WOMEN IN ANNAPOLIS FEAR COMING FORWARD: Female lawmakers who say they have experienced, witnessed or heard about sexual harassment in Annapolis are pushing for changes to the Maryland General Assembly’s anti-harassment policy, which they say does not adequately address a pervasive culture of misconduct. However, the Women Legislators of Maryland group is working mostly behind the scenes, writes Ovetta Wiggins for the Post. “There is not really a safe environment to discuss the issue. It’s not something that people really want to be addressing,” said one female lawmaker, who like most people interviewed declined to be named out of fear of reprisal.
RAPISTS’ PARENTAL RIGHTS: Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Friday that he supports a bill that would allow women who become pregnant as a result of a rape to terminate their attackers’ parental rights and is willing to sign it as soon as the General Assemblyapproves it, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post writes. The measure has failed nine times, including in the final hours of the 2017 legislative session. But this year, it is a priority of the 90-day session, which begins Wednesday.
Bethesda Beat tops off its Political Roundup with this story: After long wait, Del. Kathleen Dumais hopes 2018 will see passage of bill to protect rape victims. For the past nine annual sessions of the Maryland General Assembly, Dumais has fought to end a controversial state law that grants parental rights to rapists.
Rachel Baye of WYPR-FM reports that Hogan said it should be the first thing lawmakers tackle when they return to Annapolis. He pledged to sign it when it gets to his desk. “No rapist should be allowed to maintain their right as a parent, and no victim should ever be forced to interact with their attacker,” he said.
TRUMP EFFECT ON ANNAPOLIS: Erin Cox and Michael Dresser of the Sun report that Congress and the Trump administration will force Maryland’s political leaders to forgo their election-year tradition of limiting controversy when the General Assemblymeets this week. Instead, state lawmakers gathering Wednesday in Annapolis for the 2018 session will wade into the messy business of rewriting Maryland’s tax code and deciding whether any residents should have to pay more in state taxes.