State Roundup, August 10, 2017

CRACKING DOWN ON DEALERS: St. Mary’s County is bringing murder charges against suspected opioid drug dealers as part of an aggressive campaign to combat the epidemic, becoming the first in the state to file some of the toughest charges against distributors who they say are responsible for carnage, Arelis Hernandez of the Post reports. Law enforcement officials on Wednesday announced eight second-degree murder indictments so rare that they attracted a visit from Gov. Larry Hogan.

UNITED BY ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP: In an opinion piece in the Baltimore Sun, Gov. Larry Hogan writes his stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay and his stand on various environmental issues that affect Maryland, saying that “we are setting an example for the country by focusing on what we have in common — not what divides us. This focus has enabled our administration to partner with the environmental, agricultural and business communities to create a cleaner and greener Maryland.”

HOGAN CAN LEAD ON EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS: In the next few weeks, Gov. Larry Hogan has a chance to secure a big win for our state’s economy and cleaner air, writes Tony Clifford in an opinion piece for MarylandReporter. The pioneering Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which has already helped slash carbon pollution from Maryland power plants by more than 40% and is a key pillar in our state’s plan to address climate change, is undergoing a review to decide how much more participating states want to reduce power plant emissions in the coming years. By leading boldly on RGGI and pushing for the strongest possible emissions reductions, the governor can protect Maryland’s citizens, economy, and natural resources while securing major benefits for Maryland families and businesses.