Legislation would make Obamacare protections Md. law

Maryland lawmakers want to ensure the patient protections in the Affordable Care Act continue in the state, even if a ruling by a federal judge throwing out the health care law stands. The legislation would codify into state law several of the Affordable Care Act’s provisions — protections for people with pre-existing conditions; rules allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health plan until they are 26; and prohibitions on lifetime or annual limits on coverage. “This is a really important bill because, as we know, the Affordable Care Act is under attack on a daily basis and we want to protect the citizens in Maryland,” said Del. Shane E. Pendergrass, D-Howard and the bill’s sponsor. (Daily Record)

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Maryland Gov. Hogan: Trump's chances are 'pretty weak' in 2020 general election

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan continued to raise the possibility of challenging President Donald Trump in the Republican 2020 primary, expressing concern in a CBS News interview about Trump’s chances of winning the general election. While the viability of such a challenge would be questionable, with Trump holding the support of 70 to 80 percent of Republican primary voters, Hogan pointed to the president’s lower popularity among general-election voters. “The chances of him losing a general election are pretty good,” Hogan said. “I’m not saying he couldn’t win, but he’s pretty weak in the general election.” (Balt. Sun)

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M, F or X: Democratic senator's bill would allow gender-neutral option for Maryland driver's licenses

A bill is moving forward in the Maryland General Assembly that would give state residents a third option for gender on a driver’s license or identification card: “unspecified.” The measure is meant to be inclusive to people who consider themselves “non-binary,” or not identifying as either male or female. “This is real life,” said Sen. Will Smith, a Montgomery County Democrat who is sponsoring the bill. “This is a way that we can recognize that segment of the population so they can feel like they can move throughout society with a little bit of ease.” (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland House bill seeks to prohibit using familial DNA databases to solve crime

After police used a new technique to arrest a man suspected of being the Golden State Killer, a Maryland legislator proposed a law that would prohibit use of a familial DNA database for the purpose of crime-solving. House bill 30, sponsored by Delegate Charles Sydnor, D-Baltimore County, seeks to prohibit searches of consumer genealogical databases for the purpose of identifying an offender in connection with a crime through their biological relative's DNA samples. In 1994, the state enacted the Maryland DNA Collection Act, which authorized the gathering of DNA for an official investigation of a crime, to identify human remains, and to identify missing persons, among other purposes. (Balt. Sun)

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Legislators consider bill to decriminalize attempted suicide

A suicide attempt is evidence of a mental health problem that needs treatment, not a common-law crime that merits punishment, a state senator said Wednesday in urging his colleagues to stop treating people who try to kill themselves as criminals. “We have to affirmatively put in our law that attempted suicide is not a crime,” Sen. Jeff Waldstreicher, D-Montgomery, told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, on which he sits. “The easiest way to destigmatize mental illness is to decriminalize attempted suicide.” Waldstreicher’s decriminalization legislation, Senate Bill 394, was prompted by the plea-bargained conviction in district court last year of a Caroline County man who tried to kill himself. (Daily Record)

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Bicyclists Press Lawmakers for Share of the Road and Share of the Pie

When the House of Delegates votes on a traffic safety bill later this week that would boost penalties for motorists involved in crashes with “vulnerable” road users, it’ll mark welcome progress for Maryland bicyclists – who had their annual lobbying day in Annapolis Tuesday. The bill, sponsored by Del. Stephen W. Lafferty (D-Baltimore County), passed unanimously in the House Environment and Transportation Committee last week and is scheduled for preliminary debate on the House floor Wednesday. (Md. Matters)

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Bill would require doctors to report vaccinations

Doctors and other health care providers in Maryland will be required to report every flu shot and vaccine they administer to a common state database under a bill that passed a public health subcommittee Tuesday. An amended version of HB316 passed the subcommittee 7-2 and will move on to the full House Health and Government Operations Committee. The bill requires health care providers to report all vaccines given to children and adults to the Maryland immunization registry, ImmuNet, beginning Oct. 1. Exempted under the amendment are nursing facilities, assisted living programs, continuing care retirement communities, and medical day programs. (Md. Reporter)

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Comptroller: Cost of moving field enforcement division could reach $800M

Maryland’s top tax collector and enforcer of alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel regulations is warning that a bill aimed at moving those functions to another agency could hit the state and taxpayers in their wallets. Comptroller Peter Franchot, in two separate emails, warned that a Senate bill that proposes creating a new agency to enforce alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel regulations could cost $800 million. (Daily Record)

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