Facing Trump and a Republican governor, Democrats empowered Maryland attorney general
Faced with Republicans in both the White House and the governor's mansion, Maryland's Democratic state lawmakers left behind a kind of night watchman as they begin a nine-month stretch away from Annapolis.
The Democrat-dominated General Assembly adjourned Monday having passed a series of bills bolstering the authority of Maryland's unusually weak attorney general's office.
The new powers will help Democrats pursure their priorities outside of the legislature's annual 90-day session. Republicans warn the changes inject politics into an office that has broad responsibility to provide impartial legal advice to state officials of both parties.
Before adjourning last week, the assembly voted to give Attorney General Brian E. Frosh the power to sue drug makers over sharp pharmaceutical price increases. Earlier in the session, lawmakers agreed to give him the authority to sue the federal government without seeking the governor's permission, and approved $1 million and new staff to pursue such litigation.