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Hogan Signs Police Accountability, Tax Bills

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Gov. Larry Hogan signed 350 bills on Tuesday that were passed in the recent General Assembly session that ended last month. The list included some police accountability measures, bills aimed at improving the state's business climate and pieces of his own legislative agenda.

Hogan signed a bill to give tax relief to veterans, a charter school reform bill and a change to the state’s storm water management fee, which he calls the rain tax. These pieces of the Governor’s agenda made it through a Democrat-controlled legislature that killed or watered down most of his legislative wish list.

The governor also signed a bill to create a legal pathway to put body cameras on police officers and a requirement for law enforcement agencies to gather statistics about people who die in police custody. There were more police accountability bills on today’s list, including an increase in the amount of money that plaintiffs can win when they bring wrongful death or injury lawsuits against a city or the state,  though many reform measures didn’t make it out of the General Assembly.

Several economic bills were on the list as well, including five pieces of legislation recommended by a commission focused on improving the state's business climate, including an apprenticeship pilot program, requirements for customer service training for state workers who deal with businesses and the creation of a state secretary of commerce.

Hogan has just a handful of bills left on his desk at this point. Those include a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, a bill making it easier for ex-felons to vote and a bill to force more education spending. He’ll have to decide whether to sign or veto the remaining legislation by the end of the month.

Christopher Connelly is a political reporter for WYPR, covering the day-to-day movement and machinations in Annapolis. He comes to WYPR from NPR, where he was a Joan B. Kroc Fellow, produced for weekend All Things Considered and worked as a rundown editor for All Things Considered. Chris has a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley. He’s reported for KALW (San Francisco), KUSP (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and KJZZ (Phoenix), and worked at StoryCorps in Brooklyn, N.Y. He’s filed stories on a range of topics, from a shortage of dog blood in canine blood banks to heroin addicts in Tanzania. He got his start in public radio at WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, when he was a student at Antioch College.