Gov. Hogan to sign bills to benefit college athletes, keep cocktails-to-go and ditch Maryland’s state song

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Gov. Larry Hogan will sign dozens of bills Tuesday passed by the General Assembly, including measures to get rid of Maryland’s Confederate-sympathizing state song and legislation to allow college athletes in the state to potentially profit off their names, images or likenesses.

Also, restaurants and bars will be allowed to continue selling takeout cocktails and other alcoholic beverages — extending what was an emergency coronavirus pandemic measure — under another piece of legislation the Republican governor will approve, according to a list released by his office.


Hogan has until the end of the month to decide whether to sign or veto scores of bills passed by the Democrat-controlled Maryland General Assembly this year. The governor also can choose to allow legislation to become law without his signature.

The college athletics legislation, dubbed the Jordan McNair Safe and Fair Play Act, also includes safety measures aimed to protecting the health of student athletes. It’s named for a 19-year-old University of Maryland football player who died after suffering a heat stroke during practice in 2018.


Its provisions allow college athletes to profit off their likenesses — for example, through endorsements or advertisements — and follows similar steps taken in numerous other states in recent years. For decades, NCAA rules have prohibited athletes from being compensated beyond scholarships, something that’s grown increasingly controversial in recent years as big-time university sports programs rake in millions.

Maryland lawmakers voted to override more than a dozen early vetoes from Hogan before wrapping up their 90-day annual legislative session in March, including police reform measures and laws that abolish life without parole sentences for juveniles and give state prisoners serving long sentences for crimes committed as juveniles an additional chance at early release.

But Hogan hasn’t announced what he’ll do with stacks of other bills passed at the end of the session. Among the bills awaiting a decision is legislation dramatically expanding legal sports betting in Maryland and a bill that would remove the governor’s power over parole decisions.

Lawmakers can override a governor’s veto with the support of 60% of members in both the Senate and the House of Delegates.