April 25, 2013
BOGOTA - Colombian lawmakers on Wednesday rejected a polarizing bill to allow same-sex marriage in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation, as hundreds of people took to the streets to demonstrate for and against the measure. The bill was rejected by 51 out of 102 lawmakers in the Senate - with 17 in favor. The negative vote was widely expected, given that lawmakers from the ruling coalition had made an alliance to oppose the initiative. Several hundred people rallied in Bogota's main colonial square as lawmakers debated the proposal to allow people of the same sex to marry.
April 21, 2013
Consumer advocates say they didn't get everything on their wish list during the latest meeting of the General Assembly, but the session produced several victories for Maryland consumers. For example, Marylanders would find it easier to buy auto coverage from a state insurance fund, foster children would gain protection from identity thieves and debtors would be less likely to be jailed under bills recently passed by lawmakers. Gov. Martin O'Malley is expected to sign these and other consumer-friendly bills next month.
April 18, 2013
We've all seen them on the road - people driving too slowly, drifting out of their lane or oblivious to a changing traffic signal. Chances are, these distracted drivers are using a cellphone. The days of doing so with impunity in Maryland are just about over. The General Assembly has passed a new, tougher bill cracking down on this dangerous behavior and much of the credit goes to a delegate whose district includes both Baltimore and Howard counties, James E. Malone Jr., along with a state senator, James Robey of Howard County, the co-sponsor.
April 12, 2013
Regarding your recent editorial on making it easier for families to commit a mentally ill relative to a mental institution against their will, Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and some state delegates apparently are missing the urgent need to clarify the state's civil commitment standards ("The tricky question of involuntary commitment," April 6). Many relatives of individuals with serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, recently testified about the consequences of the denying timely treatment under the current law. Those consequences include homicide, suicide, homelessness, job loss and permanent brain damage.
April 8, 2013
Maryland's deteriorating infrastructure could receive a boost from private investor dollars, thanks to legislation passed Monday designed to enhance public-private partnerships. The idea behind so-called public-private partnerships, or P3s, is to get investors to put up money for, say, highways or bridges in exchange for a share in the revenue stream later. Maryland has had some projects funded by public-private partnerships, but the bill aims to improve the process to attract more investors.
April 8, 2013
Maryland is poised to join a growing number of states that allow voters to register and vote on the same day as lawmakers today endorsed plans to expand early voting. The Senate passed Gov. Martin O'Malley's bill, sending the measure to his desk for his expected signature. Early voting would be expanded from six to eight days and the hours extended, moves intended to alleviate the long lines seen during last year's election season. More voting centers would be added, and lawmakers created a $5,000 fine for illegally registering to vote, allowed for residents to apply to register to vote online and called for a host of studies on the voting system.