Gallery: A cold and cloudy final day of a four-year term

It was the coldest final day of the Maryland General Assembly that anyone could remember. Sine Die (sign-ee die) in State House speak is usually warm and sunny. For at least nine senators and 29 delegates, it will be the last session in their current posts. Here is a gallery of photos to give a flavor of the day.

School construction funding fight is part of ongoing drive to strip power from the governor

Maryland’s governor has long been considered one of the most powerful in the country, mainly because of his control over spending and appointments. The Maryland General Assembly has for decades sought to chip away at the governor’s power, mainly through spending mandates and other legal restraints. Last week’s action in the Senate and House to pass a new mandate on school construction and take the governor out of the decisions on what schools should be funded is just another chapter in that ongoing drive to shift the balance of power.

Crowded field for governor woos Howard County Dems

The crowded and competitive race for the Democratic nomination to unseat Republican Gov. Larry Hogan was on full display Tuesday night in Columbia as five candidates for governor and four for lieutenant governor wooed and wowed an overflow crowd of about 160. “Any one of them would be better than the person we have now” as governor, said Rushern Baker, the Prince George’s County executive who has a slight edge in favorability over the others in recent polling.

ANALYSIS: Four more years of Franchot: How he does it

We were so impressed with this analysis of the 30-year career and current political standing of Comptroller Peter Franchot by Adam Pangnucco in the Seventh State blog published Thursday that we asked for permission to publish it in full, unedited except for style. As one confidant of the comptroller said: “He nailed it.” Franchot has a life-time of taking on the establishment and winning

Maryland State Board of Elections

Maryland makes getting on statewide ballot easy

How do you get your name on hundreds of thousands ballots in Maryland, get listed in multiple voters guides, get invited to candidate forums across the state, and all with very little effort? Plunk down $290 to the State Board of Elections, fill out a few forms and wait for the candidate questionnaires and forum invitations to roll in. That’s how you do it if you’re a registered Democrat or Republican wanting to run for governor, U.S. senator, attorney general or comptroller.