Rosenstein poised for confirmation as deputy attorney general

Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein is poised to be confirmed to serve as deputy attorney general after clearing a procedural vote Monday with bipartisan support. The Senate voted 92-6 to cut off debate on Rosenstein's nomination to be the No. 2 official at the Department of Justice and move to a final vote, which is expected on Wednesday. Rosenstein's otherwise uncontroversial appointment has drawn additional scrutiny after Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would recuse himself from investigations into the Trump campaign's interaction with Russia. Rosenstein will now have to decide whether to appoint an independent prosecutor in the case. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland Senate president talks about the General Assembly, presidential politics and 2018

Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. remembers meeting Larry Hogan when the now-governor was just a child. Miller, who was then working as a driver for a Republican candidate for governor, is a staunch Democrat, but thinks the opposing party might increase their ranks in his chamber after the 2018 elections. The governor’s got a decent shot at re-election, too, Miller said. “He’ll run for re-election. And right now, it looks like he’s got a clear field,” said Miller, who had his own disagreements with Hogan this past General Assembly session over controversial Cabinet nominees. (News-Post)

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GOP members on Baltimore County Council to propose immigration screening in jail

Republican members of the Baltimore County Council are seeking to require the county's jail to participate in a controversial federal immigration screening program. If the three Republicans can get a bill passed, they are facing a certain veto from Democratic County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who dismissed the effort as inspired by President Donald J. Trump. "I'm certainly dismayed that the three Republicans are attempting to inject a little of this Trump fever that they've been infected with," Kamenetz said. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland bill gives first responders protections when aiding pets

Police, firefighters and medics who provide aid to animals during emergencies would get new protection from liability under legislation that cleared the General Assembly this month. First responders in Maryland haven't been covered by Good Samaritan laws when treating animals — whether they were trying to stop bleeding, rinse soot from a pet's eyes or use an oxygen mask on an animal — because it was considered practicing veterinary medicine without a license. Del. Clarence Lam, the lead sponsor of legislation to change the law, said about 20 states have similar statutes and a number of first responders testified in favor of the change. (Balt. Sun)

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Md. Del. Richard K. Impallaria jailed for two days for drunken driving

A Maryland delegate from Harford County was ordered to serve two days in jail last week for drunken driving, after a judge suspended the rest of his 60-day sentence. Del. Richard K. Impallaria (R) was convicted in January of driving while intoxicated in Ocean City last summer during the annual Maryland Association of Counties summer conference. On Friday, Worcester County Circuit Court Judge Thomas C. Groton III sentenced Impallaria to 60 days in jail, the state’s maximum penalty, and 18 months supervised probation, according to court records. (Wash. Post)

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Transit union calls bill to reform Metro ‘heartless’ and ‘cruel’

Metro’s largest union denounced a Maryland congressman’s proposed legislation to overhaul the agency’s governance and labor practices Monday, saying it is “among the most outrageous proposals ever put forth by a Democratic member of Congress in recent memory.” Amalgamated Transit Union International, issued a scathing letter Monday to Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), who in February introduced the Improvement Act of 2017. The bill would award Metro $750 million over 10 years in exchange for broad reforms to the agency’s labor and governance, and includes a provision that would give Metro management greater power to reassign workers or rely on outside contractors. (Wash. Post)

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Baltimore moves to legalize stun gun possession

The Baltimore City Council is moving to legalize stun gun possession by city residents in response to a federal court ruling. A bill introduced at Monday's City Council meeting on behalf of the Pugh administration would allow a person to "possess and use an electronic control device as a form of non-lethal self-defense in the home and in public." The legislation would, however, put some restrictions on the use of stun guns. It states, for instance, that they may not be possessed by a person who "poses an unacceptable risk to public safety." (Balt. Sun)

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Councilman Scott proposes citizens committee to advise Baltimore police

Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott introduced legislation Monday that would create a 20-member committee of local residents to advise the city police department on a wide range of issues. Scott said the proposed Citizens Advisory Committee for Public Safety is needed even though the consent decree entered into by Baltimore police and the Department of Justice already calls for the creation of a Civilian Oversight Task Force, which will propose how civilian oversight of the police department can be improved. In addition, Baltimore already has a Civilian Review Board, which investigates allegations of police misconduct. (Balt. Sun)

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