After Emotional Testimony, a Divided House Passes End-of-Life Bill

Members of the Maryland House of Delegates sobbed, and stared up at the Tiffany glass ceiling, and buried their heads on their desks Thursday morning as colleagues shared deeply emotional stories about the ends of the lives of loved ones during an hour-long debate over whether to allow physician-assisted suicide in the state. It is the first time such a bill has reached the floor of the Legislature, and the measure passed the House by a vote of 74-66, dividing party and caucus lines. (Md. Matters)

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Democrats flex power by taking aim at money in politics in comprehensive bill from Maryland Rep. Sarbanes

Flexing their new majority, Democrats are moving to push through the House a comprehensive elections and ethics reform package they say will reduce the role of big money in politics, ensure fair elections and restore ethics and integrity to Washington. The legislation, called H.R. 1 to signify its importance, would make it easier to register and vote, tighten election security and require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns. The sweeping, 570-page bill also would make Election Day a holiday for federal workers and require "dark money" political groups to make their donors public. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland bill eliminates subjectivity surrounding threats of mass violence

Emergency legislation that would streamline penalties for those convicted of threats of mass violence — brought about by an increase in threats of mass shootings made in recent years — has passed the Maryland Senate and is advancing in the state House. This new legislation, which would simplify the state’s ability to prosecute perpetrators threatening to commit an act of mass violence, was prompted by attacks like the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida last year and threats such as those made to the University of Maryland, College Park in 2012. (Balt. Sun)

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Child support would be calculated differently under bills being considered by Maryland General Assembly

Whether a parent has an ability to earn paycheck and enough money to live on are among provisions a court could consider when writing child support orders, under legislation before the Maryland General Assembly. A handful of bills recommended by a work group made up of child advocates, family law attorneys and public stakeholders would also increase the amount separated parents would pay under a formula updated to reflect how much it costs to raise a child. (Balt. Sun)

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Annapolis nets mandated funding as Senate and House bills approved by both chambers

Annapolis will receive $750,000 a year in perpetuity after the Maryland General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of legislation mandating repayment for city services. The House of Delegates voted 135-5 Thursday to pass Senate Bill 156 requiring the state pay the city for trash collection and other services. The $750,000 will be adjusted for inflation starting in fiscal year 2022. The Senate passed the House version of the bill Monday.  This money is called a payment in lieu of taxes or commonly called the PILOT. The state has historically paid the city $367,000 a year in PILOT funds because the city doesn’t receive taxes on state properties. (Capital)

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Wivell seeks tax break for retired licensed emergency dispatchers

Retired law enforcement officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel get an income-tax break in Maryland. Del. William Wivell, R-Washington, is asking the General Assembly to give that break to emergency medical dispatchers, as well. Maryland gives an income-tax deduction to these former emergency workers who are at least 65 years old or who are totally disabled. The deduction can be applied to up to $15,000 of their retirement income attributable to employment as a law enforcement officer or as fire, rescue, or emergency services personnel of the United States, the state or a local jurisdiction, according to the Department of Legislative Services. (Herald-Mail)

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Coding Classes Would Count As Foreign Language Under Bill

Middle and high school students in Maryland may be allowed to learn a programming language to fulfill foreign language requirements under a bill with bipartisan support that is scheduled to be heard Friday in the House Ways and Means committee. House bill 1211 would add classes in computer programming languages as a means to receive foreign language credit, which currently applies to world languages, American Sign Language and advanced technology education. The purpose of adding computer programming is to expand tech schools, said lead sponsor Delegate April Rose, R-Carroll. (AP)

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After trip to Iowa, Maryland Gov. Hogan says challenging Trump in 2020 'not on my radar screen'

After traveling to Iowa and sparking more media speculation about whether he would challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 GOP primary, Gov. Larry Hogan returned Wednesday to Maryland and said he was no closer to making a decision about his future. While in Iowa for a National Governors Association event, Hogan was featured in 2020 campaign coverage from at least six media outlets — both national news organizations and ones based in that state. But, Hogan said in an interview Wednesday that he wasn’t trying to raise his name recognition in a key political state. (Balt. Sun)

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