Proposed bill would forbid nonconsensual pelvic and other exams on unconscious, anesthetized patients

Del. Heather Bagnall has proposed legislation to forbid health care practitioners, students and trainees from performing pelvic, rectal or prostate exams on unconscious or anesthetized patients without written consent or unless medically necessary. House Bill 364 would give patients peace of mind who may be concerned about such examinations as Maryland currently does not outlaw it, said Bagnall, D-Arnold. “This legislation is about peace of mind,” Bagnall said in an interview before a Tuesday hearing. (Balt. Sun)

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President Trump Says He's Not Thrilled With GOP-Backed Border Deal

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he's "unhappy" with a hard-won agreement to prevent a new government shutdown and finance construction of more barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, but he didn't say whether or not he would sign the measure. GOP congressional leaders swung behind the proposed deal, selling it as a necessary compromise. "I can't say I'm happy. I can't say I'm thrilled," Trump said during a Cabinet meeting. He said he needs to look further at the agreement, which would grant far less than the $5.7 billion he wants for a long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. (WBAL)

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Harford Del. Szeliga reintroduces bill to allow parishioners to carry guns

Del. Kathy Szeliga has introduced House Bill 781, or the Parishioner Protection Act of 2019, allowing parishioners to carry firearms in houses of worship to help protect their congregations from a mass shooting. Szeliga. who represents eastern Baltimore County and western Harford County, sponsored the same bill during the 2018 Maryland General Assembly session, but it did not make it past a House Judiciary Committee hearing. She said, as the session neared its end last April, that she planned to reintroduce the bill in the next session and that it can take a couple of years before a bill is passed. (Balt. Sun)

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Aberdeen council approves $87,000 contract for Ripken Stadium roof replacement

The City of Aberdeen continues to approve contracts for major repairs to Ripken Stadium, despite being sued by the owners of the stadium’s tenant, the Aberdeen IronBirds minor league baseball team. The mayor and City Council unanimously approved Monday night an $87,000 contract with Hughesville-based Boblits Enterprises LLC. City leaders approved in late January a $535,000 contract with Brayman Construction Corp., of Saxonburg, Pa., to repair a failing retaining wall on the third-base side of the stadium, and more repair work is expected, such as replacing the field lights. (Balt. Sun)

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Backers pitch bill that would create statewide commission on Maryland's lynching history

Backers of legislation that would create a commission to explore and address Maryland’s lynching history will make their case Tuesday before the Maryland House Judiciary Committee, the latest step in a grass-roots movement that appears to be gaining momentum across the state. The bill’s chief sponsor, Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk, will have the backing of a bipartisan group of more than 50 co-sponsors when she presents her arguments at a 1 p.m. hearing in Annapolis. (Balt. Sun)

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Who is Larry Hogan? Maryland's Republican governor is being wooed for 2020 as he starts his second term

As the federal government in Washington sinks into ever-deeper dysfunction and the public casts about for alternatives, some so-called “Never Trump” Republicans are urging Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to run in a 2020 primary against his party’s president. The governor, 62, has largely demurred, without closing the door completely to the possibility. But the prospect of his unlikely candidacy has nevertheless prompted intense speculation. (Balt. Sun)

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Gov. Larry Hogan allies form new political advocacy corporation

Supporters of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan have formed a new non-profit corporation aimed at influencing state policy. The entity, called Change Maryland Inc., was created Feb. 1 by Hogan campaign chairman Thomas E. Kelso to engage in “public policy development, issue advocacy [and] grassroots organizing … in the state of Maryland,” according to its articles of incorporation. Amelia Chasse, a spokeswoman for the Republican governor, said the corporation is an outgrowth of Hogan’s previous Change Maryland policy advocacy effort, which sought lower taxes in the state and helped launch his first run for governor. (Balt. Sun)

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3 people vying to unseat Nancy Kopp as Maryland's treasurer, a position the Democrat has held since 2002

Nancy Kopp will have competition to hold onto her position as Maryland’s treasurer. Three people and Kopp have applied to be the state treasurer, a job that entails overseeing the state government’s finances and investments. The treasurer also holds a seat on the three-member Board of Public Works, a powerful committee that includes the governor and comptroller and which approves government contracts and activities on public lands. Kopp confirmed she has reapplied for the position she has held since 2002, but state officials are not permitted to reveal information about the other three people who have applied. (Balt. Sun)

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