April 15, 2014
Many minimum wage workers will be getting a raise now that a hike to Maryland's wage has been signed into law. But while advocates are ascribing the increase as a win, there's a bitter aftertaste for one group that was left behind. [...more]
April 13, 2014
The recent move to remove criminal penalties for 10 grams of marijuana or less has been heralded by its supporters as radical reform that would save state money, and alleviate a significant portion of drug-related arrests, which are racially imbalanced.
But a hole in that legislation -- one that remains unaddressed -- is that drug paraphernalia remains criminal. [...more]
It was a disappointment to liberal opinionators but the 2014 General Assembly proved surprisingly cautious and balanced in moving Maryland decidedly to the political left during its 90-day session that ended April 7. [...more]
April 10, 2014
A coalition of groups against gerrymandering is hoping laughter will be the best medicine for redistricting concerns.
The “Tame the Gerrymander” effort announced Thursday that it had awarded prizes for three political cartoons critiquing Maryland’s new legislative districts. [...more]
April 8, 2014
Some people don't like how much Maryland spends or how it spends it, but an outside group says the state is getting a little better at reporting on where taxpayer dollars go.
At the same time, a bill passed unanimously and signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley Tuesday is designed to make more of Maryland's government data more available and searchable to everyone through creation of a new Council on Open Data. [...more]
In passing legislation to raise Maryland’s minimum wage, the General Assembly included a provision to increase reimbursement for community-based developmental disabilities providers. This action addresses a legitimate need and no one should begrudge it. However, it does nothing for the direct care workers who serve equally vulnerable citizens, those with psychiatric disabilities. [...more]
Six lawmakers, three from each chamber of the Maryland General Assembly, standing in a ring in the House of Delegates lounge at a half hour before midnight, vehemently haggling over a single bill.
They had only 30 minutes before the close of the 2014 session, and they needed to find middle ground on legislation that would grant the popular Netflix drama an additional $3.5 million in tax dollars. [...more]
After a long-waged political battle, Gov. Martin O’Malley has indicated he will sign a bill that removes criminal penalties for possession 10 grams of marijuana or less. [...more]
April 7, 2014
The House of Delegates gave final passage to legislation raising the Maryland minimum wage to $10.10 by 2018, sending it to the governor for his certain signature.
The bill had originally passed the House 89-46 and the Senate 34-15 before coming back to the House for a final concurrence vote, which passed 87-47.
The increase had been the most visible legislative priority of Gov. Martin O’Malley and it will be the first minimum wage increase Maryland has seen since 2006. [...more]
An altercation on the fourth floor of the House of Delegates office building left an aide to a Harford County delegate in a bloodied suit being taken to the hospital Monday on the last day of session.
The altercation was apparently between the aide and his brother, according to a Maryland Capitol Police officer who was on the scene. [...more]