Browsing the "News" Category

Senate unanimously approves budget, but differs with House

March 26th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

For the first time in nine years, the Maryland Senate unanimously approved the $40.5 billion state budget in its first go-round, applauding their unanimity and congratulating each other for their bipartisan work. "This year is like no other," said Senate Minority Leader J.B. Jennings, who praised the Democratic leadership of the Senate Budget Committee for giving Republicans a seat at the table

Free meals would be expanded to many schools by legislation

March 26th, 2015 | by Rebecca Lessner

Legislators are moving to dish out free meals to hungry schoolkids, who are too embarrassed by living below the poverty level to eat free lunches in front of peers. The Hunger-Free Schools Act of 2015 would abolish the current enrollment process of singling out low-income students with paper applications

Warning: Flesh-eating bacteria in the Chesapeake Bay

March 26th, 2015 | by Rebecca Lessner

With a flesh-eating bacteria often going unnoticed in the Chesapeake Bay, legislators are rallying behind a bill that would warn potential victims. The naturally-occurring bacteria, which causes infections called Vibriosis, is most commonly contracted through open wounds or cuts. In 2013, there were 57 reported cases, jumping from 25 cases in

Senate broadens protections for those reporting fraud

March 24th, 2015 | by Rebecca Lessner

The state will have an easier time prosecuting government contractors for fraud under a whistle-blower protection act passed by the Senate on Tuesday. The Maryland False Claims Act of 2015 would widen Maryland’s current false claims protections to state and local government contractors.

Senate approves online travel tax

March 24th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

The Senate in a 32-15 vote Tuesday passed a bill its sponsors claim closes a tax loophole for online travel sites, but those companies as well as brick-and-motor travel agents are protesting it as a new tax on services

Uber and taxis duke it out over level of regulation

March 24th, 2015 | by Capital News Service

With standing room only, the battle over the ridesharing “Uber bill” began in the state Senate Finance committee Tuesday. Sponsored by Sen. Bill Ferguson, D-Baltimore, the bill would keep power in the hands of ridesharing companies to conduct their own drivers’ background checks and vehicle safety inspections rather than require state oversight

Legislation creates compliance board and ombudsman for public information requests

March 23rd, 2015 | by Maryland Reporter

Major changes are in the works for getting public records from state and local governments in Maryland designed to make the process easier, more uniform and less expensive. In a unanimous vote, a Senate committee brought legislation to the floor Monday night that will create a new Public Information Act Compliance Board to oversee fees. It will also establish that those fees must be actual costs to assemble the records -- with the first two hours free -- and create a new ombudsman in the office of the Attorney General to mediate and offer guidance to all government agencies about requests for public records

Race and gender may help Donna Edwards in race to replace Mikulski

March 23rd, 2015 | by Glynis Kazanjian

Filling the shoes of retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski is going to be tough, but Congresswoman Donna Edwards, a leading voice among progressives, says she's up to the task. Other prominent Maryland Democrats are considering a run for the seat, and Congressman Chris Van Hollen has already announced his candidacy, carrying a similar progressive torch - including advocating for women's rights

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