Maryland bills aim to make it easier to vote

Multiple bills concerning voting rights are going through the Maryland Legislature this session that would codify ballot drop boxes, guarantee the right to vote for incarcerated individuals, and expand early voting centers, despite partisan disagreement.

Bill would limit use of DNA databases to solve crimes in Maryland

Maryland lawmakers passed a bill in the House that would define when law enforcement can and cannot use the genetic information of an individual, ensure consent from the individual and establish a narrow list of crimes to which this DNA technology can be applied.

Bill would replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Maryland lawmakers discussed a bill that would replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day, considering testimony from members of the Indigenous peoples and Italian peoples who argue Columbus is a part of their heritage.

Bill would lessen punishment for some teen sexting

A bill passed in the Maryland House that clarifies sexting laws to include lesser punishments for juveniles who send illicit photos of themselves to peers.

Bill to rebuild trust between immigrants and law enforcement

Lawmakers push for an immigration bill that would end collaboration with ICE in Maryland and prevent local law enforcement from inquiring about an individual’s place of birth.

Pandemic could change the oyster industry for good

Oyster farmers, watermen and restoration groups are trying to keep the seafood industry alive, despite restaurant closures, decreases in revenue and restoration logistics made increasingly difficult by the pandemic.

ICE detention centers could leave Maryland for good

Lawmakers and advocacy groups push for an immigration bill that would take ICE detention centers out of Maryland and stop them from ever coming in again, citing “horrible” conditions for detainees.

Some struggle with new bill testimony system in Maryland

Advocacy groups argue that the General Assembly’s system of submitting testimonies online, 48 hours before the hearing date, leaves those without access to a computer or with a disability in the dust.

State lawmakers seek to lock in transit repair funding

In an effort to combat Maryland’s underfunded and unreliable transit system, lawmakers want to mandate capital funding to the Maryland Transit Administration in order to address breakdowns and environmental concerns.