Maryland

Tip Credit Latest Front in Minimum Wage Battle | 08-10-2018

In June, Washington D.C. voters strongly endorsed Initiative 77 , a ballot referendum to require District eateries to pay workers that rely on tips the same minimum wage as other employees. But amidst furious pushback from the restaurant industry, a majority...

States Look at Eliminating Lower Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers | 08-10-2018

Forty-three states currently allow restaurant operators to pay employees who receive tips, such as waiters and bartenders, less than the state minimum wage, with the minimum hourly rate for such tipped workers set by the federal government at $2.13. This...

All or Parts of 31 States ‘Sanctuaries’ as of Early 2017 | 07-20-2018

As of February of last year, at least five states had laws limiting how much local law enforcement had to cooperate with requests from federal authorities to detain immigrants, according to analysis of data from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center by...

Blue States Sue Trump Administration Over SALT Limit | 07-20-2018

Four mostly Democrat-governed, northeastern states - Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey and New York - are suing the Trump administration over the $10,000 cap on the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes included in the federal tax overhaul enacted...

States Seek to Soften Blow of SCOTUS Union Ruling | 07-20-2018

Last month the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that public workers who opt out of union membership can’t be required to pay fees supporting union collective bargaining efforts even if they benefit from them. The decision is expected...

MD Elections Board Has Russian Ties | 07-20-2018

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D) announced last week that they’ve asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to evaluate the state’s election system after...

Some State, Local Bond Issuers Going ‘Green’ | 07-13-2018

A growing number of states and municipalities are going “green” with their bond sales. Developed about a decade ago to allow environmentally conscious investors to identify investments aligned with that priority, green bonds have become a...

Voting Rights Effort Shifting to Ballot Box | 07-13-2018

A number of voting-rights measures are bound for states’ ballots this year. In Florida, for example, voters will weigh whether ex-felons should be allowed to vote. In Maryland, voters will decide whether people should be allowed to register to vote...

Politics in Brief - July 16 2018 | 07-13-2018

BAN ON NON-CITIZEN VOTING POTENTIALLY HEADED FOR ND BALLOT Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment in NORTH DAKOTA to explicitly bar non-U.S. citizens from voting in the state’s elections have submitted more than 35,000 signatures, well...

Governors in Brief - July 16 2018 | 07-13-2018

DUCEY DECRIES ‘RECKLESS’ CALLS TO ABOLISH ICE In an op-ed in USA Today last week, ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) said calls from a growing number of Democratic officials to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency were “reckless”...

Legislative Efforts to Arm Teachers Bog Down in States in 2018 | 07-06-2018

At least 20 bills dealing with the arming of teachers and other school employees have been introduced in 12 states since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, according to legislative information...

Straws Latest Flashpoint in Battle Over Plastics | 06-29-2018

Today, a visitor to a Bon Appétit cafe will have no problem finding plenty of tasty things to nosh on. But finding a plastic straw for their soda or a plastic stirrer for their coffee will soon be impossible. San Francisco-based Bon Appétit...

States Cracking Down on Plastic Straws and Polystyrene Containers | 06-29-2018

At least 11 states have introduced bills this session related to polystyrene food or beverage containers, most of them prohibiting their use, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative information system. Five of those states have also introduced...

Govs Differ on Border Separations | 06-29-2018

The ongoing controversy over family separations at the U.S. border with Mexico has spurred a bipartisan group of governors to pull back or reject outright President Trump’s request to send National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico. Democrats...

Half of States Have Considered Internet Privacy Bills in 2017-18 | 06-08-2018

At least 27 states have considered but only two, Oregon and Virginia, have passed legislation dealing with internet privacy in the current session, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State...

Sports Wagering Not a Sure Bet for States | 06-01-2018

The Supreme Court’s May 14 decision to strike down a federal prohibition on sports gambling may well turn out to be the financial boon many observers believe it can be. But getting there is going to be easier in some states than in others, and state...

Many States Have Considered Sports Betting Bills in 2018 | 06-01-2018

Nineteen states have considered legislation related to sports betting in 2018, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Legal Sports Report and LexisNexis State Net . One state, West Virginia, has passed...

