Larry Hogan for president? He didn’t rule it out.

For the second time this week, Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan held forth about local and national politics during a visit to Democrat-rich Montgomery County, floating the idea of open primaries and contemplating a future in national politics. “You never say never,” Hogan told a gathering of business leaders in Bethesda when asked if he would consider running for national office. “I’m one of the most popular governors in the country.” (Wash. Post)

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Senators request funding for Chesapeake Bay cleanup in 2018 Farm Bill

Both of Maryland’s Democratic senators issued a letter of support for funding for Chesapeake Bay cleanup and conservation to double in the 2018 Farm Bill. The letter, which was issued to agriculture committees in both the House and Senate, included signatures from 23 federal lawmakers, including every Democratic lawmaker representing Maryland in Congress. Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin were the top signers of the letter. (News-Post)

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August 2 // Maryland governor: Pennsylvania, New York need to 'take responsibility' for surge of debris in bay

Gov. Larry Hogan set off a testy interstate exchange Wednesday as he decried a recent surge of debris and sediment flowing into the Chesapeake Bay after last month’s heavy rainstorms and charged that upstream states are failing to do their part to curb pollution. Hogan promised to raise the issue next week when he meets with governors from other states in the bay’s watershed and with officials of the federal Environmental Protection Administration. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland lawmakers voice impatience over FBI headquarters status, and Trump's involvement

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin on Wednesday called on the head of the Environment and Public Works committee to consider taking up a resolution spelling out plans for a new FBI headquarters in either suburban Maryland or Northern Virginia since the federal government's real estate arm still hasn't submitted a prospectus seeking funding for the project. Cardin, D-Md., criticized the General Services Administration at a committee business meeting for its delay in submitting the spending request, which would spell out the costs and other details involved in building a new home for the nation's chief law enforcement agency. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Harris-backed amendment could end GMO restrictions at Blackwater, Prime Hook refuges

Farming on Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is difficult, but it's necessary to support migratory birds who rely on nutrient-rich crops to supplement their natural diet in the winter months. Over the past seven years, the struggle to farm in wet marshy ground has been amplified by the challenge of farming without genetically-modified crops. Some consider genetically modified crops dangerous and have fought to slow their expansion, while others praise their contribution to efficient farming and cheaper food production. Despite their spread, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife service banned the use of genetically modified crops inside National Wildlife Refuges except when essential for habitat restoration after a national 2014 legal battle. However, an amendment supported by Congressman Andy Harris, R-1st-Md., that reverses the policy was included in the H.R. 6147 appropriations bill passed by the House on Thursday, July 19. If the new policy makes it through the Senate, restrictions on genetically modified crops in National Wildlife Refuges would end. (Daily Times)

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Former White House spokesman Anthony Scaramucci says he donated to Capital Gazette victims fundraiser

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci is among the thousands of people who have donated to fundraisers supporting the victims of the Capital Gazette shooting. Scaramucci donated to the Capital Gazette Families Fund as part of an event Denisa Protani organized Sunday at Fado Irish Pub in Annapolis, she said. She declined to say how much he donated. During an interview with Annapolis radio station WNAV 1430, Scaramucci spoke of the importance of the country’s free press in the context of the Capital Gazette shooting. (Balt. Sun)

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August 1 // Hogan questions Trump trade policy during visit to blue Montgomery

Maryland’s Republican governor used a visit to Montgomery County on Tuesday as an opportunity to question President Trump’s trade policy — and to predict that he will win the deeply blue county in November’s gubernatorial election. Hogan, who is being challenged by former NAACP president Ben Jealous (D), called Montgomery “really important” to victory. It is the most populous jurisdiction in the state, with just over 1 million residents, and one of four that Hogan lost in 2014. Democrats outnumber Republicans 3 to 1 in Montgomery, and independents outnumber Republicans as well. (Wash. Post)

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Judge blocks release of blueprints for 3D-printed guns; Maryland had sued to stop downloads

A federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday to stop the release of blueprints to make untraceable and undetectable 3D-printed plastic guns, saying they could end up in the wrong hands. The company behind the plans, Austin, Texas-based Defense Distributed, had reached a settlement with the federal government in June that allows it to make the plans for the guns available for download on Wednesday. The restraining order from U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik puts that plan on hold for now. Eight Democratic attorneys general, including Maryland’s Brian Frosh, had filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the federal government's settlement with Defense Distributed. (Balt. Sun)

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