General Assembly | WYPR

General Assembly

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.

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