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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has passed a bill to allow parents with children who are minors to file for a mutual-consent divorce without being separated for one year.

The measure was approved 33-14 Thursday. The bill now goes to the House.

In 2015, the General Assembly changed the law to allow married couples without children to get a mutual-consent divorce, so couples wouldn't have to be separated for a year to file if they worked out a final separation agreement. Sen. Robert Zirkin's measure this year extends that to couples with children.

Don Rush (File Photo)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is calling on congressional leaders to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Hogan sent a letter to leaders of both parties in Congress on Tuesday.

Hogan says the program serves more than 146,000 low-income children. If Congress fails to reauthorize funding, Hogan says Maryland will run out of money for the program by April. That would cause Maryland's federal match to revert to 50 percent from 88 percent.

Don Rush

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Police in Delaware are warning about hoax phone calls made to day care centers in which the caller tries to obtain personal information, claiming he's trying to identify a lost child.

Delaware State Police and Newark Police said in a statement Tuesday that a man called two day care facilities in Newark and Middletown on Monday.

Authorities say the calls came from a block number, and a man said he had found a lost child. The caller claims the child's belongings identified the child as being under the facility's care.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Former President Barack Obama made an appearance at a reception for a charitable foundation named after the late son of former Vice President Joe Biden.

WDEL reports Obama visited Delaware to speak Monday at the Wilmington Country Club for the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Members of the legislature's Joint Finance Committee are continuing their review of state agency budgets and spending requests as they continue to lay the foundation for a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
The committee is to resume hearings Monday with presentations by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A federal grant is bringing long-distance care to children with social, emotional and behavioral problems in three rural Maryland counties.

U.S. senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski announced $300,000 in funding Monday from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Baltimore-based Kennedy Krieger Institute.

The Maryland senators say in a statement that the institute will partner with hospitals in Garrett and Worcester counties, and with school-based health centers in Dorchester County, to screen patients and deliver specialized care.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A series of new laws are set to go into effect on Friday, including parts of a landmark gun compromise between Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican lawmakers.
The gun measures will allow more out-of-state concealed-handgun permit holders to legally carry guns in Virginia while prohibiting people subject to permanent protective orders from carrying firearms.  Police presence will also be required at gun shows for voluntary background checks.

Don Rush

There’s legislation in Delaware that would allow those convicted of a felony to receive benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

The measure is sponsored by state Representative David Bentz.

The Newark Democrat told the Wilmington News Journal that the program is a valuable for those who are trying to get their lives back together after prison.

The monthly benefits range from $201 a month for a family with one child to $681 for a family of eight.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - People who smoke cigarettes in cars with children could be hit with a $100 fine if legislation proposed by a Virginia House Republican becomes law.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the House has given preliminary approval to a bill that would make it illegal to smoke in a car with a child under the age of 8.

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A panel in Delaware has come up with six additional conditions under which infants born with substance addiction must be reported to state authorities.

WBOC reports these range from the caregiver not visiting or participating in the care of the child and substance abuse by the mother while not in treatment to illicit drug use that impedes adequate child care and multiple drug use at the same time.

In addition, the list includes concerns over caregiver for a child with serious medical problems and if the length of stay is more than 30 days.