The session opened Wednesday with social and budget issues among lawmakers' top priorities.
Wednesday, January 9
By Lucas High, Capital News Service ANNAPOLIS—Gun control, the death penalty, transportation and environmental legislation were expected to be top priorities for state lawmakers as the Maryland General Assembly convened for its 433rd legislative session Wednesday in Annapolis. In the wake of the mass killings in Newtown, CT, in December, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) plans to push for tighter firearm restrictions, including a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. Sen. Brian E. Frosh said there will be a reintroduction of a bill he sponsored last legislative session that prohibits the sale of guns with magazines of 10 rounds or more. “[The proposed bill] can protect people, save lives and it certainly does not infringe on Second …
Budget bill must be passed by midnight or General Assembly will extend its session.
Gov. Martin O'Malley and House Speaker Michael Busch called on the Senate to compromise on a state budget in time for the General Assembly to end its session at midnight. "The one constitutional obligation we have is to pass a balanced budget," said Busch, adding that House members assigned to the conference committee were prepared to complete negotiations. "Because one chamber has an obsession with a certain issue, that they do not want to won't concur on the budget until that issue is resolved does not initiate any responsible stand for us not to deal with the budget that is in front of us," said Busch, speaking of a Senate effort to expand gambling to include table games and add a sixth casino location in Prince George's County. "They …