Blair Lee IV

Business group rolls out Roll Call report card

This year’s Maryland Business for Responsive Government’s Roll Call, an annual report card rating lawmakers on how “business friendly” they have voted, also offers analysis of how the hike to minimum wage, signed into law Monday by Gov. Martin O’Malley, will affect the future of the business climate in Maryland.

Senate District in Baltimore County

In District 42 Senate race, DeJuliis challenges Brochin, but debates Raskin

The Democratic Senate hopefuls for District 42 face an uphill fight both in their primary and general elections, as their newly redrawn district extends far beyond its original Towson and Pikesville borders and into Republican turf.

The district has expanded through northern Baltimore County, almost to the Pennsylvania line, adding rural nooks and farmland, a fact challenger Connie DeJuliis has accepted.

DeJuliis, a former one-term delegate who served in the early ‘90s, is running against long-time incumbent Sen. Jim Brochin.

Minority contractor loses bid to build center honoring minority hero

A Dorchester County tourist attraction dedicated to preserving the legacy of Harriet Tubman on the Eastern Shore has drawn ire from a minority group contractor whose bid for the project was turned down. Contractor Gilford Corporation, which is owned by an African-American, found its bid rejected because it failed to meet standards of a federal program designed to assist minority businesses.

University parking garage contract raises ethics concerns

A representative from University of Maryland Baltimore was lambasted during Wednesday’s Board of Public Works meeting, with board members calling into question how ethical the school’s process was in securing a new contractor.

Two of the five members of a selection committee to find an operator for the university’s parking facilities were former employees of the winning bidder, which was selected despite the fact another bid came in lower.

Getting jobs for ex-offenders key to keeping them from crime

Experts and advocates for prisoners say that providing offenders assistance immediately upon their release is the most infallible method of ensuring they don’t backslide. But those on the front lines of the recidivism battle — probation officers — are historically overworked and underpaid, leading the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to turn to supplemental programs to assist inmates.

More natural gas production, shipping in Md. favored in poll

A majority of Marylanders favor increased tapping of natural gas and oil in the state, according to a new poll.

The poll, conducted on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute and the Maryland Petroleum Council, found that 88% agreed with the idea that increased production of gas and oil would stimulate the economy, while 91% favor the development of national energy infrastructure.

Extra tax break for ‘House of Cards’ folds in final hour

Six lawmakers, three from each chamber of the Maryland General Assembly, standing in a ring in the House of Delegates lounge at a half hour before midnight, vehemently haggling over a single bill.

They had only 30 minutes before the close of the 2014 session, and they needed to find middle ground on legislation that would grant the popular Netflix drama an additional $3.5 million in tax dollars.

Hot pot debate ends in close House vote to decriminalize marijuana

Following hours of hot debate, negotiation and shouting, the House of Delegates Saturday approved removing criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana in a 78-55 vote. The measure already approved by the Senate, SB364, would make possessing 10 grams of marijuana or less a civil offense, like a parking ticket. A first-time offender would pay $100, while second and third breaches would get a fine of up to $250 and $500, respectively.