State Roundup, May 24, 2016

GUN CONTROL GROUP SEEKS SAY IN SENATE RACE: A Maryland advocacy group is seeking to inject gun control into the contest to replace retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, calling on congressional candidates to support a federal handgun licensing bill that was approved by state lawmakers three years ago. In a letter to House and Senate nominees, Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence asked candidates on Monday to co-sponsor a bill that would encourage states to require handgun purchasers to obtain a license, including at gun shows. The Maryland General Assembly passed such a requirement in 2013, months after the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., John Fritze reports for the Sun.

KEFALAS BACKS SZELGA: In an op-ed in the Sun, Chrys Kefalas endorses Del. Kathy Szeliga for U.S. Senate, saying that “over the past year, I had the opportunity to travel the state of Maryland as a candidate for U.S. Senate and hear the concerns of my fellow citizens. Their message was consistent that we cannot afford more of the same in Washington, D.C. … Rather than close doors and put up walls, we must welcome anyone who is willing to roll up their sleeves and join our fight. These are things I know Delegate Szeliga can do.”

STRENGTHENING EQUAL PAY LAW: Zenitha Prince of the Afro writes that Gov. Larry Hogan last week signed legislation that strengthens the state’s equal pay law. The bill increases transparency, shining a light on possible pay disparities by prohibiting businesses from penalizing employees who disclose or discuss their salary.

FINAL TALLY ON BALLOT SCREWUP: About 1,650 ballots cast in Baltimore’s primary election were handled improperly, a state review has found — prompting some to question the validity of the election results, reports Luke Broadwater in the Sun. The State Board of Elections concluded that 1,188 provisional ballots were inappropriately scanned into the vote tally on Election Day — without judges verifying that the voters were eligible — and 465 other provisional ballots were not considered.