Hogan allows Pr. George’s liquor board, sunlight bills to become law

WASHINGTON — Twin bills that boost oversight of the Prince George’s County liquor board will become law without Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature.

Hogan signed 210 bills into law on Friday, but dozens of others will go into effect without his signature.

Those unsigned bills include legislation that gives the Maryland attorney general the authority to go after drug manufacturers in instances of price-gouging. Other bills provide funding to televise some of the legislative floor sessions during the Maryland General Assembly session.

But just because the governor doesn’t sign a bill doesn’t mean he opposes the intent of the legislation.

In his letter regarding the Prince George’s County liquor board bills, Hogan said it is clear that oversight is needed. But “one section gives me great pause,” he wrote, referring to the section of the bill that removes the governor’s authority to appoint members of the liquor board and gives it to the county executive.

In his explanation, Hogan referenced the federal investigation that led to the indictment of two former state delegates on corruption charges.

“The current state of corruption was very much a local government problem,” the letter reads. Hogan said there should be more state oversight, not less.

Hogan said that the bill that provides $500,000 so Maryland Public Broadcasting can air floor action during the General Assembly’s 90-day session does not go far enough to increase transparency,

“It is not acceptable in this modern era that Maryland is one of only seven states which does not live stream video and audio of their legislative floor sessions. In fact, it is shameful that we do not provide this service to our citizens,” Hogan’s letter reads.

The bill would allow Maryland Public Broadcasting to televise the State of the State address and the last two weeks of the legislative session.

See the list of House Bills that will become law without the governor’s signature here.

See the Senate bills will take effect without Hogan’s signature here.


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