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State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: Maryland Lawmakers Move Forward With Governor’s Offshore Wind Farm Regulatory Authority

MD LAWMAKERS ENDORSE O'MALLEY JOBS, WIND BILLS: Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) scored a pair of victories last week as lawmakers in Annapolis endorsed two bills he sponsored: SB 278, the Employment Advancement Right Now act, or EARN, a plan to create a $2.5 million annual grant program for workforce training programs that offer "industry-valued skills," and HB 226, the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013, which gives state regulators a framework for approving the development of a 200-megawatt wind farm in the waters off of Ocean City. The jobs bill heads to O'Malley, while the wind farm measure returned to the House for concurrence of technical amendments made in the Senate. (STATE NET, BALTIMORE SUN, WASHINGTON POST, GAITHERSBURG GAZETTE)

ENVIRONMENT: The MICHIGAN Senate gives final approval to SB 48, which would allow facilities that care for animals to let people handle bear cubs up to nine months old or weighing up to 90 pounds. It moves to Gov. Rick Snyder (R) for review (STATE NET, LANSING STATE JOURNAL). • WISCONSIN Gov. Scott Walker (R) signs SB 1, which overhauls the Badger State's iron mining laws and streamlines the state's iron mining permit process (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL). • The UTAH Senate approves SB 275, which would allow local governments to jointly borrow money to buy new natural gas vehicles or convert their current fleets and build more natural gas fueling stations and maintenance facilities. It moves to the House (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE).

BUSINESS: In MISSOURI, the Senate endorses SB 41, which would prohibit neighbors from filing nuisance lawsuits against farms or businesses that abide by the terms of government permits. It is now in the House (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH).

POTPOURRI: The OREGON Senate approves SB 238, which would overturn a Beaver State law that bars children under the age of 7 from riding off-road motorcycles on public land. It moves to the House (PORTLAND OREGONIAN).

- Compiled by RICH EHISEN

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