Maryland lawmakers want to place a bet on Maryland casinos. If they change the law to ensure casinos aren’t taxed on losses, casinos say they will be able to bring in high stakes gamblers that would result in increased state revenues. They would also be able to make up for any lost revenue.
The Maryland Senate Monday night gave final approval to a $20,000 pay raise for 312 Maryland judges over the next four years, $15,000 less than was recommended by the Judicial Compensation Commission in January. The pay raise in House Joint Resolution 3 as passed by the Senate and House also will boost the pensions for 417 retired judges and their surviving beneficiaries by as much as $13,340 a year since those payments are based on the salaries of current judges.
A bill to allow evidence in court of sexual predatory behavior by people accused of sex crimes advanced last week in the Senate, but chances of the legislation progressing in the House are dim, with one committee leader wanting judges to decide the issue. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee passed an amended bill Thursday that will effectively allow prosecutors to introduce evidence of other sexually assaultive behavior by defendants. Maryland courts typically never allow that unless it is for the same victim.
Sen. Richard Madaleno made his case to fellow lawmakers Wednesday to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2024, increase pay for disability caregivers and phasing out a tip-based payment system for workers in the hospitality industry. “Raising the minimum wage to $15 would impact nearly 570,000 workers in our state,” Madaleno, D-Montgomery County, a candidate for governor, said. “Of those, 50% would be people of color and 55% would be women.” Opponents said it would have severe impact on small businesses.
Perhaps 9% of Marylanders would pay $200 million more in state taxes next year under plans a Senate committee approved Tuesday to give most taxpayers relief from the consequences of recent federal tax cuts. But some corporations will likely pay as much as $75-100 million more in state taxes since there are no plans at the State House to try to grant them similar relief after the Trump cuts gave them big breaks on federal taxes.
Delegates advanced legislation Tuesday that would allow domestic abuse and human trafficking victims to keep private real estate property records that are normally public information if they are enrolled in the address confidentiality program.
The Maryland General Assembly is considering a bill intended to attract Amazon to Montgomery County. If this legislation is fast tracked after last week’s hearings, Maryland will lack some of the information it needs in order to make a smart decision about whether it should subsidize Amazon.
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
The Hogan Administration is beginning to make a dent in a state waiting list that provides services for the developmentally disabled, but those on a waiting list of over 5,000 people who won’t qualify for 800 new slots opening up this year continue to seek relief.
As the Maryland General Assembly considers increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, HB664 with a hearing Tuesday, the low wage workers those bills are intended to help may end up out of a job. The latest minimum wage research shows there is a tipping point where the resulting job losses are so significant, that people at the low end of the pay scale are hurt far more than they are helped.