Hayley Evans, Gov. Larry Hogan and Gerry Evans. From Evans Facebook page

$19M spent to lobby legislature; Evans stays on top for session; Perry and firm led 12-month figure

Gerry Evans was again the top grossing lobbyist during this year's General Assembly session, billing close to $2 million. He got a significant boost from his top client, the second highest spending lobbyist employer, the Law Offices of Peter Angelos, which spent $380,000 to lobby the legislature. "It was a great year," Evans said, but "I question the importance of the figure .... It's still better than being last."

Orlando

Opinion: Giving up our civil liberties and having a civil discourse

When we saw what happened in Orlando, some wept, some were outraged, some offered leadership. I expected to see our president pull this nation together against a common enemy, but he chose a different path. Let’s try to agree on some things before we throw away our civil liberties in the absence of leadership.

Sunrise in Ocean City, Md. Photo by Len Lazarick, MarylandReporter.com

Futile ideas about saving the beaches 

It’s beach season along the old Atlantic seaboard, drawing crowds of us inlanders east like our creeks and rivers. We’re heading for the Bay, the beach, the Outer Banks —eager for life’s troubles to evaporate between the spanking hot sand and some breakers.These beloved beaches are disappearing as oceans rise. The very development that accommodates us beach lovers has far worsened the effect.

Testing commission 6-14-2016

Testing commission wraps up, asking local school systems to finish the work

Anyone hoping the state commission on school testing would substantially reduce the amount of standardized testing in public schools already knew that was not going to happen. But as the Commission to Review Maryland's Use of Assessments and Testing in Public Schools put the finishing touches Tuesday on its final report, they believed that their findings and recommendations could significantly improve how tests are given, and eventually reduce the time and effort put into tests that don't contribute to student learning or instruction.

E-ZPass Maryland

Replacing Maryland E-ZPass transponder is not so easy

Now that Gov. Hogan announced a new customer service initiative on Thursday, a good place to start might be with E-ZPass toll system and making it easier to replace a dead transponder. Transponders are those little white boxes that transmit the information to the antenna that collect the toll automatically.

Boyd Rutherford HoCo GOP

Howard GOP dinner leaves Trump off the menu

At the annual Howard County GOP's Lincoln Day dinner Friday night, with speeches from the lieutenant governor, the county executive, the county chair, a veteran delegate and others, clearly one item was off the menu -- Donald Trump. There was only one mention of the presumptive presidential nominee from the stage, and that during an award for a Trump supporter who was being honored for his efforts to defeat the incumbent school board members.

Mikulski Hendrix

Howard Dems at Unity Dinner find a great unifier: Trump

The Howard County Democratic Unity Dinner is the new name Howard Democrats chose for their annual dinner, jettisoning the longstanding Jefferson-Jackson moniker because the names of the two wealthy slave-holding presidents "no longer reflect the inclusiveness and values" they hold, the party chair said. But the unity dinner did find a new party unifier in the form of another wealthy man with dim view of other races -- Donald Trump.

Hogan Miller Busch signing

Big news is bills Hogan signed, not his vetoes

With the media's typical focus on controversy and drama, a big story at the end of May was that Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed five bills for policy reasons, sometimes with harsh language. The really big news is how many bills Hogan signed (621) and the unusually large number (84) he allowed to become law without his signature. Some of those signed and unsigned bills had run into fierce opposition by Republican legislators. A few certainly violated Hogan's own governing principles — especially his opposition to new mandated spending and increased business regulation.