Browsing the "News" Category

Commission will study over-testing of Md. school children

May 14th, 2015 | by Rebecca Lessner

Maryland lawmakers decided the first step to solving over-testing in Maryland public schools is to understand the full problem, so they passed a bill creating a 19-member commission that will attempt to alleviate the pressure of excessive student testing. The Commission to Review Maryland's Use of Assessments and Testing in Public Schools became law Tuesday, as Gov. Hogan signed HB 452 into law

350 bills become law: Rain tax repeal, public campaign financing, higher cap on gov’t tort awards

May 12th, 2015 | by Rebecca Lessner

Gov. Larry Hogan joined with legislators on Tuesday morning to sign 350 bills into law, putting the final seal of approval on several bills has followed throughout this legislative session. Bills signed by Hogan, Speaker of the House Michael Busch and Senate President Mike Miller include increasing the cap on tort claims against counties and the state, expanding the Maryland False Claims Act protecting whistleblowers and repealing “the rain tax,” the mandatory stormwater remediation fee

Franchot favors freeze on taxes, opposes major tax cuts

May 12th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

Maryland's chief tax collector, Comptroller Peter Franchot, supports a long-term moratorium on increases on taxes and fees, but he also opposes major tax cuts. "We should have a multi-year moratorium on taxes and fees," Franchot told the Arbutus Roundtable Monday as the group of generally conservative Democrats honored him for his fiscal responsibility

Business leaders pledge support for restoring Baltimore after riots

May 12th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

The 60th anniversary annual meeting of the Greater Baltimore Committee Monday night was more resolute than joyous, as business leaders promised to focus on rebuilding and restoring a city whose long-simmering boiled into looting and arson covered in national and international media

Rascovar: Hogan keeps it simple – and low-key

May 10th, 2015 | by Barry Rascovar

Larry Hogan Jr. is proving to be an unusual governor for Maryland, in many ways the polar opposite of his predecessors, Martin O'Malley and Bob Ehrlich. Both Democrat O'Malley and Republican Ehrlich love publicity and making a PR splash. They craved the spotlight, issued a tidal wave of propaganda pitches and tried to dominate the daily news coverage. Republican Hogan wants none of the above

Loss of expected funding has school systems on edge as they urge Hogan to release money

May 6th, 2015 | by Rebecca Lessner

Public schools are set to receive record funding in the projected 2016 state budget, with Gov. Hogan increasing funding by $109 million. However, Maryland school districts and their unions say they will not be able to fill 3,283 jobs they had hoped to have if Hogan chooses not to fully fund the Geographic Cost of Education Index. It was projected to provide $68 million more. School advocates are calling these “positions at risk”

Legislature will take another look at state’s policing laws

May 5th, 2015 | by Dan Menefee

Long before Freddie Gray’s death ignited unrest in Baltimore, high profile cases of police misconduct nationally failed to move Maryland lawmakers to pass meaningful reforms this year, according to, a grassroots think tank that advocates a rewrite of the state’s policing policies. “At the end of the day we saw special interests of police officers and law enforcement in Maryland overrule what the community needed here in Baltimore,” said Adam Jackson, head of the think tank located just yards from City Hall

Legislature’s chief fiscal analyst responds to story on state finances

May 5th, 2015 | by Maryland Reporter

The April 30 edition of included an article penned by Charlie Hayward which examines State finances from a balance sheet perspective. In his article, Mr. Haywood quite properly indicates weaknesses of Maryland’s balance sheet. Unfortunately, his article tends to both overstate their import and misattribute their origins to the Legislative Branch of government

Political prosecution of police helps restore order in Baltimore

May 5th, 2015 | by Len Lazarick

Marilyn Mosby made a calculated political decision to prosecute six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, and you have to wonder what kind of weekend Baltimore would have had if she hadn't. Mosby’s quick "rush to judgment" as the police union's lawyer put it illustrates why Maryland and much of the rest of the country still has popular elections for top local prosecutors

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