Hogan vetoes Maryland Democrats' paid sick leave bill

Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday vetoed legislation that would have required employers with more than 15 workers to allow them to earn paid sick leave, setting up a potential veto override fight when state lawmakers return to Annapolis later this year or next. The Republican governor blamed the Democrat-dominated General Assembly for rejecting what he called his "common-sense" bill that would have created incentives for employers to offer sick leave. Instead, they passed a measure he said would force small businesses to lay off employees or shut their doors. "I cannot and will not support this jobs-killing bill passed by the legislature," Hogan said. (Balt. Sun)

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Rep. Elijah Cummings expected to return to normal schedule after heart surgery

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) has undergone heart surgery and is expected to return to his normal schedule after a few days in the hospital, according to his office. The procedure, which took place Wednesday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was to correct a narrowing of his aortic valve. The valve was replaced. A statement from Cummings’s office described the surgery as “minimally invasive.” The procedure was previously scheduled, not an emergency operation, a spokesman said. Cummings, 66, is the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee. He is a frequent critic of the Trump administration and has pressed the Republican-led committee to aggressively investigate the Trump campaign over potential collusion with Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. (Wash. Post)

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Anne Arundel Indivisible growing, merges with Women's March group

Inside Asbury United Methodist Church Thursday evening, people lined up between the pews to ask questions, many with a tone of concern in their voice. County residents and others came to ask Rep. John Sarbanes and Sen. Ben Cardin, both Democrats, about the future of health care, an investigation into Russia's alleged influence on the 2016 election, environmental concerns and diversity in local government. In his opening statement, Sarbanes gave a nod to the people in attendance. "We need your energy, we need your leadership, we need to work together to make sure that we achieve the goal of getting back to the vision of America that we hold dear," Sarbanes said. (Capital)

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Pugh names new director of Baltimore recreation and parks

Mayor Catherine Pugh on Thursday named a new director of Baltimore's Recreation and Parks Department. Pugh hired Reginald Moore, the director of the Macon-Bibb County Parks and Recreation Department in Georgia, to take over Baltimore's agency starting July 3. He will be paid $155,000. Moore has worked at the Macon-Bibb County Parks and Recreation Department since 2002. He also is an adjunct professor at Mercer College, and previously led sports administration for the Atlanta Falcons and the World Basketball League, according to the mayor's office. (Balt. Sun)

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Pr. George’s lawmakers pass cautious budget, fearing federal cuts

Prince George’s County lawmakers passed a $3.8 billion budget Thursday that would fund salary increases for county workers, recruit new police officers and firefighters, and reinvest in basic government services. But the spending plan was far more conservative than in recent years, despite the county’s rebounding economy. Rising property values and a full year of operations at the MGM National Harbor casino raised revenue projections in the proposed budget crafted by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D). The budget called for increased spending but at far more modest levels than the three previous years of Baker’s administration. (Wash. Post)

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Hogan plans to sign more than 200 bills on Thursday. Paid sick leave is not among them

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) will sign 209 bills on Thursday in what is believed to be his eighth and final bill signing of the 2017 legislative session. The list includes a package of measures to address the state’s growing heroin epidemic. But missing from the hundreds of bills are several high-profile measures that are awaiting action from Hogan, including a top priority of Democratic legislative leaders that requires employers to provide paid sick leave benefits to their workers. (Wash. Post)

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Trump administration continues to consider Purple Line for $900 million in funding

The Trump administration is continuing to consider Maryland’s Purple Line for federal construction aid even as the project remains stalled in a court battle, according to a budget document released Wednesday. Supporters of the 16-mile light-rail project had worried that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) might scrap $900 million in grants requested for the line because the Trump administration had said it would fund only projects with “existing” full-funding grant agreements. (Wash. Post)

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Advocates look to the Great Lakes to help save Chesapeake Bay funding

Sen. Chris Van Hollen was quizzing the new secretary of agriculture nominee about cuts proposed for the Chesapeake Bay program at a recent hearing when a senator who represents a state far from Maryland chimed in. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio had essentially the same question, but was focused on the Great Lakes. As advocates and lawmakers fight a proposal to zero out $73 million in federal funding for the Chesapeake Bay, some are considering a bipartisan coalition to enlist help from states that have similar concerns about their own waterways, but might may have more pull with the White House — including the Great Lakes states in the Midwest that were critical to Trump's election. (Balt. Sun)

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