- Associated Press - Saturday, March 19, 2016

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Latest on action in the Maryland House of Delegates (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

A measure supporters hope will help stop declines in the bee population has cleared the Maryland House of Delegates.

The House voted 96-39 on Saturday for the measure, which would take certain pesticides off of store shelves starting in 2018.

The pesticides contain chemicals that work on the insects’ central nervous systems. Recent scientific studies have pointed to problems the chemicals cause bees, but pesticide makers dispute those studies.

The Maryland Senate already has passed a separate bill. The House measure does not include a provision in the Senate bill that requires the state’s agriculture department to make recommendations after the U.S. Environmental Protections Agency completes a study on the chemicals. The difference would need to be worked out and approved by both chambers to pass the legislature.

1:30 p.m.

The Maryland House of Delegates has passed a measure to create a scoring system to prioritize transportation projects.

The House voted 84-51 for the bill on Saturday. It similar bill is pending in the Senate.

Democrats who support the scoring system say it’s designed to prioritize transportation projects with strong benefits.

But Republicans who oppose the bill say it will erode local officials’ input on transportation funding.

The measure wouldn’t stop the governor from financing projects that don’t score highly, but it would require an explanation for not following the scoring system. Supporters say that will bring greater transparency to the process.


10:45 a.m.

The Maryland House of Delegates is working this weekend.

The House gathered Saturday morning, as lawmakers are getting close to a milestone day in their 90-day legislative session.

Monday is known as crossover, when each house of the General Assembly aims to pass measures it intends to approve this year to the other chamber.

It’s that time of the year when state lawmakers hold longer sessions, including on weekends.

The General Assembly is nearing its last three weeks of the legislative session, which is scheduled to end April 11 at midnight.



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