ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- After years of trying, Gov. Martin O'Malley finally has won legislative approval of two priorities of his administration: a ban on capital punishment and a measure to develop offshore wind.
What helped cause the breakthrough?
Maryland political scientists say results in recent statewide elections have shown the state, which has long been solidly Democratic, has moved more toward the left. That, they say, has created more fertile ground for progressive legislation.
As examples, they cite voter approval of two ballot questions in November -- one allowing same-sex marriage and another creating in-state tuition for some illegal immigrants.
Political observers say the leftward shift likely helped the measures on death penalty repeal and offshore wind find favor in the state Senate, which had been a stumbling block.
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