Highlights From Annapolis

May 2017

Governor Hogan Vetoes Redistricting Bill
Governor Hogan vetoed a bill that would have reformed the redistricting process, SB 1023, stating that it blocked true redistricting reform. The legislation, which passed during the recently ended 2017 General Assembly Session, would have required nonpartisan redistricting in the state if five nearby states also agreed to do so. The Governor noted three flaws with the bill in a press release – the contingency on five other states, the application to congressional districts only, and the creation of a politically charged commission to oversee the process. Democratic leaders expressed disappointment with the veto stating that it was a true nonpartisan solution that could restore accountability and cooperation to Washington. Press coverage can be found in the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post.

Attorney General Frosh Issues Immigration Guidance
Attorney General Brian Frosh issued a guidance memorandum to state and local law enforcement officials and governments on the local enforcement of federal immigration law. According to the Baltimore Sun, the document, which provides advice to local officials on jail and policing policies, advises local jails that they should not honor requests from federal officials to hold people suspected of immigration violations for up to 48 hours past their release date. They should only hold people longer when a warrant is issued signed by a judge. Legislation introduced during the 2017 General Assembly session also addressed this issue. The bill, HB 1362, passed the House, but died in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Governor Hogan and Presiding Officers Sign Bills Into Law
Governor Larry Hogan, Senate President Mike Miller, and House Speaker Mike Busch signed 207 bills into law on May 4. Several environmental bills, including the Clean Cars Act of 2017 (SB 393/HB 406), the Clean Water Commerce Act of 2017(SB 314/HB 417), and Economic Development – Maryland Energy Innovation Institute (SB 313/HB 410), were signed into law at the Annapolis City Dock. Other agricultural/natural resource legislation and local bills were signed in the Governor’s Reception Room in the State House. The last bill signing is tentatively scheduled for May 25, 2017. The Governor is required to sign or veto bills by May 30, 2017.

Medical Cannabis Industry Disparity Study
Governor Hogan recently directed the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs to initiate a disparity study of Maryland’s medical cannabis industry. The study, which was included in legislation that did not pass during the recently ended 2017 General Assembly session, would identify and ensure appropriate opportunities for minorities in the industry. Failure of the legislation, which would have also expanded the number of grower licenses, has prompted the Legislative Black Caucus to call for a special session to address racial diversity in the industry. Press coverage can be found in the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post.

Other Important Information and Websites
Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education – Meeting dates, meeting minutes, and other details can be found on the Commission website. The Commissions final report is due December 31, 2017.

21st Century School Facilities Commission – Meeting dates and agenda topics can be found on the Commission page of the General Assembly’s website.

To access press releases, executive orders, and other information from the Office of Governor Larry Hogan, visit the Governor’s website.

To access information on members of the General Assembly, committees, committee meetings, legislation, and other publications, visit the General Assembly’s Website.

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