2016 General Assembly session nears end

Posted at 5:50 PM, Apr 05, 2016

Maryland lawmakers are less than a week away from the end of the 2016 Maryland General Assembly session, and some important issues are still undecided.

As in most years, legislators save the best, or hardest issues, for last. This year is no different.

The House preliminarily approved its version of the criminal justice bill that includes repealing mandatory minimum sentences for some drug and nonviolent offenses. The aim of the bill is to save money on jail time and concentrate on rehabilitation. Now the Senate will take up the issue.

The Senate is also discussing the law enforcement accountability bill. The bill would overhaul how many of Maryland's police departments operate, especially when it comes to officer disciplinary actions. The bill is a reaction to the riots in Baltimore a year ago.

The bill reached a road block late Monday night on the Senate floor and was sent back to committee for discussion.

That usually can be a death sentence for a bill, but Senate President Mike Miller said “there is still people who want to push for their agenda and while people are pushing for their agenda the bill is going to sit in the committee.”

The recent surge of Fantasy Sports leagues in Maryland also has lawmakers’ attention.

There are two bills in the house. One would ban fantasy sports betting altogether in Maryland, and the other would bring the issue to referendum this election and let Maryland voters decide.

“It's not about taxes. It's about regulating a business the state needs to regulate,” Miller said.

On Tuesday, the governor announced he will veto a measure to change the composition of a commission that nominates members of the Anne Arundel County School Board.

Hogan previously vetoed one other bill to create a scoring system to prioritize transportation projects.

The governor said he won't veto any other bills sent to him early this session.

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