Politics

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Governor Larry Hogan will sign legislation to make it legal for jurisdictions to put body cameras on police officers. The governor told reporters Thursday that it is a “small step” toward dealing with “a major problem” of people dying in police custody.

“Having the real evidence of exactly what happened, having everything videotaped is a step in the right direction, something we are going to support,” he said.

Fraser Smith talks to wypr's Mary Rose Madden about the death of Freddie Gray - the 25 year old African American man who died while in police custody.  On the morning of April 12th, police officers and Gray "made eye contact" and Gray ran.  Police chased him and arrested him - but no one has been able to answer why Gray was arrested.  That question is just one of many Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, and many others want answered.  The city police department is conducting an internal investigation and now the U.S.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Despite the partisan budget stalemate that dominated headlines as the Maryland General Assembly session came to a close last week, lawmakers in Annapolis have been slowly moving in a new direction on drug policy and drawing support from both sides of the aisle.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Bills that city police watchdog groups favored to bring greater police accountability died in committees on the last day of the 2015 Maryland General Assembly session despite the momentum advocates had at the start of the session.

The advocates pointed to several local cases, like Tyrone West and Anthony Anderson, as well as national incidents, like Ferguson Mo. and New York City, to bolster their arguments.

One of the central points of Governor Larry Hogan's gubernatorial campaign was repealing the stormwater utility fee.  But in his first General Assembly session, the stormwater utility fee bill - or "rain tax" as critics call it - only got stronger.  Fraser Smith and The Daily Record's Bryan Sears discuss the regulations that were added to the bill and the finances behind stormwater runoff treatments.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Gov. Larry Hogan started signing some of the hundreds of bills passed by the General Assembly over the 90 day session on Tuesday, and it was a packed house where everyone was on their best behavior.


Christopher Connelly/WYPR

  Maryland’s General Assembly went out of business for another year on Monday, ending a session that many hoped would signal the dawn of a new bipartisan era in a party line budget settlement.  Gov. Larry Hogan praised the legislature for its bipartisan work, but said he probably wouldn’t spend money Democrats set aside for public education, state worker pay and Medicaid and other safety net programs.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Monday she is disappointed that her General Assembly bills to hold police officers more accountable for their actions have “already died” or are on their “last legs.”  But, she said, she is “even more energized” to continue implementing reforms of the city police department she started that have led to a drop in citizen complaints and an increase in officers being punished for misconduct.

Earlier in the session, the state budget was a sign of bi-partisanship between the Republican Governor and the Democratic assembly.  But now? Fraser Smith and Andy Green, editorial page editor for The Baltimore Sun, discuss how the budget is being held hostage until the governor gets what he wants - while the General Assembly tries to push back. 

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