to sue the federal government.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The Maryland House of Delegates is expected to vote Wednesday to expand the state attorney general’s powers so that he can sue the federal government.

Current law requires the governor or legislature to agree before the attorney general can bring a lawsuit. Democratic Attorney General Brian Frosh says he needs this change so that he can challenge many of President Donald Trump’s policies as quickly as the new president implements them.

Joel McCord

The Maryland Senate adopted a measure Friday that would expand the state attorney general’s power to sue the federal government on an almost party line vote.

Three Democrats, James Brochin and Katherine Klausmeier of Baltimore County and James Mathias, of Worcester County, voted with all 14 Republicans against the measure. It allows the state attorney general to sue the federal government without getting approval of the governor or the General Assembly, as the law now requires.

WYPR's State House Reporter Rachel Baye joins News Director Joel McCord to explain a fast moving bill to allow state Attorney General Brian Frosh to sue the federal government without buy in from the governor or general assembly.

Rachel Baye

Legislation expanding the state attorney general’s powers to sue the federal government advanced in the state Senate Thursday. But nine of the Senate’s 14 Republicans walked out before the vote to protest the Democratic majority rushing the measure through the body.