Other states have pioneered death with dignity. Maryland should follow suit.

The Maryland General Assembly is considering legislation that would allow medical assistance in dying for people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. It is not the first time Maryland lawmakers have considered the issue, but previous efforts never got any real traction. This year may be different. That is due in large measure to the experience of other states that have pioneered death with dignity and shown there are benefits with none of the dire outcomes predicted by opponents. (Wash. Post)

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School budget woes hit the suburbs; how will Hogan respond?

Baltimore County’s school board just voted to send County Executive John A. Olszewski Jr. a budget request he says the county can’t afford. There’s actually talk in the county about raising taxes for the first time since the ‘90s to avoid cuts to the schools. The morning after Baltimore County’s school board passed a $1.6 billion budget late Tuesday night, the county executive called it unrealistic given the county’s fiscal constraints and said he would be reducing it. (Balt. Sun)

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Bobby Moore, Richard DeShay Elliott, John Moser: These Baltimore Progressives Want Mary Washington or Jill Carter as Next Senate President

When longtime Maryland Senate President Mike Miller (D-Calvert) announced his cancer diagnosis last month, it brought home the reality that the Senate will choose a new president in the not-too-distant future. So it is critically important to have a statewide discourse soon on who will be occupying one of the most influential positions in Annapolis. We believe Baltimore City Sens. Mary Washington or Jill P. Carter would be exemplary Senate presidents of the future. (Md. Matters)

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Jessica Feierman: Md. bills would eliminate burdensome juvenile justice fines and fees

Maryland is poised to play a critical leadership role in the fight for smart and fair youth justice by considering House Bill 694 and Senate Bill 823 to eliminate juvenile justice system fines and fees. A key provision of the legislation, which will have hearings tomorrow in the Maryland House of Delegates and next month in the Maryland Senate, would end the practice of charging indigent youth and families for the cost of public defenders or court-appointed attorneys. This should be a no-brainer. (Balt. Sun)

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George F. Will: Trump is trashing the Constitution. Larry Hogan shows how Republicans should respond.

America’s most improbably popular governor, a Republican beginning his second term in perhaps the bluest state, resembles a beer keg with an attitude. Stocky and blunt, Larry Hogan, whose job approval is in the high 70s, has won twice in the state with the highest percentage of African Americans of any state outside the Deep South. In 2016, Maryland voted more emphatically for Hillary Clinton — by 26 percentage points — than all but three other states. In 2018, Hogan was reelected receiving a majority of women’s votes, and 28 percent of the African American vote while running against a former head of the NAACP. (Wash. Post)

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Gene M. Ransom III: Md. health insurance 'down payment' improvement over ACA mandate

As Washington politics continues to risk instability for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and health insurance markets, Maryland policy makers are working in a bipartisan manner in the best interests of the citizens of Maryland. The most recent adjustment being proposed to protect Maryland patients is the creation of a Health Insurance Down Payment Plan, legislation introduced by Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk and Sen. Brian Feldman. The Health Insurance Down Payment Plan will help the uninsured and shrink uncompensated care by creating health insurance cost fairness for everyone. (Balt. Sun)

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Congress won't save the Constitution from Trump; it's up to the courts

For anyone who might still be complaining that Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is too quick to sue the federal government, we offer yet another perfect example of why it can be necessary: The multi-state lawsuit Mr. Frosh has chosen to join challenging President Donald Trump’s authority to declare a national emergency at the southern border in order to build a wall that Congress has chosen not to fund, that the American people do not support and that diverts federal dollars from worthy military programs including — ironically enough — drug interdiction. (Balt. Sun)

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We must strictly regulate gene-editing now, before it becomes the norm

Science magazine, not known for sensationalism, highlighted the first human germline gene-editing endeavor in their recent publication with this headline: “CRISPR bombshell: Chinese researcher claims to have created gene-edited twins.” Dr. He Jiankui conducted the research, in which the genes of twins were edited to resist HIV infections; it has created a scientific uproar. The genomic alteration occurred at the embryonic stage — known as germline editing — which means the edited genes will be inherited by future generations. Previous human gene research has been on somatic cells, which only affect an individual’s cells. (Balt. Sun)

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