State universities lax in charging out-of-state tuition, auditors find

In the college application process, one little box is worth thousands of dollars: the one linked to in-state tuition. Checking that box for the University of Maryland College Park, for example, saves you $24,600 — the difference between paying in-state tuition of $8,651 for the current academic year versus $33,272 for out-of-state students. Some students, however, may be getting an in-state tuition break who shouldn’t be.

Speaker’s awards go to murdered journalists

House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch presented the annual Speaker’s Society Awards during Tuesday’s floor session. The Speaker’s Medallion and citations were awarded posthumously to victims of the shooting at the Capital-Gazette newspaper last June: Wendi Winters, Rob Hiaasen, Rebecca Smith, Gerald Fischman, and John McNamara.

Maryland drivers facing longer lines, frustration on license renewal to comply with federal law

Maryland drivers are facing longer lines and frustrating revisits to state offices over the next year when they renew their licenses due to tougher requirements for licenses that comply with the federal REAL ID law, legislators heard last week. Sixty percent of Maryland’s almost 3 million licensed drivers must submit new documentation to prove age, identity and residence by October 2020, or they will be denied access to federal facilities and to boarding commercial aircraft.

Bills would require live-streaming of Assembly, agency meetings

Greater transparency, public participation and ease of access are major reasons for bipartisan, video live-streaming bills reintroduced in the Maryland House and Senate this week, legislators said.  Maryland General Assembly, State Board of Elections and Maryland Transportation Authority meetings would all be live-streamed if legislation passes this session.  

Corporate tax cut, tax hike get mixed reviews in Senate committee

How much corporations pay in Maryland taxes and how they are computed were up for debate at Annapolis hearings last week. Sen. Andrew Serafini wants to cut the corporate tax rate as recommended by the legislature’s Augustine commission four years ago. Sen. Ron Young wants more out-of-state corporations paying under combined reporting — a move opposed by the same commission.

Robots and their teen builders seek tax break

Robots and their teenage builders seeking a tax break livened up a hearing before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee Wednesday. Heather Lin, 15, and her brother, Samuel Lin, 13, of Potomac, are already veterans in the world of robotics. They brought several trophies and medals from local, state and international competitions to prove it.

School standardized tests to get shorter next year

Here’s some good news for Maryland’s public school students – the state Department of Education plans to cut the time they spend taking standardized tests. The new Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) is being developed to replace the PARCC exams that have been used for the past four years to measure progress in areas such as language arts, math, science and social studies.