Maryland

Budgets in Brief - December 17 2018 | 12-14-2018

WILDFIRE CLEANUP COULD COST CA $3B Clearing away the debris from the 19,000 homes and businesses destroyed by last month’s wildfires could cost CALIFORNIA at least $3 billion, according to state and federal authorities. That sum is more than...

Hogan Creates ‘Emergency’ MD Redistricting Commission | 11-30-2018

Citing a court ruling that declared the state’s 6 th Congressional District to be illegally gerrymandered, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) created a nine-member commission tasked with taking politics out of drawing the district’s lines. ...

Voters, Courts Slowly Taking Redistricting Power from Lawmakers | 11-16-2018

While Congressional and state legislative races drew most of the attention on Election Day, those races were hardly the only critical issues voters would decide. Missouri, Colorado and Michigan became the latest states to endorse independent commissions...

The Local Front - November 19 2018 | 11-16-2018

DC City Council Votes Citing concerns over soaring enforcement levels and disproportionate enforcement against African Americans, the WASHINGTON D.C. Council votes to decriminalize Metro fare evasion in the District (WASHINGTON POST). NY City Federal...

Democrats Gain in State Elections | 11-09-2018

Buoyed by the votes of suburban women and independents, Democrats gained hard-won ground in the nation’s statehouses in Tuesday’s midterm election. Democrats won seven governorships and six legislative chambers previously held...

‘Pink Wave’ Hits State Legislatures | 11-09-2018

‘Pink Wave’ Hits State Legislatures: As anticipated, given the record number of female candidates running for political office this year , women made significant gains in state legislatures on Election Day. Preliminary analysis by the...

Politics in Brief - November 12 2018 | 11-09-2018

‘RAINBOW WAVE’ IN TX Fourteen, or 40 percent, of the 35 gay, bisexual and transgender candidates on the ballot in TEXAS won their races on Tuesday. State and national activists said this election cycle, which saw a record 400 LGBTQ individuals...

More Democratic Women Candidates Than Republican Ones in Most States | 11-02-2018

Of the 3,388 women running for legislative office in 46 states this year, 70 percent are Democrats. In 19 of those states, there are about twice as many Democratic female candidates as Republican ones. In 15 states, there are three times more. In five...

Election Cybersecurity Left to States | 10-19-2018

During the last U.S. election cycle two years ago, at least 21 states were targeted by foreign hackers, according to the Department of Homeland Security. And with Congress having done little to address the issue other than authorizing $380 million to...

The Local Front - October 22 2018 | 10-19-2018

DC City Council Votes To Overturn Initiative 77 The WASHINGTON D.C. City Council officially votes to overturn Initiative 77 , which would have eliminated the tipped minimum wage and raised minimum base pay for tipped workers to the standard minimum...

CA Pushes Net Neutrality, Feds & Telecoms Push Back | 10-12-2018

In the last bill signing session of his long and historic career, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) endorsed a measure last month that overrides federal rules and gives the Golden State the toughest net neutrality statute in the nation. But with multiple...

States Seek to Maintain Net Neutrality | 10-12-2018

At least 32 states have introduced legislation this year that would require internet service providers to uphold net neutrality principles, according to analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net . Many of those...

E-Commerce Group Calls for Federal Action on Wayfair | 10-12-2018

At an informal gathering in St. Louis this month organized by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the online industry group NetChoice called for congressional action in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair...

Banner Year for Voting Rights Ballot Measures | 10-12-2018

In November voters in Arkansas and North Carolina, two states where voter ID laws have been struck down by the courts, will decide whether such requirements will be enshrined into their respective constitutions. And voters in Montana will decide whether...

Baker Remains Most Popular Governor | 10-12-2018

For the seventh quarter in a row, polling by Morning Consult shows that the ten most popular governors in America are all Republicans. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker topped the list with a 70 percent approval rating, followed closely by Maryland Gov...

More State Cryptocurrency Legislation in 2018 | 10-05-2018

At least 21 states have introduced bills or resolutions dealing with digital currencies in 2018, about double the number of states that did so last year, according to analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net....

State’s Age Impacts Fiscal Health | 10-05-2018

The older a state is, the more likely it is to have fiscal problems. That’s one of the findings of an analysis of state fiscal health by William Bergman, director of research for Truth in Accounting, a nonprofit that advocates for transparency in...

The Local Front - October 8 2018 | 10-05-2018

DC City Council Approves Initiative The WASHINGTON D.C . City Council approves legislation to overturn Initiative 77, a voter-approved ballot measure that would end a two-tier minimum-wage system that allows restaurants and others to pay tipped workers...

States Gearing Up to Bet Big on Sports Wagering | 09-28-2018

Rhode Island has placed a $23.5 million sports bet. The Ocean State isn’t betting on New England’s beloved Red Sox or Patriots but on the prospect that other bettors will. If enough gamblers play, the state wins and will collect $23...

Budgets in Brief - October 1 2018 | 09-28-2018

UBER REACHES DATA BREACH SETTLEMENT Ride-hailing company Uber agreed to pay $148 million to settle a dispute with all 50 states and the District of Columbia over its delay in disclosing a breach impacting 57 million of its drivers and riders worldwide...

Politics in Brief - October 1 2018 | 09-28-2018

TX VOTER ROLLS SWELL TO 15.6M Nearly 400,000 names have been added to TEXAS’ voter rolls since March. The total number of registered voters in the state is now 15.6 million, 1.6 million more than at the time of the last midterm election, in 2014...

Governors in Brief - October 1 2018 | 09-28-2018

WALKER DECLARES NATIVE LANGUAGE EMERGENCY Saying the government must support the “revitalization” of native languages, ALASKA Gov. Bill Walker (I) issued Administrative Order 300 last week calling for indigenous place names to be shown...

Data Privacy Popular Issue in States | 09-14-2018

At least 33 states have considered legislation this session dealing specifically with the privacy of personal data. Nineteen of those states have enacted data privacy measures. They include California, which enacted AB 375 , modeled after the European...

Other Options for States on SALT Cap | 09-07-2018

After the state and local tax (SALT) deduction was capped at $10,000 as part of the federal tax overhaul last December, high-tax states immediately began looking for ways for their residents to avoid a big bump in their federal tax burdens. Connecticut...

Hogan Presses MD School Accountability | 09-07-2018

Citing “a persistent and alarming lack of accountability in local school systems across the state,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) issued an executive order last week that creates a new post in his administration: director of the Office of...

Budgets in Brief - September 10 2018 | 09-07-2018

STATES AWARDED MILLIONS IN ACA LAWSUIT A federal court in TEXAS ruled that the federal government improperly charged several states millions of dollars in state Medicaid fees that provide funding for the Affordable Care Act. Under the terms of the...

Some States Resist Expanding Short-Term Health Plans | 08-31-2018

A new regulation from the Department of Health and Human Services will allow insurers, starting on Oct. 1, to offer bare-bones, short-term health insurance plans as a longer-term, low-cost alternative to the coverage prescribed by the Affordable Care...

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...