Maryland environmental groups back Jealous campaign for governor

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous picked up endorsements Friday from two of Maryland’s leading environmental groups. The Maryland chapters of the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club announced that they are backing Jealous in his effort to unseat Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Speaking at a solar farm in Kingsville, Jealous said he’s a “lifelong, principled environmentalist” and said he’s been driving a plug-in hybrid car on the campaign trail. (Balt. Sun)

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Gov. Larry Hogan again pitches $1 billion 'aspirational' tax cut for retirees

On the campaign trail, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan often talks about how he wants lower taxes for retirees — including exempting 100 percent of retirement income from Maryland taxes. The Republican governor pitched a similar proposal to senior voters when he was running four years ago, including at a forum at the Charlestown retirement community in Catonsville where he said: “Our plan — and we can’t do it immediately — will be to completely eliminate state income taxes for pensions and retirement income.” But the idea has not happened in his first term. Now Hogan is making the pitch again. (Balt. Sun)

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Ben Jealous wants to reduce Maryland's prison population by 30 percent. Is that possible?

As he campaigns throughout Maryland, Democratic candidate for governor Ben Jealous often talks about his plan to reform the state’s criminal justice system by shrinking the prison population by 30 percent and saving an estimated $660 million from the state’s budget. Jealous has said reducing the prison population by about a third could be achieved within a “few years” by moving toward smarter policies that don’t incarcerate non-violent offenders and addicts. But elected officials who have worked on the state’s Justice Reinvestment Act — which is credited with helping reduce Maryland’s prison population — question whether such a quick reduction can be achieved on top of the state’s already rapid decline in incarceration. (Balt. Sun)

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Gov. Larry Hogan isn't the only Maryland candidate with more campaign cash than Ben Jealous

In Maryland, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-to-1, the Democratic candidate for governor trails not only the Republican incumbent in campaign cash, but also several county-level candidates — including other Republicans. Heading into Labor Day weekend, Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford reported having more than $9.4 million in campaign funds, compared with about $386,000 reported by Ben Jealous and running mate Susan W. Turnbull. (Balt. Sun)

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Bills aim to curb human trafficking in Frederick County

A trio of bills before the County Council aim to address human trafficking in the county through the lodging, housing and business industries. The bills, which the council discussed Tuesday, would require hotels and motels to conduct human trafficking training for new employees, hold landlords and tenants liable for criminal charges for knowingly allowing human trafficking to occur on property, and regulate “bodyworks” establishments, which are relatively common locations for human trafficking. (News-Post)

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Frederick County sheriff to push immigration laws at White House

Frederick County (Md.) Sheriff Chuck Jenkins will visit Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to meet with White House officials on immigration matters and to urge Congress to act on pending legislation to increase border security. Jenkins will join about 50 other sheriffs from across the country at a media event on Capitol Hill. The sheriffs will be joined by some members of Congress and will share their experiences and the public-safety challenges associated with illegal immigration. (Herald-Mail)

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Montgomery prepares for an unusual event: A hotly contested general election

Hang on, Montgomery County: It’s about to get weird. In a heavily blue jurisdiction where the Democratic primary has decided the outcome of the county executive’s race since 1978, the run-up to November’s general election promises to be a little different. Longtime Democrat Nancy Floreen has broken from the party, using developer and real estate money to mount an independent campaign to best Democrat Marc Elrich, a progressive backed by unions and party leaders. (Wash. Post)

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Supreme Court nominee gets thumbs up from Tri-State area Trump supporters

With confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh expected to begin this week we asked nearly two dozen area residents who voted for President Donald Trump their thoughts of his pick for the nation's highest court. The reaction was mixed, with some voters saying they didn't think Kavanaugh was conservative enough. But nearly all of them said they favored the nominee and predicted he would be confirmed by the Senate. (Herald-Mail)

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