Browsing the "News" Category

Rascovar column: Maryland’s Obamacare fiasco continues

March 2nd, 2014 | by Barry Rascovar

How high will it go? How much more will it cost the O’Malley-Brown administration to fix or totally replace the dysfunctional online health insurance system that it bragged about until the software crashed on Day One? It already is the most costly debacle in state history

Higher pay sought for caregivers of disabled

February 27th, 2014 | by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf

With the governor and legislators pushing for an increase in Maryland’s state minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, advocates of people with disabilities want to make sure their paid caregivers get higher wages, since the state now only reimburses them at $9.82 an hour

State board gives local election officials 12% pay raise

February 27th, 2014 | by Glynis Kazanjian

The State Board of Elections voted unanimously Thursday to give county election directors and their deputies a 12% salary increase. Local election officials have not received a pay raise in 14 years. The board also took no formal action to rein in Lamone’s authority, as some board members had proposed earlier this month

Treasurer, comptroller urge senators to restore $100M cut in pension funding

February 27th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick

In unusual joint testimony, Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot, chair and vice-chair of the state pension board, pleaded with Senate budgeters not to permanently cut $100 million in state payments to the retirement system. They said the cut proposed by Gov. Martin O'Malley had high long-term repercussions and undermined the state's credibility with bond rating agencies by reneging on promises made in 2011 pension reforms

50% hike in cigarette tax gets hearing

February 26th, 2014 | by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf

Health care advocates are stoking the tax fires again with legislation that would make Maryland’s tobacco taxes some of the highest in the country. The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee heard testimony Wednesday on SB 589, which would increase the tobacco tax rate from $2 for a pack of cigarettes to $3. The bill also calls for steep hike on all other tobacco products -- from 30% to 95% of the wholesale price

Senate incumbents pick up challengers on filing deadline

February 26th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick

Maryland Senate incumbents who were running unopposed picked up challengers at Tuesday's filing deadline, but other senators without any opponents must wait until Monday to find out if the opposition parties will name a candidate to run against them. In Baltimore County's District 8, former Republican Del. John Bishop will run as a Democrat challenging Democratic Sen. Kathy Klausmeier

Smigiel won’t challenge Hershey for Senate

February 26th, 2014 | by admin

Del. Michael Smigiel, R-Cecil, will run for a fourth term to keep his House seat in District 36 -- and forgo a promised Senate primary fight against former Del. Richard Sossi and the recently appointed Sen. Stephen Hershey

Legislators try to tackle college affordability

February 26th, 2014 | by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf

Grappling with the issue of affordability in higher education, lawmakers are taking suggestions and drafting legislation to ease the financial burden Maryland college students face

Legislative staff recommends cutting raises, benefits of state employees just ratified in contract

February 25th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick

State employees last Wednesday ratified a new one-year contract that provided 2% raises, regular step increases, health premium holidays and other financial benefits they had been denied in the lean years of the Great Recession. Two days later, the legislature's budget staff recommended rolling back about half the negotiated increases, moves that took the largest state union by surprise, calling them "alarming" and "disturbing."

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