MOORE, CONGRESSMEN PITCH GSA ON FBI HEADQUARTERS: After a final pitch meeting Wednesday with the General Services Administration to land the new FBI headquarters in Prince George’s County, Gov. Wes Moore, and the state’s congressional delegation said they urged federal officials to equally weigh racial equity in making a final decision. Micaela Hanson and Auzinea Bacon of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.
- Moore and Maryland lawmakers also criticized the selection process for lacking transparency — and noting it would cost taxpayers at least $1 billion more to build in Virginia, and take longer. And they focused on an abrupt change in criteria in September 2022 that put extra weight on putting the headquarters near the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va. Brian Witte/The Associated Press.
- Moore (D) traveled to Washington to help the Maryland delegation make a closing argument to the federal government on an issue he says he “takes personally.” Erin Cox and Lateshia Beachum/The Washington Post.
- The group called on the GSA to reconsider its current priorities for selecting a location, citing the Biden administration’s recent push for diversity. The GSA criteria for choosing a new site, in order of importance, include compatibility with the FBI’s mission requirements, transportation access, flexibility of site development, sustainability and equity, and cost. Héctor Alejandro Arzate WAMU/DCist.
- You can view the news conference here. Brad Bell/WJLA-News 7.
STEP CLOSER TO STATE VOTE ON RIGHT TO ABORTION: The Maryland House of Delegates came one step closer Wednesday to passing legislation that would allow voters to constitutionally secure the right to have an abortion. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
- House Speaker Adrienne Jones (D-Baltimore County), sponsor of House Bill 705, renewed an effort to establish a constitutional right to abortion and other reproductive health care following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last summer that overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
WEED MAY BE LEGAL; DRIVING WHILE HIGH IS NOT: As Maryland speeds toward full legalization of recreational cannabis this summer, one of the many outstanding concerns for supporters and opponents alike is what will happen for drivers who consume it and then get behind the wheel. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs — including cannabis — will still be illegal under any bill Maryland lawmakers are considering this year. Sam Janesch and Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
SHOEMAKER JOINS STATE’S ATTORNEYS PROTESTING BILL: Carroll County State’s Attorney Haven Shoemaker is among 23 elected state’s attorneys in Maryland lending their voices to protest what they call an “absurd” bill aimed at “usurping” their authorities as elected prosecutors by giving the Maryland Attorney General’s Office power to prosecute police officers who kill civilians, a power that currently rests with the 24 elected state’s attorneys. Thomas Goodwin Smith/The Baltimore Sun.
- After lengthy debate Tuesday, the Maryland Senate advanced a bill giving the Maryland Attorney General’s Office the power to do prosecutions of police-involved killings. Two years ago, the General Assembly created within the attorney general’s office the Independent Investigations Division, which now does the investigations into police-involved killings in Maryland. Matt Bush/WYPR-FM.
DISASTER FUND PROPOSED TO AID RECOVERY: Five state legislators from Anne Arundel County have proposed a bill to create a disaster recovery fund that they say would distribute money more quickly to local jurisdictions and impacted residents following a natural disaster. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.
BILL TARGETS PACKAGING POLLUTION: Maryland lawmakers are considering a bill designed to reduce packaging pollution while shifting the cost for disposal onto packaging producers, rather than taxpayers. Dorothy Hood of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.
EV CHARGER BILL WOULD BENEFIT RENTERS: Electric cars are becoming more affordable. But Marylanders who live in apartment buildings and townhouses still may not be able to buy them because they can’t charge their car at home. Del. Jen Terrasa, a Howard County Democrat, is proposing legislation that would require new and substantially renovated townhouse and apartment buildings to have charging spaces. John Lee/WYPR-FM.
STATE SUPREMES TO CONSIDER WITHDRAWAL OF SEARCH CONSENT: The Maryland Supreme Court will consider whether a person’s consent to a warrantless search of his or her computer’s digital data can be withdrawn after a consented-to copy has been made by law enforcement. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.