November 24th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
The Gazette newspapers pulled the plug on political columnist Blair Lee IV last week, ending his 27 years of vociferous weekly opinionating in Montgomery County newspapers. Two days later the Gazette editor who canned Lee due to budget cuts, Doug Tallman, got his walking papers as well. Tallman spent years covering the State House, and was one of just a few employees laid off last week
November 23rd, 2014 | by Barry Rascovar
Until last week, Del. Maggie McIntosh was an important member of the House of Delegates leadership.
Now, suddenly, she’s a Very Important Person.
The new chair of the House Appropriations Committee holds the second-most powerful post in the chamber. It even could put her in prime position to succeed House Speaker Mike Busch whenever the Annapolis lawmaker decides to give up his gavel
November 21st, 2014 | by Dan Menefee
Maryland Department of the Environment has moved to deny a water quality permit for Exelon Corp. to operate the Conowingo Dam -- on concerns the dam’s impact on the Chesapeake Bay could undermine state efforts to comply with the Clean Water Act.
“MDE intends to deny the application due to insufficient information provided by the applicant regarding the impacts…on state water quality standards,” said MDE Communications Director Jay Apperson in a press release on Tuesday.
November 20th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
The annual awards ceremony by Maryland's environmental community was tinged with trepidation Tuesday night as they worried about what was in store from the new Republican governor.
"These are uncertain times," said Marcia Verploegen Lewis, board chair of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, which puts on the awards dinner. "We need to protect the regulations we have in place" and "maintain our legacy programs."
November 20th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
Professor Allan Lichtman has a wonderful predictive tool for presidential elections called the 13 Keys to the White House that he produced in various editions since he developed it decades ago. He has successfully predicted the winner of five presidential elections months and even years in advance, based on a century and a half of election results.
Lichtman has developed no such tools for gubernatorial races, but some of the "keys" provide guidance for another way to look at why Larry Hogan Jr. won this year
November 19th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
New Democratic legislators from Howard County said they "got the message" on spending and taxes from the election of Republican Larry Hogan Jr. as governor.
"I think we got the message," Del.-elect Clarence Lam told a Howard County Chamber of Commerce breakfast Tuesday. "We understand folks want to move in a different direction."
November 19th, 2014 | by Charlie Hayward
Two high-level officials at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore had conflicts of interest in up to $1.9 million of spending and grants funneled through the university’s affiliated foundation and private companies, an audit has found. Auditors reported possible conflicts involving the university and its affiliated foundation, which promotes the university and its mission. The audit described potential conflicts involving the foundation and two private companies: one controlled by the foundation’s executive director and the other owned by a relative
November 18th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
Confronted with projections of state deficits far into the future, incoming Gov.-Elect Larry Hogan admitted Monday "quite frankly even I am surprised at the magnitude of the problem, and the task ahead of us is vast."
Last Wednesday, the legislature's budget analysts told lawmakers that there was already a $300 million deficit in the current budget, and another $600 million shortfall in fiscal 2016.
"The problem seems even greater than we expected it to be," Hogan told reporters as he announced new members of his transition team.
November 16th, 2014 | by Barry Rascovar
The outlook for the Maryland state government Larry Hogan Jr. starts running in January is grim: A sea of red ink far into the future.
Forget about major tax cuts or other campaign promises. That was a hope more than a firm commitment, and Hogan said as much to voters. His first priority then and now: getting Maryland’s financial house in order
November 13th, 2014 | by Dan Menefee
The 200 million tons of sediment trapped behind the Conowingo Dam is not a major threat to the health of the Chesapeake Bay, according to a three-year study by the Lower Susquehanna River Watershed Assessment.