State Roundup: Paid Family Leave, Climate Change Bills Sent To Gov; Hogan Endorses Democrat Vignarajah For Balt. Prosecutor

PAID FAMILY LEAVE PASSES: Maryland workers would be eligible to receive up to 12 weeks of partial paid leave under a bill passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature, a major victory for progressive advocates who have been fighting for the measure for more than a decade. Ovetta Wiggins/Washington Post

  • And two bills aimed at easing the financial load of baby and toddler care that are part of a larger Budget Booster tax cut package passed the Senate unanimously Thursday, giving tax breaks to care items like diapers. Callan Tansill-Suddath/WYPR
  • Republicans criticized the paid family leave measure for failing to spell out how much employees and employers would have to contribute, leaving that for the state’s labor department to define later. AP/WTOP

Thiru Vignarajah. Photo by Uzithejuice – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

HOGAN ENDORSES DEMOCRAT VIGNARAJAH FOR BALTIMORE STATE’S ATTORNEY: Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has endorsed Thiru Vignarajah in the Democratic primary for Baltimore State’s Attorney, choosing the former city, state and federal prosecutor over incumbent Democrat Marilyn Mosby. Alex Mann/The Baltimore Sun

  • The endorsement across party lines adds “yet another unusual element” to a race that already has been characterized by controversy. Madeleine O’Neill/The Daily Record
  • Hogan, a Republican, has an extremely high approval rating in Maryland, and political analysts said his endorsement is significant. Shelley Orman/WBFF 
  • Both Hogan and Vignarajah said public safety comes before political parties, ““Bullets don’t have party affiliation,” Vignarajah said. Mikenzie Frost/WBFF

CLIMATE CHANGE BILL SIGNALS RIFT: Maryland lawmakers passed an omnibus climate change bill on Thursday designed to give the state some of the most aggressive environmental goals in the country — if the bill survives a veto threat from Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Erin Cox/The Washington Post

  • The Maryland Senate gave final approval to a modified version of a climate change bill, but the passage of the long-sought measure revealed deep rifts between the two chambers, including among Democrats. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record

REDISTRICTING MAP REVIEW SCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY MORNING: A hearing on a new congressional redistricting map’s adequacy is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. The map was drafted when a judge overturned the previously approved version. Jeff Barker/Baltimore Sun

MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION PASSES SENATE: Maryland’s Senate on Thursday took a major step toward making “personal use” amounts of marijuana legal beginning in 2023. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters

JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM PASSES; GOV NOT STATED POSITION YET: The governor will give “thoughtful consideration” to a pair of bills that seek to reform the Maryland juvenile justice system. They cleared the House of Delegates on Thursday, the last step in approval by the legislature. Lea Skene and Darcy Costello/The Baltimore Sun

ADDITIONAL VISAS APPROVED: The short-staffed crab processing industry got some relief Thursday with the addition of 35,000 H-2B Visas expected by the second half of Fiscal Year 2022. The announcement by Rep. Andy Harris confirmed the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor approved the move to bolster the seafood industry. Kristian Jaime/Salisbury Daily Times

  • Before the additional visas were approved, only one in 10 Maryland crab companies were selected to receive them for the second half of 2022. It’s unclear how many of the additional visas Maryland will receive, and how many crab companies in the state will benefit. WMAR staff

STUDY ON ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF WIND TURBINES: US Wind is contributing $11 million to fund a study of how offshore wind farms will affect Maryland’s marine mammals, fish and birds, in partnership with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Johanna Alonso/The Daily Record

ROSAPEPE TALKS UKRAINE, GENERAL ASSEMBLY NEWS: Sen. Jim Rosapepe (D-Prince George’s and Anne Arundel) gives a podcast interview about the legislative session, the suspension of the gas tax, and his view of the unfolding situation in Ukraine, colored by his own foreign policy experience as the U.S. Ambassador to Romania from 1997-2001. Damian O’Doherty/Center Maryland