General Assembly | WYPR

General Assembly

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.

Rachel Baye

An initiative to give the Maryland attorney general the freedom to challenge federal policy in court earned initial approval by a state Senate committee on Wednesday. The legislation, expected to come up for a vote in the full Senate Thursday, is driven by concern about the policies likely to come from President Donald Trump's new administration.

Rachel Baye

  

Just before the U.S. Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos Tuesday, Democrats in Annapolis held a press conference tying Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to the controversial new education secretary.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The state Senate voted Thursday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill requiring the state to increase the portion of its electricity that comes from renewable sources. The House voted to overturn the veto on Tuesday, so the bill now becomes law.

The bill requires Maryland to get 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2020, increasing existing requirements.

The measure passed on party lines.

Democrats say the measure helps the environment while creating jobs.

The Governor's Office

Gov. Larry Hogan’s State of the State address Wednesday marked the halfway point in Hogan’s term.

The 25-minute speech focused heavily on Hogan’s legislative agenda, from expanding charter schools to tax breaks for public safety officials and military veterans. As Hogan named each of his priorities, he took a moment to reflect on what he has already accomplished before outlining what’s still left to do.

Rachel Baye

Democrats in Annapolis are preparing a slew of legislation and other initiatives that they say are direct responses to President Donald Trump and anticipated changes in federal policy. Among them is a bill that would make Maryland a sanctuary state for immigrants without legal status.

Rachel Baye

If Maryland lawmakers want to pass a fracking ban during the General Assembly’s current session, they need to get it past Baltimore Sen. Joan Carter Conway, chairman of the Senate committee that oversees environmental legislation. And as Conway told a room full of environmental activists in Annapolis on Thursday, that that’s not likely.

Brendan Reynolds

Advocates for death with dignity bills—one in the House and one in the Senate--launched a renewed drive in Annapolis Wednesday, optimistic their bills will pass this year.

The bills, which would allow physicians to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients, died in the face of stiff opposition during the last two General Assembly sessions. But Kim Callinan, chief program officer for Compassion and Choices, the group backing the bills, said polls show that a majority of Marylanders favor the bill.

Rachel Baye

The Maryland Senate delayed a vote Thursday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill requiring the state to increase its use of renewable energy. Senate Republicans asked to delay the vote until next week, citing new information from the state Public Service Commission.

Flickr-Creative Commons

Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins in July closes an estimated $544 million revenue shortfall and ends with a balanced budget. The Republican executive, a proud fiscal conservative, touted this achievement when he announced his budget last week.

But Warren Deschenaux, the state’s top policy analyst, warned a joint meeting of the House Appropriations and Senate Budget and Taxation committees that state spending is likely to outpace revenues by more than $300 million in the following fiscal year, not counting a few tax cuts Hogan has proposed. And the deficit is likely to grow to more than $1 billion four years later.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh told a panel of Baltimore City representatives in the House of Delegates on Friday that the state’s cash bail system is likely unconstitutional.

Rachel Baye

With proposals from both parties in Annapolis, many state lawmakers are predicting that this is the year the state requires businesses to offer employees paid sick leave.

On one side, Democratic legislators have proposed various versions of a sick leave requirement for five consecutive years. For the first time this year, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan promises to introduce his own version of the concept.

Rachel Baye

When Gov. Larry Hogan highlighted parts of his proposed budget on Tuesday, he said it seemed too good to be true. He said he closed a $544-million revenue shortfall with “no serious cuts.” But the budget released Wednesday did reveal some cuts, including the elimination of much of a $290-million package passed last year in an effort to revitalize Baltimore.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan gave legislative leaders a preview of his budget Tuesday morning at a breakfast meeting.

Though the Republican executive didn’t release any budget documents, he promised a smaller overall budget with no tax increases and no major spending cuts. He said the budget would maintain level funding for most services and increase spending on public schools, as required by state law.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday a series of measures aimed at assisting crime victims and their families.

One of the proposals would allow prosecutors of sex crimes to use as evidence a suspect’s previous sexual assault convictions.

Rachel Baye

The Maryland General Assembly kicked off the 2017 session at noon Wednesday. But while speaking with WEAA’s Marc Steiner just a few hours earlier at an event hosted by The Daily Record, Senate President Mike Miller offered a prediction on a topic expected to be controversial during the session: whether legislators will ban hydraulic fracturing, the natural gas extraction method better known as fracking.

Baltimore County

Maryland’s General Assembly returns to Annapolis Wednesday, and Baltimore County lawmakers are arriving with a wish list.

Any legislator you talk to will tell you numero uno for Baltimore County in this session is money for schools. Same goes for County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. He plans to have all county schools air conditioned in a couple of years and wants more state money to help with that.

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