Questions mount for Maryland's next legislative session

General Assembly leaders in Maryland ended the 2020 session early and recently declined a special session due to pandemic and presidential election concerns. But they have yet to announce plans, particularly regarding legislative voting, as the next session draws near. “The reason we aren’t having a special session is because we need information,” Senate President Bill Ferguson, D-Baltimore, on Sept. 16 told demonstrators staging a mock General Assembly session outdoors while wearing masks and sitting six feet apart. “We need to do the work to make sure that when we convene as a General Assembly, we solve the problems that you care about.” (Balt Bus Journal)

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$20 Million Settlement Reached in Officer’s Fatal Shooting of Handcuffed Man

A Maryland county has reached a $20 million settlement with the family of an unarmed Black man who was fatally shot by a police corporal while he was handcuffed in a patrol car in January, officials said on Monday. The figure, announced on Sunday, makes it among the largest settlements in a case involving a killing by a police officer. “There is no appropriate price tag to accompany a loss like that one, but we believe the actions taken that night against Mr. Green and ultimately taken against his family warrant this settlement,” Angela D. Alsobrooks, the county executive of Prince George’s County, said at a news conference. (NYT)

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Less Than 9 Percent Of Baltimore City Police Officers Respond To Ethics, Misconduct Survey

The Commission to Restore Trust in Policing, formed last year in response to the illegal activity of the Gun Trace Task Force, hoped officers would participate in mass to a survey on misconduct. But that didn’t quite happen. Less than nine percent of city police officers responded when sent an ethics and misconduct survey. “The culture of BPD is still not good,” Commissioner Parker said. (WJZ)

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Baltimore County Council considering restrictions on hemp farms

Baltimore County Council is considering hemp farm restrictions after residents have complained for months about a farm nestled among neighborhoods near Lutherville-Timonium. Cockeysville Republican County Councilman Wade Kach introduced legislation to prohibit hemp facilities from being located within 2,000 feet of a residential property. The bill also would require harvesting facilities be set back at least 500 feet from the farm’s property line. (Balt Sun)

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Plastic Bag Fee Goes Into Effect For Howard County Thursday

Taking effect Thursday in Howard County is a new plastic bag fee. This only applies to stores in Howard County who provide customers disposable plastic bags at checkout. If a customer does not bring their own bag for their purchases they will be charged five cents per plastic bag. Howard County’s government said the money collected from the bag fee will go into a separate “disposable plastics reduction fund” that will provide reusable bags to low-income residents. (WJZ)

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Lawmakers: Lift Age Limit In State’s Foster Care System During Pandemic

Lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr (R) last week imploring that he expand protections for Maryland youths who will age out of the foster care system during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the dramatic disparities in access to health care and social services for Marylanders and among our most vulnerable are our foster youth,” said Del. C.T. Wilson (D-Charles). “We ask Governor Hogan to follow the lead of other states in preventing these young people from the increased risk of homelessness, unemployment, food insecurity, and exacerbated mental illness if discharged from the child welfare system.” (Md Matters)

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Annapolis Democratic Central Committee chooses Brooks Schandelmeier as Ward 5 alderman

Brooks Schandelmeier is the new Annapolis City Council alderman from Ward 5. The Annapolis Democratic Central Committee chose Schandelmeier, a former D30 Democratic Club President and a mainstay in the city and county’s Democratic political arena for nearly a decade, during a nearly five-hour public meeting Monday night. (Cap Gazette)

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18 Anne Arundel County ballot drop boxes open Thursday as the first-wave of requested absentee ballots sent to voters

Anne Arundel County voters can begin casting their votes for president, Congressional representatives, charter amendments, and depending on their district, school board members as early as Thursday, when 18 ballot drop boxes open. The first wave of absentee ballots have been mailed to voters who requested them. The ballots should arrive by early next week, officials said. (Capital)


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