Governors in Brief - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

BAKER TO SEEK HARSHER PENALTIES FOR MA SEX OFFENDERS : With the release of a notorious convicted sex offender dominating headlines across the Bay State, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said he plans to introduce legislation to increase penalties...

More States Considering ACA Medicaid Expansion | 05-18-2018

Thirty-two states have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act but letting states decide whether or not to implement the Medicaid expansion provided for by the federal law. A budget proposal...

Education - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

MD Governor Signs HB 251 MARYLAND Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signs HB 251 , which requires local school systems to offer age-appropriate instruction on the meaning of consent in sex education curriculum for middle-school and high-school students (LEXISNEXIS...

Environment - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

MD Governor Signs HB 1456 MARYLAND Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signs HB 1456 , which establishes offshore drilling as an abnormally dangerous activity and holds the party responsible for a spill liable for damages for any injury, death, or loss to person...

Health & Science - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

MA House Approves HB 4486 The MASSACHUSETTS House approves HB 4486 , legislation that would raise the Bay State smoking age to 21. It is now in the Senate (BOSTON GLOBE). IA Governor Signs HF 2377 IOWA Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signs HF 2377 , a...

Reinsurance Programs Catching On in States | 05-11-2018

Since 2016 at least 19 states have introduced and 9 have enacted legislation creating a state reinsurance program and/or authorizing the state to apply for a State Innovation Waiver under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act to obtain federal funding...

Business - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

VT Senate Approves HB 196 The VERMONT Senate approves HB 196 , which would grant workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave a year. The bill, which would ensure employees are paid 70 percent of their wages for a maximum of 12 weeks of combined parental leave...

Education - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

Going On In MA The MASSACHUSETTS Supreme Judicial Court rules that professors and staff at Bay State colleges can be sued for failing to act after learning a student was considering suicide. The decision came in a suit over the death of a Massachusetts...

More Than Half of States Allow Marijuana Use | 05-04-2018

Twenty-nine states have passed laws broadly legalizing the use of marijuana. Twenty of those states allow the use of the drug for medical purposes, such as pain relief or the control of nausea. Nine states have legalized recreational use of marijuana...

Business - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

CA Supreme Court The CALIFORNIA Supreme Court rules that businesses seeking to declare a worker an independent contractor must be able to prove that the worker is independent of control and direction from the employer, performs work that is outside...

Some State Progress in Deadly Opioid Crisis | 04-20-2018

Thirteen states have made progress in battling the deadly opioid epidemic while eight states have notably failed to deal with the crisis, according to a report issued this month by the National Safety Council (NSC). It comes on the heels of a report earlier...

Health & Science - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

Going On In MD A federal appeals court strikes down MARYLAND’s first-in-the-nation prescription drug price gouging law. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit said in a 2-to-1 ruling that the 2017 law violates the commerce clause of...

States Look to Reinsurance Pools to Curb Rising Healthcare Costs: | 04-13-2018

Not long ago Minnesota’s health insurance exchange, MNsure, was in critical condition. Premiums were skyrocketing and health insurance companies were fleeing the market. But last year the state’s Legislature approved $542 million in funding...

Budgets in Brief - April 16 2018 | 04-13-2018

MD APPROVES BIG INTENTIVE PACKAGE TO LURE AMAZON: MARYLAND lawmakers approved the largest incentive package in the state’s history, as much as $8.5 billion, in an effort to convince Amazon to build its second headquarters in Montgomery County...

Business - April 16 2018 | 04-13-2018

TN House Rejects SB 1086 The TENNESSEE House rejects SB 1086 , a Senate-endorsed bill that would strip local municipalities of the ability to ban short term rentals like Airbnb and VRBO. The measure is expected to go to a joint conference committee...

Education - April 16 2018 | 04-13-2018

LA Senate Approves SB 178 The LOUISIANA Senate approves SB 178 , which would allow Pelican State students to wear bulletproof backpacks on school grounds. It is now in the House (FOX8LIVE.COM [NEW ORLEANS]). IL Governor Signs SB 863 ILLINOIS...

Sports Wagering Getting Play in States This Year | 04-05-2018

Fourteen states have introduced over 40 bills dealing with sports betting this year, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system . Four states - Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and West Virginia - account for more than half of the...

