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Hogan blasts expansion of Maryland attorney general's powers

Associated Press
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan was critical of the General Assembly expanding the power of the attorney general.

Gov. Larry Hogan sharply criticized on Friday a resolution passed by the General Assembly this week to empower the attorney general to sue the federal government without his permission — a resolution swiftly approved by the Democratic-led legislature due to concerns that President Donald J. Trump's policies could hurt Maryland.

Hogan, speaking on WBAL-AM's "The C4 Show," described the resolution as "horrible" and "crazy." He also took issue with the Maryland Democratic Party's announcement this week that they had hired someone to "manage the party's communications and messaging strategy focused on holding Governor Larry Hogan accountable."

Hogan, a popular Republican in a heavily Democratic state, said Democrats have focused for more than a month of the state's 90-day legislative session on meddling in Washington politics and undermining him.

"We have 31 different major policy proposals to try to change Maryland for the better, and they've done nothing with any of them and the only two things they've accomplished was this crazy changing the rules for the first time since 1864 so they can play politics in Washington, and they've hired somebody full-time at the Maryland Democratic Party to attack me," Hogan said.

Democrats have expressed concerns that Trump could hurt Maryland if the Affordable Care Act is repealed or the federal workforce is reduced. Maryland is home to a large number of federal workers due to its proximity to the nation's capital.

Democrats have voiced worries that Trump's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency could be a threat to cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.

Democrats also have pointed out that attorneys general in more than 40 other states already have the authority to sue the federal government on their own. The resolution does not require Hogan's signature and has taken effect.

The governor took particular issue with a separate bill being considered by lawmakers that would allocate $1 million in future budgets to pay for lawsuit expenses. He questioned how much money would be "wasted chasing windmills and trying to insert themselves into issues that are not really, should not be in the purview of our state attorney general."

Hogan said Democrats have been focused on trying to link him to Trump — even though Hogan opposed the Republican president's candidacy early on and said he did not vote for him.

"That's one promise they seem to be delivering on," Hogan said. "They are focused on nothing but politics."

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