New Laws Take Effect July 1
Several new laws will take effect July 1, including legislation to expand opioid education in schools, provide funding for Planned Parenthood if federal funding is cut, increase barrel limits for craft breweries, and provide a tax break on retirement income of law enforcement, fire, rescue or emergency services personnel who are 55 or older. Articles in The Frederick News Post and The Annapolis Capital summarize some of the legislation taking effect.
Governor Hogan Rescinds Zero-Waste Landfill Policy, Creates Office of Rural Broadband
Speaking to municipal officials at the annual Maryland Municipal League conference in Ocean City, Governor Hogan announced he was rescinding, through an executive order, the zero-waste landfill policy issued by Governor O’Malley. As reported by the Baltimore Sun, the Governor stated that the zero-waste policy “usurped local authority and created overflowing landfills and unnecessary hardships for local governments.”
In addition, the Governor announced the issuance of an executive order to create the Office of Rural Broadband. The Office will have an Executive Director who will work with local governments, tri-county councils, and key agencies and stakeholders, including the Maryland Broadband Cooperative, to provide statewide access to high-speed Internet. Additional details can be found in the Governor’s press release.
Judge Rules Medical Cannabis Program Can Proceed
The Court of Appeals ruled recently that the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission can issue final licenses to companies as legal challenges continue. As previously reported, the Court of Appeals intervened and stopped a hearing in early June from occurring in the Circuit Court to determine whether the medical cannabis program can move forward in Maryland or be put on hold.
2018 Election Fodder
With the 2018 gubernatorial election a year away, many individuals have announced their intention to run for Governor and sitting legislators have announced their intentions to seek different office or not run for re-election. Some of these announcements are summarized below.
- Democratic Candidates for Governor
- Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker announced his intention to run earlier this week
- Former head of the NAACP Ben Jealous announced his intention in late May
- Baltimore Lawyer Jim Shea announced his candidacy in mid-June
- Former Hillary Clinton advisor Alec Ross announced his candidacy in late April.
- Several other individuals have said they are exploring a run for the democratic nomination – Representative John Delaney, former Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, and state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno.
- Current and former Delegates to run for Senate seats
- Former Prince George’s County Delegate Melony Griffith announced her bid to run for the Senate in district 25; the current senator, Senator Currie, plans to retire. Additional details in Washington Post article.
- Republican Delegate Christian Miele announced his intention to challenge incumbent democratic Senator Kathy Klausmeier in district 8, eastern Baltimore County.
- Republican Delegate Chris West plans to announce that he will seek the state Senate seat in district 42 currently held by Democrat Jim Brochin, who plans to run for Baltimore County Executive.
- Delegates not running for re-election
- Republican Delegate Susan Aumann has announced she will not run for re-election in district 42. Considered a favorite to succeed Senator Jim Brochin, who is running for Baltimore County Executive, she plans to step down to take care of her 90 year-old mother.
- Republican Delegate Kathy Afzali, district 4, has announced she will not run for re-election in the House. She will announce future plans after Labor Day.
- Senators and Delegates running for other offices
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.