OPENING DAY ANGST: Maryland’s General Assembly will convene today while juggling more plot lines than a soap opera, Pamela Wood and Michael Dresser report for the Sun. As the legislature prepares to begin its annual 90-day session at noon, it is grappling with emerging scandals, partisan bickering, internal shuffling and vacant seats. All this accompanies more standard fare, including a yawning revenue gap and expected votes to override a gubernatorial veto regarding energy policy.
Maryland Democrats gathered Tuesday for what was supposed to be an energetic pre-legislative-session lunch featuring top elected officials and rising stars railing against President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Washington. Fenit Nirappil and Josh Hicks write that hanging over them, however, was the specter of a growing federal corruption investigation in Prince George’s County that has expanded to the State House in Annapolis.
Maryland lawmakers will leave the State House in 90 days with about one year to go for the 2018 primary. But the politics for that campaign starts now, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. Gov. Larry Hogan enters his third session vowing a more aggressive approach to advancing his agenda. Leaders in the House and Senate say they are equally determined to more clearly define the differences between their party’s values and those of a first-term governor.
“I’m ready to get going,” Del. Carol Krimm said after a day of meetings on Tuesday. “Today, we had the opportunity to renew our friendships and see leadership and talk to them about the bills we’re working on.” Soon will come the wrangling over vetoed and emergency legislation and the marathon committee meetings, but for now, it’s all about the wonder of walking into the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use, writes Danielle Gaines for the Frederick News Post.
In this 50-minute discussion on WYPR-FM, Erin Cox of the Sun, Rachel Baye and Tom Hall of WYPR take a look at the mood, the controversies and the legislation that will be the focus of this year’s 90-day session.
MILLER’S ROAD RAGE: Comparing Gov. Larry Hogan to some of the words expressed by tweeter in chief Donald Trump, Senate President Mike Miller, in an opinion column for the Sun writes that “thousands of Marylanders sit in traffic for hours every day as congestion and gridlock prevent them from getting home and getting to and from work in a reasonable time period. That is why Gov. Larry Hogan’s recent behavior threatening 71 state roads projects is so outrageous.”