Former Maryland handgun board member ejected from General Assembly hearing on abolishing panel

A former member of the state’s Handgun Permit Review Board was ejected Friday from a General Assembly hearing in Annapolis after she refused to end her testimony when her time was up, with an officer yanking her from a chair. Shari Judah was testifying before two committees on a bill that would abolish the board, which hears appeals of Maryland State Police decisions on people’s requests for permits to carry handguns. Sen. Pamela Beidle, an Anne Arundel County Democrat, is sponsoring a bill that would disband the handgun board, so applicants would appeal state police decisions on permits to state administrative law judges. (Balt. Sun)

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House Democrats Pass Sarbanes’ Voting Rights, Ethics Legislation

U.S. House Democrats on Friday passed a broad election reform and ethics bill that they’ve made their top legislative priority this Congress. The legislation, referred to as H.R. 1, passed the House on a vote of 234-193 on Friday along party lines. Its passage marks a symbolic win for Democrats, who seized control of the chamber this year after eight years in the minority. But the measure is unlikely to get a vote in the GOP-controlled Senate or make it to President Trump’s desk. (Md. Matters)

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Johns Hopkins University police bill clears another hurdle in Maryland General Assembly, heads to state Senate

A bill that would allow the Johns Hopkins University to establish a private police force in Baltimore cleared another hurdle Friday in the Maryland General Assembly. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted 9-1 to advance the bill to the full Senate for consideration. Neither of Baltimore’s senators on the committee supported the bill: Sen. Jill P. Carter voted “no” and Sen. Mary Washington had to leave the voting session early for a family matter and was excused from voting. Carter and Washington voted against the bill Thursday during a meeting of the city’s senators. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland Senate budget committee votes down two Hogan tax-break bills for retirees

The Maryland Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee this week voted down two of Gov. Larry Hogan’s bills that would have authorized millions of dollars in tax breaks for retirees. The Democratic-controlled committee voted 9-4, along party lines, to kill Hogan’s “Retirement Tax Fairness Act of 2019,” which would have expanded tax breaks on retirement income for individual retirement accounts, Roth IRAs and pensions. A Department of Legislative Services analysis said Hogan’s phased-in tax breaks would have deprived the state of $17.5 million in fiscal year 2020, growing to $56.4 million by fiscal year 2024. (Balt. Sun)

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Why is medically assisted suicide legislation moving forward in Maryland — and what's next?

After an intense and emotional debate this week, members of the Maryland House of Delegates approved a bill that would allow certain terminally ill patients to obtain medication they could take to end their lives. The vote Thursday was 74-66. Medically assisted suicide has been debated in America for decades, with Oregon the first state to legalize the practice in 1994.

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Amendments to medically-assisted suicide bill expected in Md. Senate

A bill legalizing medically assisted suicides could move closer to a vote in the Senate starting next week but the chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hinted that it may look different than a bill passed Thursday in the House of Delegates. “My guess is there are going to be a lot of amendments that are offered, and we’ll see what people think,” said Sen. Robert “Bobby” Zirkin, D-Baltimore County and chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. (Daily Record)

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Maryland Senate advances version of minimum wage bill that would give small businesses until 2028 to reach $15

The Maryland Senate is advancing a version of a minimum wage increase that gives small businesses more time to reach a $15 minimum wage. The state’s current minimum wage is $10.10 per hour after increasing for the past four years. The Senate’s version of the bill requires large businesses — defined as having at least 15 employees — to start paying at least $11 per hour and increasing to $15 in 2025. Smaller businesses would have a more gradual phase-in that would bring the minimum wage to $15 for their employees in 2028. (Balt. Sun)

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Johns Hopkins police force bill clears major hurdle with endorsement by Baltimore senators

A majority of Baltimore’s state senators voted Thursday to endorse legislation to create an armed police force at the private Johns Hopkins University, meaning the bill cleared a major hurdle to its passage. By a 3-2 vote, the city Senate delegation backed legislation authorizing the force after imposing limits on the areas officers can patrol and requiring a quarter of the 100 officers to live in the city, among other restrictions. (Balt. Sun)

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