Credit rating firm helps state validate welfare recipients

State auditors hope to find less potential for fraud in their next audit of the Maryland Department of Human Resources, which recently partnered with an online credit bureau to validate that people receiving government assistance actually qualify.

Rand Paul urges Md. GOP to broaden its reach

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican candidate for president, told Baltimore County Republicans at their annual fundraiser Tuesday night that the GOP needed to broaden its reach.

Paul said his party was good on the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms but maybe it was time to focus on more.

Hogan punted on hotel sales tax

Out of dozens of tax bills introduced this year, Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed one of the only ones that made it through the legislature — the hotly debated and heavily lobbied online hotel sales tax.

Proponents of the bill, SB190, mainly Maryland brick and mortar hotels, claimed the online companies are charging but not remitting to the state the same tax the hotels charge.

Online travel companies claimed the bill was really a “trojan horse,” an entirely new tax disguised as an effort to even the playing field.

Senators concerned about nitrogen pollution from Pa. in the bay

U.S. senators from Maryland and Pennsylvania are raising concerns over the nitrogen levels in the Susquehanna River, which in turn threatens the health of the Chesapeake Bay. They are calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase aid to watershed states.

New law aims to protect oyster farms from poachers

As oyster farming grows in Maryland, legislators moved to protect the product that protects the Chesapeake Bay by enacting HB 287, to help leaseholders of aquaculture plots — oyster beds suspended in open water cages — to recoup damages from poachers. Those caught poaching would be subject to pay three times the cost of their illegal harvest directly to aquaculture farmers, who are collectively leasing 4,000 acres of the Maryland Bay.

Scenes from the Naval Academy graduation

The annual Naval Academy graduation took place Friday. Vice President Joe Biden gave the commencement speech, with the second half of the speech emphasizing the role of the United States as a Pacific power, countering the increasing naval pressure from China. Here are some scenes from the graduation.