Wednesday, April 3, 2013
The amended bill, passed by a 78-61 vote, will go back to the Senate and possibly a conference committee.
The Maryland House of Delegates Wednesday passed gun control legislation proposed by Gov. Martin O'Malley by a vote of 78-61. The amended bill bans 40 kinds of rifles including the AR15, requires fingerprinting and licensing of all purchasers of new guns and broadens the law prohibiting firearms purchases by anyone who is involuntarily committed because of mental illness. The bill was a major component of O'Malley's legislative package announced at the beginning of the 90-day session. The House of Delegates debated the bill for nearly 10 hours over two days. The amended bill will return to the Senate. The bill could go to a conference committee if the Senate does not accept the changes made by the House. Both the House and Senate must …
Thursday, March 28, 2013
A preliminary vote in the full Maryland Senate could be scheduled as early as Friday.
The Senate Budget and Tax Committee Thursday approved a bill that would increase the gas tax by as much as 20 cents by 2016. Sen. Ed DeGrange, an Anne Arundel County Democrat, joined Republican Sens. David Brinkley, Richard Colburn and George Edwards in voting against the bill. The nine remaining Democrats on the committee voted in favor of the bill as approved last week by the House of Delegates. With the committee's approval, the bill could be scheduled for a preliminary vote by the full 47-member Senate as early as Friday. The bill would increase the state's tax on gas by more than 20 cents to 43.7 cents per gallon on July 2016. The tax would increase to 44.6 cents per gallon if the federal government fails to pass an Internet sales tax…
Friday, March 22, 2013
The final debate on the bill turns contentious amidst accusations that House Speaker Michael Busch cut short the debate and opportunity to vote.
Tempers flared Friday afternoon following the debate and final vote by the House of Delegates on a proposal to raise the gas tax in Maryland. When the final vote was taken, the House approved the bill 78-56 but the actual outcome, and roll call vote, remains a matter of contention amidst accusations from Republicans that the debate and final vote were ended too quickly. The bill would increase the state's tax on gas by more than 20 cents to 43.7 cents per gallon on July 2016. The tax would increase to 44.6 cents per gallon if the federal government fails to pass an Internet sales tax. The tax is also tied to the consumer price index, which would allow for automatic increases without any additional legislative action. Those increases are …
Thursday, March 14, 2013
The House of Delegates rejects 18 amendments to a Senate bill that abolishes capital punishment.
The abolition of the death penalty in Maryland is one step closer to reality with a preliminary vote by the House of Delegates Wednesday night. The House debated the bill for more than two hours with proponents defeating 18 amendments. Only one of the amendments was offered by a Democrat, Del. C.T. Wilson of Charles County. The amendments attempted to change the bill from a full-blown repeal to a partial repeal, keeping capital punishment for contract killers, mass murderers, those who rape and murder or the killers of schoolchildren. The bill now moves to a final vote scheduled for Friday. Opponents of the repeal can still offer amendments before a final vote is taken. Both sides expect that any bill passed will ultimately end up as a …
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Gov. Martin O'Malley's renewable energy initiative could add $1.50 per month to the average electricity bill.
A bill providing a public subsidy to offshore wind generation received preliminary approval from the House of Delegates Wednesday. The bill, one of Gov. Martin O'Malley's initiatives for the 2013 Maryland General Assembly session, would add $1.50 to the average consumer's electric bill once the windmills are built and start generating electricity. The turbines would likely be built 10 to 30 miles off the coast of Ocean City. The bill was passed despite attempts by Republicans to derail it because of concerns about costs. The House passed a similar bill last year but it later died in the Senate. The bill is expected to pass the General Assembly this year. The House of Delegates could schedule a final vote on the legislation as early as …
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The governor's seventh State of the State address is seen by many as a prelude to an expected run for president in 2016.
Gov. Martin O'Malley Wednesday urged lawmakers to pass his offshore wind bill and find more money for transportation projects—though he offered no details on a gas tax initiative. In his seventh State of the State speech, the Democratic governor also used his 35-minute address to remind legislators of what he sees as his major accomplishments since taking office in 2007. In many ways, the speech seemed to lay the groundwork for what many expect will be a run for President in 2016. Choice was a major theme in O'Malley's speech. "Better choices. Better results. The proof is in our progress," O'Malley said. [Read O'Malley's speech as prepared or watch it.] O'Malley's Legislative Wish List On the top of O'Malley's wish list are the passage of …
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
State Sen. Allan Kittleman wants voting sessions recorded, a Prince George's County senator suffers a basketball injury and two Baltimore County legislators team up to shorten the wait to get a divorce.
A proposal by Baltimore City to secure hundreds of millions in state money for school construction is missing a key ingredient, according to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. "The state needs to have a role in school construction," Miller said. Baltimore City wants the state to guarantee as much as $30 million a year for 20 years in the form of block grants for school construction and renovations. The city will then use that promise to leverage borrowing $1 billion for its plan. Miller rejects the plan saying it's a lot of money and that the state is needed to provide a check and balance to potential malfeasance and corruption. "I'm a historian, I study all history, OK," Miller said. "Whenever you have a one-sided government you …
Saturday, August 11, 2012
"Concerns are everywhere," said Del. Frank Turner, chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Gaming Law and Regulation.
A bill authorizing gambling expansion in Maryland will likely be amended, according to the chairman of the House subcommittee that is holding hearings on the legislation. Del. Frank Turner, a Howard County Democrat, initially characterized possible changes to the bill passed Friday by the Senate as minor. "Mostly it's a lot of tweaks," said Turner, the chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Gaming Law and Regulation. When asked what concerns his committee might have, Turner suggested the changes might be more substantive. "I think there are concerns everywhere," Turner said. "There are all kinds of concerns and ideas. Some will be germane and others won't. I think we're going to make it a better work product than what the …
Friday, July 27, 2012
O'Malley says session, which begins on August 9, will be about job creation and funding for schools.
UPDATED (2:57 p.m.)—Gov. Martin O'Malley Friday announced he will call the General Assembly back to Annapolis for a special session on the issues of gambling and the creation of a sixth casino. "This is an issue about jobs," O'Malley said. "This is an issue about maximizing revenues from gaming." A bill was not available at the time of the morning news conference. O'Malley said it needed tweaking and would likely be made public shortly before the beginning of the special session. O'Malley, House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller all said the bill would create about 2,500 jobs from the legalization of table games and generate $100 million for schools. Sen. E.J. Pipkin Friday afternoon blasted O'Malley for …
Thursday, March 3, 2011
As the Maryland House of Delegates takes on the bill that passed though the Senate last week, Patch asked local residents about the hot-button issue.
What are your thoughts on same-sex marriage?