The Board of Public Works at last year's "Begathon." Governor's Office photo

Rascovar: Maryland’s demeaning ‘Begathon’ continues

Here we go again. In a few weeks, school superintendents will trek, en masse, to the second floor of the Maryland State House to grovel before the Board of Public Works for additional school construction funds. It is a demeaning “begathon” that long ago outlived its usefulness and turned into a political circus allowing the governor and comptroller to praise and reward their friends in the counties and humiliate their enemies.

State House at Sunset

Opinion: Some ideas for legislative relief to help Maryland thrive

Government should always be about fostering conditions — laws, regulations, and taxes — to better enable the citizens to thrive. Over decades this mission seems to have been lost in Maryland’s one-party system. In losing focus, the state forgot the people who really support the poor, the taxpayers. Demands became greater on workers during the O’Malley years even as the state has wallowed in an economy that treads water. Dee Hodges of the Maryland Taxpayers Association offers a few ideas for enough relief to make Maryland a better place.

Gov. Larry Hogan gives State of the State address as Senate President Mike Miller, left, and House Speaker Michael Busch listen.

Collins: Legislature may step up partisan warfare at State House

The legislature has a fairly comfortable pattern. Year one focuses on getting the budget done and acclimating new members. Year two is tax increases. Year three is a mixture of taxes and spending, and year four is a spending blowout in order to get re-elected. Gov. Larry Hogan threw a wrench in that well-oiled machine and Democrats are miffed. They will go to extreme lengths to portray Hogan’s election as an aberration and make him a one-term governor

The corner of Howard Street (foreground) and Preston Street looking southwest toward the state office complex and an armory to the right.

Rascovar: Re-imagining State Center

As an early New Year’s gift to Maryland taxpayers, Gov. Larry Hogan Jr. delivered the final blow to an outrageously priced scheme aimed at turning over to private investors the 28-acre State Center complex in Baltimore for redevelopment.

Hogan’s predecessor, Gov. Martin O’Malley, had pushed hard for the State Center deal in a way that benefited the developers but left the state with unconscionably high rental payments for the next half-century – beginning at $30 million-plus per year, escalating by 15 percent every five years.

A MagLev train in Japan

Collins: The time is right for MagLev high-speed rail

The Hogan administration secured a $27.8 million federal grant last month to study the feasibility of a magnetic levitation (MagLev) train between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. There are good arguments for moving forward on a project that has been discussed for years.

Gov. Larry Hogan presented charts of all the road projects he said would be killed by the transportation scoring law. Governor's Office photo.

Rascovar: Hogan’s holiday hoax — the ‘road kill bill’

You’ve got to hand it to Gov. Larry Hogan, Jr. What a prankster he is!

He’s pulled off one of the great holiday hoaxes of recent times in Maryland. He’s got everyone convinced he is willing to kill 66 major highway projects in Maryland in order to get the legislature to repeal a law requiring a transparent advisory evaluation and ranking of big road, bridge and transit proposals.

Opinion: Md. voters endorse shared parenting, but laws don’t change

A new survey of Maryland voters reveals overwhelming support for shared parenting following divorce. Earlier this year, Public Policy Polling conducted a survey of 580 Old Line State voters regarding their attitudes toward shared parenting and Maryland law on child custody. A whopping 79% of respondents said they thought fathers and mothers should receive equal treatment by family courts in child custody decisions.

Mayor Catherine Pugh and Gov. Larry Hogan at the Madison Park North apartments demolition Friday. Governor's Office photo.

Rascovar: What Hogan, Pugh & Mikulski have in common

Some politicians are adjusting to Donald Trump’s victory while others are wailing like it’s the end of democracy, organizing pointless protests a full five weeks before he even takes office. In Maryland both kinds of politicos – the realists and the hopeless idealists – have been on display recently. Count Gov. Larry Hogan, Jr. and new Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh among the pragmatists. They want to deal with reality on the ground.

Rascovar: Corporate welfare works in Maryland and Indiana

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Jr. may not have supported or voted for President-elect Donald Trump but they agree on one thing: Corporate welfare works. Throwing money and tax breaks at Northrop Grumman, Marriott International and United Technologies did the trick this past week – along with a good deal of loud, Trumpian threats in the case of UT’s subsidiary, Carrier Corp., in Indiana.