Bill Would Require Study of Highway Projects’ Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A rookie Montgomery County lawmaker is proposing climate legislation that could also take aim at Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s plan to widen three major Maryland highways. Del.-elect Vaughn Stewart (D-Montgomery) plans to introduce a bill he’s calling the Transportation Climate Accountability Act of 2019. It would require a comprehensive study of the anticipated greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution of any state-funded highway project or a project being built through a public-private partnership. (Md. Matters)

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan joins DC and Virginia leaders in calling for end to federal shutdown

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is repeating his call for the president and Congress to end the federal government’s partial shutdown. And this time, he's teaming up with the governor of Virginia and the mayor of the District of Columbia. “The national capital region is home to well over 360,000 federal workers, many of whom are employed by departments and agencies affected by this lapse in appropriations,” Hogan, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wrote in a letter Friday that was sent to President Donald Trump and Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress. (Balt. Sun)

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Minimum wage, health care and education expected to dominate the Maryland General Assembly

Raising the minimum wage, ensuring access to health care and shoring up money for education are among the topics that are expected to dominate the Maryland General Assembly when it convenes Wednesday for a 90-day session. Lawmakers are primed to take up many of the progressive issues they championed during their 2018 campaigns, with some Democrats and advocates pushing for a $15 minimum wage, an expansion of prekindergarten and an individual mandate for health insurance. (Wash. Post)

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Judge bars enforcement of online political ad law on media

Parts of a Maryland law aimed at stopping foreign interference in local elections on social media platforms such as Facebook appear to encroach on the First Amendment, a federal judge has ruled. The law requires certain media websites to self-publish information about the political ads they run online and keep records of them for state inspection. U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm granted a preliminary injunction Thursday to prevent the state from enforcing those provisions against media until the case is resolved. (Balt. Sun-AP)

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It's a bit of a journey from bill to law in the Maryland General Assembly

Maryland lawmakers considered more than 3,000 pieces of proposed legislation last year; a little more than a fourth of them actually became law. There’s a complex review process for each bill filed in the Maryland General Assembly, and it begins with the formal introduction. This “first reading” occurs when the bill is introduced on the floor of the House or Senate. It’s then assigned to the appropriate standing committee for analysis. The committees conduct hearings on proposed legislation, then vote on whether it should be considered by the full body. (Herald-Mail)

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MD’s $1 Billion Mirage?

Maryland begins the New Year with a whopping cash surplus and an ocean of additional dollars expected to flow into the state Treasury over the coming 18 months. But it quickly could turn into a mirage during an overdue economic slump, international trade wars, nervous markets and a highly erratic president. The stock market collapse that started in December leaves little doubt, despite underlying corporate strength, that investors are spooked. And we’ve learned spooked investors often trigger terrifyingly tumultuous stock market tremors. (Political Maryland)

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O’Malley Passes On 2020 Presidential Run, Endorses O’Rourke

Former Governor Martin O’Malley announced Thursday that he will not be running for president in 2020 and expressed hope that Beto O’Rourke would take up the challenge. O’Malley served as governor from 2007 to 2015 and as the Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007. He expressed an interest in running for president in 2016 but suspended his campaign after the Iowa caucuses. In an op-ed, written by O’Malley in the Des Moines Register, he stated that in 2016, America “wasn’t in the mood for new leadership” but rather was “in a mood of anger, rage and retribution.” (WJZ-TV)

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Councilman Calls For Youth Curfew At White Marsh Mall

Baltimore County Councilman David Marks is calling for the owners of White Marsh Mall to implement a youth escort policy. His call, made in an interview with Bryan Nehman, follows a series of disturbances involving juveniles at the mall, including one August incident that saw nine juveniles and two adults arrested. It comes ahead of a Thursday town hall set for 7 p.m. at St. Michael Lutheran Church (9534 Belair Rd.). Both mall representatives and police officials are expected to be there. (WBAL)

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