Across Maryland, people struggle to pay for the prescription drugs they need to lead healthy lives or even stay alive. Prices keep going up, while drug companies spend more on marketing and reap enormous profits. That’s why we are sponsoring legislation to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board that will have the authority to review and set fair and affordable maximum drug costs in the state.
Republican Del. Michael Malone is hoping momentum is building for his anti-gerrymandering bill, now that 22 Democrats have joined all 42 Republicans in supporting his effort to redraw the state’s congressional boundaries.
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.
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.
Saying “73 is the new 50,” Del. Jon Cardin is pushing a bill to bump up the mandatory retirement age for judges in Maryland from 70 to 73. If passed, HB182 would require a constitutional amendment and have to be approved by voters in the 2020 general election.
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.
After a comprehensive law overhauled the state’s criminal justice system, Maryland has seen a decline in the state’s prison and jail populations and more streamlined treatment for addicts who are charged with crimes. But advocates want to add to the law to keep inmates from returning behind bars.
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.
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 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.
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.