Comptroller Peter Franchot

Franchot flips out over standardized testing contract

Gov. Hogan said, "I share a lot of concerns that the comptroller has with respect to Pearson, PARCC, and over-testing. We still think we're over-tested." Hogan noted that he had signed into a law a commission to study and make recommendations about the amount of testing in public schools. "Everything [Franchot] said, I agree with," Hogan said. But "if we don't do it, it could be worse."

Gov. Larry Hogan in July with members of the regulatory reform commission he had just appointed. Photo by Governor's Office

Maryland needs to improve its regulatory climate

Not all regulations are bad, of course. Many serve important purposes, most especially those directly related to protecting public health and safety in carefully targeted ways. But all regulations impose costs upon those they affect, be they ordinary citizens or business. And, this is the important point: these regulatory costs -- although 'off-budget' -- have the same economic effect as taxes."
So, just as reducing unnecessary spending is important to improving Maryland's fiscal health, so too is eliminating unnecessary or unduly burdensome regulations.

Baltimore aerial photo by the Greater Baltimore Committee

Adding 9,200 jobs in July gives Marylanders reason to celebrate, economist says

Job numbers released on Friday (Aug. 21) gave Marylanders a reason to celebrate this past July’s activity. The revision of the June job numbers moved figures from an initial loss of 6,200 jobs between May and June to a loss of 3,400 jobs. However, July preliminary job estimates reported a 9,200 job increase from June to July.
Maryland’s economy has grown significantly since July 2014, adding an estimated 53,700 jobs to payrolls.

Laptop computer by mmole on Flickr

Md. savings on new standardized school tests are questioned

This fall, as Maryland schools enter a third year using the Common Core curriculum, state education leaders are touting a trend toward big savings on annual testing. But out in the field, some in local districts say they are not so sure about the thrift.

Housing Secretary Ken Holt, left, addresses MACo session, with Economic Development Secretary Mike Gill, right, and Sen. Ed Kasemeyer, moderator.

Rascovar: Hogan’s Holt Problem

Maryland Housing Secretary Ken Holt may be a nice guy, a financial expert, a former member of the House of Delegates from Baltimore County, a cattle rancher and a breeder of thoroughbred race horses, but he has turned himself into a giant liability for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Jr.

Gov. Larry Hogan and cabinet members meet with the members of Maryland's congressional delegation in March.

Questioning Md. Democrats’ new found religion on redistricting reform

Professor Todd Eberly writes: In response to Gov. Hogan's call for redistricting reform, Democratic members of Maryland's congressional delegation have argued instead for national reform. Forgive me for not placing much stock in Maryland Democrats' new found redistricting faith. Rather I think they are calling for national reform in an effort to provide cover for state Democrats who don't want to give up the power to pick and choose their voters.

Blue crabs by Sky Noir with Flickr Creative Commons License

Revisiting ‘Beautiful Swimmers': Pollution, hardened shores threaten crabs as much as overfishing

We’re closing on 40 years since William Warner, a New York-New Jersey boy, awakened us Chesapeake natives to the fascinating commerce, ecology and sociology attached to Callinectes sapidus, that beautiful swimmer, the blue crab.
Perhaps it took an outsider to appreciate what us born-heres grew up with.
Warner won a 1977 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction for his efforts, and put the Chesapeake on the map in a way that should endure as long as crab feasts and crabcakes.

Marcatus Center fiscal solvency map

Don’t misinterpret Mercatus low ranking of Maryland’s fiscal health

In a piece published last week by MarylandReporter.com, Randolph May of the Free State Foundation touted a recent Mercatus Center study that ranked Maryland only 37th best among the 50 states for its fiscal health. It’s important to understand whether this ranking makes sense, particularly when it is so low compared to the state’s AAA bond rating. Maryland is one of 10 states that now have that highest rating from all three major bond rating agencies.

Proposed 3rd district

Fairness is the place to start on redistricting reform

There are so many things wrong with how legislative and congressional districts are drawn in Maryland and across the United States that it is hard to know where to begin.

The place to start is fairness. The current process is egregiously unfair to average voters who would like to choose their representatives and not have their legislators choose them. It is unfair to minorities of every stripe: not just Republicans, but blacks, Latinos and residents of all persuasions in counties with no business being cut up into so three and four districts.