Md. General Assembly begins Wed. in Annapolis

Posted at 8:28 AM, Jan 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 18:36:36-05
Lawmakers began outlining their legislative goals for the next 90 days starting at 12 p.m. Wednesday during the first Maryland General Assembly session. They will be working with a surplus of $500 million for the first time in 10 years.

There are several big issues on the table.

Many lawmakers have discussed allocating funds to help Baltimore City following the April riots, while Governor Hogan is fighting to demolish blighted buildings in the city. Others are calling for mandatory paid sick leave for state workers.

Legislation to reduce the prison population is on the table, advocating for treatment instead of prison sentences for first-time drug offenders.

Governor Hogan is also calling for more heroin treatment funding, as heroin addiction continues to be a problem in the state. Hogan may also need to secure funding for upgrades to his proposed "Baltimore Link" bus system, which replaced the canceled Red Line train.

Governor Hogan also announced that he wants to cut taxes by $480 million over the next five years.