- Associated Press - Monday, April 9, 2018

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Latest on developments on the last day of the Maryland General Assembly’s legislative session (all times local):

12:20 a.m.

Maryland’s legislative session has ended, after lawmakers put finishing touches on high-profile measures.

Democrats who control the General Assembly and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said early Tuesday after the midnight adjournment that there was plenty of bipartisan work in Annapolis this year.

Lawmakers from both parties worked on a school-safety bill that passed Monday. Bipartisanship was also evident in a package of crime legislation that passed on the last day of the 90-day legislative session.

Later Tuesday morning, Hogan is scheduled to sign one of the measures that exemplified bipartisanship in this Maryland election year: a bill to help preserve the individual market of Maryland’s health care exchange.

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6 p.m.

Maryland lawmakers have given final approval to changes in how they handle sexual harassment complaints.

The House voted unanimously to agree with changes the Senate made last week. It creates a framework for an independent investigator to handle complaints against legislators, unless the person who filed the complaint doesn’t want one.

It extends the policy to cover lobbyists. The bill also prohibits taxpayer money from being used to settle a lawsuit involving sexual harassment.

The changes were prompted as part of the #MeToo movement. Last month, three female state lawmakers publicly discussed sexual harassment they’ve experienced while working in the statehouse. Also, a state senator accused a lobbyist of touching her inappropriately in a bar.

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5:45 p.m.

The main parts of a package of measures to fight crime have been passed by the Maryland General Assembly.

The Senate on Monday agreed with changes the House made over the weekend.

The changes came after criticism from criminal justice reform advocates about stronger proposed sentencing guidelines.

The legislation expands wiretapping authority for prosecutors on gun investigations. Penalties for witness intimidation increase from five to 10 years for inducing false testimony or retaliation for testimony. One provision is aimed at helping prosecute volume dealers of fentanyl, a lethal opioid.

The Senate also is acting on other bills passed by the House to fund programs to stem crime. One of them adds $3.6 million to Baltimore’s Safe Streets program.

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4 p.m.

A measure to improve school safety statewide has been passed by the Maryland General Assembly.

The Senate gave the bill final approval Monday, sending it to Gov. Larry Hogan, who said earlier in the day that real progress has been made on the issue.

The measure will require public schools to have either a school resource officer or plans for adequate law enforcement coverage. It allocates $10 million a year in future years to help pay for that.

Lawmakers and the governor proposed legislation to increase school safety after the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The issue has received extra attention in the state after the March 20 shooting in southern Maryland at Great Mills High School, where a student shot and killed a former girlfriend before killing himself.

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11 a.m.

The Maryland General Assembly has given final passage to a measure designed to help improve diversity in the state’s medical marijuana industry.

The Senate gave the bill final approval on Monday, the last day of the state’s legislative session.

The measure increases the number of grower licenses from 15 to as many as 22. Two of the licenses are set aside for two companies that sued over the licensing process.

Four more licenses will be up for grabs. The measure takes steps to help minority-owned companies receive them, based on a study earlier this year that concluded minorities have faced obstacles to entering similar industries in the past.

The measure also increases the number of marijuana-processor licenses from 15 to 28.

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3:01 a.m.

Maryland lawmakers will be working to finalize measures aimed at fighting crime and improving school safety on the last day of the legislative session.

The 90-day session is scheduled to end Monday at midnight.

The school safety measure includes statewide initiatives relating to training school resource officers, safety drills and identifying mental health concerns that could threaten safety.

Lawmakers also will be working to finalize a package of legislation to fight crime that includes a variety of proposals relating to sentencing, wiretap laws, record expungement and money for programs and grants.

The session winds down with a Maryland election year in the backdrop. Voters will be deciding all of the General Assembly’s 188 seats in November, as well as statewide offices like governor, attorney general and comptroller.


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