Author Archives: Len Lazarick

Ex-gov. Mandel, 95, feted as ‘architect of modern Maryland’

May 18th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

If you live long enough in politics, all may not be forgiven, but most is forgotten, and if you're lucky, only the good stuff is remembered. That's certainly true of former Gov. Marvin Mandel, who turned 95 last month and was feted Wednesday at a birthday celebration organized by his old friend and sometimes unofficial ‘chauffeur,’ lobbyist Bruce Bereano

Gov. Hogan picks a fight with Speaker Busch

May 17th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

Gov. Larry Hogan will have plenty of reasons to face off with House Speaker Michael Busch over spending and policy issues in the next four years. But why the Republican governor chose to pick a fight with the Democratic leader of the House of Delegates on Friday make little sense

Hogan rejects pressure for school aid, but surrenders in the long term

May 14th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

Gov. Larry Hogan stood his ground against increased education funding for next year's budget, refusing to add $68 million more legislators had set aside for school aid to the $6.1 billion he had already budgeted for public schools. But ultimately he surrendered to lawmaker's wishes that he fully fund the Geographic Cost of Education Index in future years. He said he would allow a bill forcing him to fund the GCEI to become law without his signature because he could not get the votes to sustain his veto

Franchot favors freeze on taxes, opposes major tax cuts

May 12th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

Maryland's chief tax collector, Comptroller Peter Franchot, supports a long-term moratorium on increases on taxes and fees, but he also opposes major tax cuts. "We should have a multi-year moratorium on taxes and fees," Franchot told the Arbutus Roundtable Monday as the group of generally conservative Democrats honored him for his fiscal responsibility

Business leaders pledge support for restoring Baltimore after riots

May 12th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

The 60th anniversary annual meeting of the Greater Baltimore Committee Monday night was more resolute than joyous, as business leaders promised to focus on rebuilding and restoring a city whose long-simmering boiled into looting and arson covered in national and international media

Political prosecution of police helps restore order in Baltimore

May 5th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

Marilyn Mosby made a calculated political decision to prosecute six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, and you have to wonder what kind of weekend Baltimore would have had if she hadn't. Mosby’s quick "rush to judgment" as the police union's lawyer put it illustrates why Maryland and much of the rest of the country still has popular elections for top local prosecutors

In Freddie Gray’s neighborhood, it’s a hard life for residents

April 30th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

Baltimore's Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood -- where Freddie Gray was raised, where he was arrested and fatally injured in police custody earlier this month and where protests erupted following his death -- is a hard place to grow up. Families in the West Baltimore neighborhood have one of the lowest median incomes in the city and almost a quarter of its residents were unemployed in 2013 -- three times the national average that year. The lives of Sandtown residents are 15 years shorter on average than in Roland Park, Baltimore's wealthiest community. Here's an interactive graphic comparing the two neighborhoods.

Analysis: Hogan’s budget seeks to avoid deficits, but it must also restore the balance sheet

April 30th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

Maryland’s finances will require many years of budgetary discipline because the state’s balance sheet took a substantial hit due to the recession and its continuing after effects. And in this context, the legislature maintained a nearly rigid spending culture driven by a belief in a cause and effect relationship between marginal spending decisions and their effects on education or social service delivery

Hogan supports battered Baltimore with no thanks from mayor, but has many reasons to help

April 29th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

The first full day of the state of emergency in Baltimore found Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan aggressively occupying the city and walking its streets from the wee hours of the morning, and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake pretty much pretending he doesn't exist. Just blocks away, they didn't appear together, and talked by phone and through aides. Friction between Maryland's governor and the mayor of its largest city has been common in the past administrations, even when both are Democrats

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