Browsing the "News" Category

Health advocates want state to stop taxing bottled water

February 25th, 2015 | by Rebecca Lessner

Health advocates moved to make water the “default drink of Maryland” by submitting a bill that would repeal the 6% sales tax on bottled water. Some health foundations spoke before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in support of SB 574 on Wednesday, where legislators identified the elephant in the room -- a possible general fund loss of $20 million annually


Major change in pension funding proposed, eliminating extra payments

February 25th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

The legislature's staff is recommending that lawmakers make another major change in pension funding, eliminating extra payments into Maryland's underfunded pension system and returning to full actuarial funding. The proposal would save $70 million in next year's budget and $2 billion over the next 10 years. But it would ultimately cost taxpayers $2.5 billion more than current plans for pension contributions in the following 13 years


Bill restricts governors from shifting special funds to other programs

February 25th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

Lawmakers are moving to restrict the ability of future governors to shift money between special and general funds during the operating budget creation process. The Dedicated State Funds Protection Act (HB 787) would amend Maryland’s constitution to prohibit the governor from relocating special funds to the general fund, which is often done during the budget-balancing process and then often not repaid


Rascovar: Sticky tax conundrum on Internet hotel bookers

February 22nd, 2015 | by Barry Rascovar

Sometimes a simple, sensible-sounding tax reform runs smack into sticky realities. The result is a puzzle for Maryland legislators trying to do the right thing. That's the case this session with bills (SB190, HB209) designed to clarify state law regarding the "taxable price" of discounted hotel rooms sold over the internet by travel websites


Local petition drives get more protection under proposed bill

February 19th, 2015 | by Rebecca Lessner

Howard County citizens are seeking to reform Maryland petition law, after frustration when their time and energy spent collecting 6,000 signatures was tossed aside by a late ruling by the county’s Board of Elections. The bill will affect local petition drives throughout Maryland


Kopp recommended for fourth term as Md. treasurer

February 19th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

It was a foregone conclusion that the Special Joint Legislative Committee to Select the State Treasurer would recommend that Nancy Kopp get a fourth four-year term in one of the most powerful jobs in state government. Even the only other candidate interviewed by the committee, Bill Campbell, the Republican nominee for comptroller in the last two elections, expected that outcome



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