Political news

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Gov. Larry Hogan and the state’s Congressional delegation met Monday morning to discuss Maryland’s federal priorities, and bringing the new FBI headquarters to Maryland was at the top of the list. The project, with its 11,500 jobs, seemed enough to overcome any partisan differences between Maryland’s mostly Democratic congressional delegation and its Republican governor.

The legislative session in Annapolis is moving full speed toward Sine Die – that’s the last day the General Assembly can pass bills for the year. WYPR News Director Joel McCord caught up with Annapolis reporter Christopher Connelly for an update.

The Maryland Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill that would modify the state’s stormwater management fee moved forward on Thursday. If passed, it could end a long-simmering controversy over the so-called “rain tax.”

Gov. Larry Hogan made repealing a requirement that Baltimore City and the nine biggest counties charge a fee to fund efforts to stop dirty stormwater from running into the bay a lynchpin of his campaign. But the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs committee killed his effort.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

The Democratic-led House of Delegates gave its preliminary approval to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's budget Wednesday. The version passed by the lower chamber departs significantly from Hogan’s plan, beefing up spending on schools, safety net programs and state worker pay.

Fraser Smith talks to WYPR's Statehouse Reporter, Christopher Connelly about the buzz in The General Assembly regarding who is jockeying for congressional seats left open when those politicians jockey for Mikulski's seat. 

Christopher Connelly / WYPR

Even with the price of oil slowly inching up, gas prices at the pump are still some of the lowest we’ve seen in years. But whatever it costs to fill up your tank, in Annapolis there’s a debate simmering over how much the state should add to the gas tax.

Joe Getty used to be a senator on the state’s budget and tax committee. These days, though, he’s Governor Larry Hogan’s legislative director. The Carroll County Republican went back to his old committee this week to make the case for a key piece of his boss’s agenda: Stop the state’s gas tax from going up.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR


Gov. Larry Hogan’s education platform will face its first big test today when a House of Delegates committee will take up his plan to reform Maryland’s strict charter school law.  Although some Democratic lawmakers have signaled interest in seeing a reform to Maryland’s strict charter law, many say the bill goes too far. Public schools advocates say the bill is a giveaway to national charter operators.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Hundreds of advocates turned out in Annapolis on Wednesday to protest cuts to mental and behavioral health services. The rally came one day after Gov. Larry Hogan laid out his plan to combat the state’s heroin crisis, and mental health advocates lined up in front of the statehouse to say the governor’s proposed cuts in mental health services will harm those struggling with addiction and mental illness.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Gov. Larry Hogan announced new initiatives Tuesday to combat what he calls heroin emergency in the state. States across the East Coast have seen a dramatic rise in heroin. In Maryland, heroin-related deaths have nearly doubled since 2010, and now outpaces the state-wide homicide rate.

Hogan, who grew emotional while announcing the initiatives, said he knows first-hand the devastation of heroin addiction after he lost his cousin to an overdose. Still, he said he was surprised by how far-reaching the problem was when he was out campaigning throughout the state.

Nick Sherman via flickr

Repealing the storm water remediation fee, what opponents call the rain tax, was a rallying cry for Republicans in the November election. But nearly four months later the controversial state law continues to vex both local officials and legislators in Annapolis.