State Politics | WYPR

State Politics

Rachel Baye

Facing record levels of violence, Baltimore officials are grappling with the best way to curb the violence, Mayor Catherine Pugh met with Governor Larry Hogan Monday afternoon to strategize.

At the top of her list, Pugh said she plans to bring in a team from the U.S. Department of Justice next month to help the city strategize.

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Last year, 157 people in Maryland died from overdoses of Oxycodone, a prescription narcotic.

Rachel Baye

Sixty-four-year old Johnnie Davis has been treating his heroin addiction at the Bon Secours New Hope Treatment Center in West Baltimore for nearly 20 years.

“When I came here, I didn’t have no insurance,” he said. “And if I wasn’t here, I could imagine where my life would have turned because I was known for drugs — selling drugs.”

Rachel Baye

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget eliminates all of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s $73 million and reduces or eliminates several other funds used to clean up the Bay and its watershed.

On Thursday, leaders from the six states in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed — who together form the Chesapeake Executive Council — signed a resolution calling on Trump and Congress to replace that money in the budget and urging federal agencies to remain active participants in Bay restoration efforts.

Rachel Baye

Former NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous has formally announced his plans to run for governor next year.

The 44-year-old Democrat and California native made the announcement Wednesday morning at a rally outside his cousin’s West Baltimore flower shop. His 24-minute speech highlighted his ties to Baltimore and a family legacy of civil rights activism, including his mother’s efforts to desegregate Western High School as a young teen.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed on Friday legislation removing questions about criminal history from applications for admission to public colleges.

In a letter to House and Senate leaders, Hogan expressed alarm that the bill “tips the scales to the detriment of public safety.”

“We should not encourage schools to turn a blind eye to a prospective student’s potentially violent criminal background,” he wrote.

But those fears are misguided, said Caryn York, who fought for the measure as the director of policy and strategic partnerships at the Baltimore-based advocacy group Job Opportunities Task Force.


Rachel Baye

Advocates have pushed state lawmakers for five years to pass a bill requiring businesses to offer paid sick leave. Earlier this year, they finally passed it. But Thursday afternoon, Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed the bill and urged lawmakers to develop a new, compromise bill.

Governor's Office

The buzzword at the first-ever state business summit Thursday morning was “customer service.”

The phrase was a key component of the sales pitch Gov. Larry Hogan and state Commerce Secretary R. Michael Gill made to the hundreds of business and other community leaders who paid to attend the day-long conference in Baltimore.

Rachel Baye

  

Redistricting reform is among Gov. Larry Hogan’s priority issues. On numerous occasions, he has called for a nonpartisan process for redrawing the state’s congressional districts, which he says are some of the most gerrymandered in the country.

But at a press conference Monday afternoon, he said the bill the General Assembly passed this year is not what he had in mind.

Rachel Baye

Last month, state legislators passed a bill requiring businesses to offer paid sick leave to employees. But more than three weeks after the General Assembly’s 90-day session ended, it’s still not clear whether Gov. Larry Hogan plans to veto the bill or to allow it to become law.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan signed more than 100 bills into law Tuesday morning at a ceremony with House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Mike Miller.

As the Maryland General Assembly’s annual 90-day session hurtled toward midnight Monday night, the legislature ran out the clock on a bill aimed at giving licenses to grow medical marijuana to minority-owned businesses.

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As the General Assembly hurdles toward Monday night’s deadline, one measure that still hangs in the balance would increase the number of business that can get licenses to grow medical marijuana. The bill aims to give more minority-owned businesses a shot at growing or processing the drug.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The General Assembly's 2017 legislative session ends at midnight Monday night. WYPR News Director Joel McCord spoke with reporter Rachel Baye about what has already become law and what still hangs in the balance.

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State Sen. Nathaniel Oaks, who represents northwest Baltimore, was charged in U.S. District Court Friday of accepting cash in exchange for advancing a development project in the city.

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This is Del. Sandy Rosenberg’s 35th year representing northwest Baltimore in the House of Delegates, and it’s the third time in those 35 years that the first night of Passover, when Jewish families traditionally gather for the ritual Seder, has fallen on Sine Die, the last night of the Maryland General Assembly session. The last time was in 1990.

“So as we say, why is this Sine Die different from all other Sine Dies?” Rosenberg said.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

State lawmakers introduced a bill Tuesday that would prohibit internet service providers, such as Comcast and Verizon, from selling consumers’ private information. The measure would reverse the effects in the state of a congressional resolution President Donald Trump signed Monday.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan has withdrawn his nominee to lead the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dennis Schrader.  But Schrader will continue to serve as the department’s acting secretary without Senate confirmation.

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.

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