Many voters remain undecided in Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial primary

The latest statewide poll of Maryland Democratic voters shows they haven’t yet coalesced behind any of the several Democratic candidates pursuing the governor’s office. The Goucher College poll released Thursday morning found Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker with the most support—about 19 percent of the Democrats polled said they’d vote for him if the primary election were held today. (Bethesda)

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Maryland House passes bills on organ transplants, sponsored by speaker who was saved by a liver transplant

The Maryland House of Delegates on Thursday unanimously passed two organ donations sponsored by House Speaker Michael E. Busch, whose life was saved by a liver transplant last year. One would provide a $7,500 tax credit for living donors to help defray their costs of donating all or part of an organ. Busch’s sister, Kathleen "Laurie" Bernhardt, donated part of her liver to the speaker, who was diagnosed last spring with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a life-threatening condition. The Anne Arundel County Democrat has since recovered and resumed his duties as speaker. (Balt. Sun)

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Addition of Scott adds youthful energy to gubernatorial race

Gubernatorial candidates were already making calls to Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott (D-2), when he connected with Jim Shea, Democratic candidate for Governor, an attorney with the Venable law firm in Baltimore and former chair of the Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland. The difference with Shea, according to Scott, is he not only wanted Scott's advice on connecting with young people, he took the next step and invited Scott to serve on his ticket as Lieutenant Governor. (AFRO)

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Maryland Gov. Hogan makes his re-election effort official

Gov. Larry Hogan filed paperwork on Thursday making his run for a second term official. Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford posted a video on social media showing them going to the state elections office in Annapolis for the political ritual of signing candidacy forms. “We’re officially going to sign the paperwork to run for re-election and do another term,” the Republican governor said as the pair stood outside the office. “We’ve got another four months before we know even who we’re running against. We have plenty of time for campaigning.” (Balt. Sun)

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Carroll commissioners consider suing legislature over paid leave law

Striking a defiant tone in their deliberations at a Thursday meeting, the Carroll Board of County Commissioners voted to pursue a coalition to push back against the new Maryland paid sick leave law and leaving open the possibility of suing the General Assembly. “Why did they do this to us? Because we let them. They count on us to comply and be good little drones,” Commissioner Richard Rothschild, R-District 4, said of the new law. “They count on elected officials around the state to surrender to their pretend legislation.” (Carr. Co. Times)

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Bill to provide breaks for nursing mothers passes House

A bill that requires employers at state agencies to set aside time and space for nursing mothers to pump sailed through the House on Thursday. House Bill 306 unanimously passed through the chamber to head to the Senate. The bill, sponsored by Delegate Carol Krimm (D-District 3A), mirrors federal law, and would require state entities to provide a break time and a private place that is not a bathroom for employees to express breast milk. (News-Post)

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Pemberton Coffeehouse owner files for Maryland House seat

Mimi Gedamu of Salisbury, co-owner of Pemberton Coffeehouse and a Republican, has filed for a District 37B seat in the House of Delegates. The district includes portions of Wicomico and Dorchester counties and all of Talbot County and has two resident delegates, Chris Adams of Hebron and Johnny Mautz of St. Michaels. Gedamu will face fellow Republicans Adams, Mautz and Keith Graffius of Taylors Island in the primary election. (Daily Times)

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House votes to increase fines for repeat speed offenders in highway work zones

The Maryland House of Delegates voted Thursday to increase penalties for third-time offenders caught by cameras exceeding the speed limit in highway work zones. The unofficial 80-59 vote sends the measure to the Senate. The current fine when a vehicle is photographed by a speed camera going 12 mph or more over the speed limit in a construction work zone is $40. The legislation would bump that up to $80 for third and subsequent offenses. (Balt. Sun)

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