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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.

Joel McCord and John Lee, of the WYPR News team, examine the early start in the race for Baltimore County Executive and for funds to run the campaigns.

Taking on Trump in Baltimore County classrooms

Jan 20, 2017
John Lee

It was the day before the inauguration of Donald Trump, and students in Sandra Skordalos’s 12th grade A-P government class were debating the President-elect’s actions. These students at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts in Dundalk were not giving Trump an easy time.

Yara Daraiseh scoffed at Trump for not understanding the Presidency, treating it as though he will be the CEO calling all of the shots.

"But when you’re a president of a democratic government … you don’t have all the power," she said.

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.

A renewed push for medical marijuana

Jan 17, 2017
Hannah Klarner/Capital News Service

Maryland’s General Assembly returned to Annapolis last week with a number of issues hanging over from previous legislative sessions. Among them is fixing a medical marijuana program that remains mired in controversy more than two years after it was created and has yet to get off the ground.

Cheryl Glenn, leader of the Legislative Black Caucus and co-author of the bill that created the program, says African Americans are being cut out of that fledgling industry and has vowed changes to get things moving. After all, she says, it could have saved her mother, Natalie M. La Prade, from a lot of pain from kidney cancer in the last months of her life. 

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