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Yeas and nays: Today in the Md. General Assembly

Dome on a clear day.JPGAn afternoon roundup of noteworthy legislation
moving toward passage or defeat

Friday, March 19, 2010:

Sex offenders: Child predators would face at least 15 years in prison without the possibility of parole under a new measure given preliminary approval Friday morning by the Maryland House of Delegates, reports The Baltimore Sun. The move came as delegates gave their final OK to two other sex offender reforms -- eliminating good-time prison credits and requiring lifetime supervision for violent and repeat offenders. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that the Senate voted unanimously Friday for a bill that authorizes individuals to report parents to police if they suspect them of allowing their children to spend time with sex offenders.

Tax credits for jobs: The House passed a bill offering businesses a $5,000 tax credit for businesses for each unemployed worker they hire. The measure, a priority for Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), would be capped at $20 million in the coming year. A similar measure has passed the Senate.

State budget: A Senate committee has approved cutting about 500 mostly vacant state jobs, and the panel moved ahead with a plan to start shifting some teacher pension costs to counties, the AP reports. The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee made the decisions as it passed the panel's changes to Gov. Martin O'Malley's $13 billion budget on Friday. The job reductions are projected to save about $11 million in fiscal year 2011. As for pensions, the state now pays the entire cost. That would change by slowly having counties pick up more of the expense. In exchange, the state would pick up half the cost of Social Security, which is now paid entirely by counties.

By John Wagner  |  March 19, 2010; 5:02 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly  
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Next: First Click, Maryland -- The final three weeks

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