Settlement Reached Over MD Gov’s Facebook Page | 04-05-2018

Officials in Maryland have agreed to pay $65,000 to settle a lawsuit over Gov. Larry Hogan (R) blocking hundreds of people from his official Facebook page. The settlement also includes attorney’s fees and an agreement to adhere to a new policy for...

States Looking for Cure to High Drug Prices | 03-30-2018

During his State of the Union speech in February, President Donald Trump declared his intention to address what he called “the injustice of high drug prices.” He repeated the promise last month in New Hampshire during a press conference on...

Many States Considering Bans on Pharmacy ‘Gag Clauses’ | 03-30-2018

As of March 22, at least 27 states had introduced bills this year prohibiting pharmaceutical benefit manager (PBM) or health insurer contracts that prevent pharmacists from informing customers about alternatives to medications they’ve been prescribed...

Social Policy - April 2 2018 | 03-30-2018

MS Federal Court Blocks HS 1510 A federal court temporarily blocks HB 1510 , a bill signed into law by MISSISSIPPPI Gov. Phil Bryant (R) that would bar Magnolia State doctors from performing abortions after a woman’s 15 th week of pregnancy....

The Rewards and Perils of Redistricting | 03-16-2018

In democracies, voters are supposed to choose their legislative representatives. Increasingly, however, U.S. courts have found that representatives choose their voters through partisan gerrymandering of legislative and congressional districts. With...

Business - March 19 2018 | 03-16-2018

NY Senate Signs SB 7848 The NEW YORK Senate approves SB 7848 , which would write into law a firm definition of sexual harassment that applies to both government and the private sector, ban secret settlements of harassment cases unless the accuser requested...

The Local Front - March 19 2018 | 03-16-2018

TX Court of Appeals Rules The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules that most of a TEXAS law barring local municipalities from declaring themselves to be so-called sanctuary cities can stay in place while litigation seeking to overturn the law...

More State Cybersecurity Regulation Ahead for Financial Services Industry? | 03-08-2018

Developments in 2017, including the highly publicized Equifax data breach and adoption of cybersecurity requirements for insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions by New York’s Department of Financial Services, have the financial...

Politics in Brief - March 12 2018 | 03-08-2018

MARYLAND SENATE PASSES TAX RETURN MEASURE : The MARYLAND Senate approved a measure last week that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns as a prerequisite for getting on the Old Line State ballot. That bill, SB 256 , is...

The Local Front - March 5 20112 | 03-08-2018

DC Council Gives Preliminary Approval The WASHINGTON D.C. Council gives preliminary approval to legislation allowing homeowners who rent out their homes to sell them without giving their tenants the first opportunity to buy. It must clear one more...

Over Half of States Seeking to Maintain ‘Net Neutrality’ | 03-02-2018

At least 29 states have introduced legislation this year aimed at reinstating the requirement that internet service providers treat all content the same in terms of price and accessibility, which was eliminated last year with the Federal Communications...

Helping the Dreamers: The Clock is Ticking | 02-16-2018

States have a vital stake in federal action to rescue the beleaguered program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Instituted by President Barack Obama in 2012 by executive order, DACA has protected from deportation nearly 800,000 young...

Trump Releases Infrastructure Plan | 02-16-2018

President Trump unveiled his long-awaited infrastructure plan last week. In broad terms the plan calls for using $200 billion in federal funding to stimulate $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment over the next decade. The $200 billion includes $100...

Social Policy - February 19 2018 | 02-16-2018

TN House Approves HB 108 The TENNESSEE House approves HB 108 , which would require doctors who perform abortions to provide women with an ultrasound prior to having the procedure. It moves to the Senate (TENNESSEAN [NASHVILLE]). MD Governor Signs...

Job Vacancies Taking Toll at State Agencies | 02-09-2018

Job vacancies at government agencies are up from coast to coast. About 11 percent of the positions in Maryland’s executive branch are currently unfilled, about twice the rate in 2010. Between 15 and 17 percent of the clerk positions at courts that...

Social Policy - February 5 2018 | 02-02-2018

MD Senate Approves SB 2 and HB 1 The MARYLAND Senate approves SB 2 , a bill that would eliminate parental rights of rapists over children conceived through rape. The House approves its own version ( HB 1 ) a day later. The two chambers must now approve...