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Hogan to sign more than 200 bills at twin ceremonies

Gov. Larry Hogan will sign more than 200 bills Thursday in two separate ceremonies — one at the the Annapolis City Dock and the other at the State House.

Hogan will use the 2 p.m. signing on the waterfront to highlight more than a dozen environmental bills, including three of his own initiatives passed during the General Assembly session that ended last month. He and the legislature's top leaders, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch, will then return to the capitol for a more conventional signing.

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Not on the signing list is a closely watched bill requiring many employers to allow their workers to earn paid sick leave. The Republican governor, who opposed the Democratic-backed measure, has until late May to decide whether to sign it, veto it or let the legislation become law without his signature. The measure passed both houses by veto-proof margins.

Topping the list of environmental bills to be signed is Hogan's legislation broadening and extending an existing state program giving tax credits to buyers of qualifying electric cars and to businesses that install charging stations. The measure expands the program to $3 million in credits per year, up from $600,000, while decreasing the benefit per tax filer.

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Hogan will also sign a stripped-down version of a bill that would have jump-started a water pollution credits trading program. After running into resistance, the administration agreed to pare it back to a four-year program that would spend up to $10 million on pollution reduction projects.

Also on the list is a measure establishing a Maryland Energy Innovation Institute on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park. The legislation requires a $1.5 million annual appropriation to fund the activities of the institute and related programs.

When the leaders return to the State House, topping the list of bills is one that will expand the power of the Comptroller's Office to enforce income tax laws. The measure was this year's top priority for Comptroller Peter Franchot, and Hogan agreed to put it in his legislative package.

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