Browsing the "News" Category

No new taxes this year, O’Malley says, but Vinny DeMarco seeks one more

January 22nd, 2014 | by Len Lazarick

But along with the usual talk of "tough choices" and "moving forward," Gov. Martin O'Malley's State of the State Address is likely to tout that he balanced his proposed fiscal 2015 budget with "no new taxes or fees." Thank God, most Marylanders would agree, but not Vinny DeMarco, persistent advocate of higher taxes on cigarettes and booze for the sake of public health as president of Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative


Target to cancel health insurance for hundreds of Md. employees, directs them to exchanges

January 22nd, 2014 | by Len Lazarick

Hundreds -- if not thousands -- of Maryland Target employees will lose their health insurance benefits April 1 and are being directed instead to state exchanges created through President Obama's health care reform law. The national retail giant announced a new company-wide policy this week to discontinue health insurance coverage for all store part-time employees


Audit: Assessments & Taxation Dept. doesn’t inspect property to assess values as often as required; doesn’t audit personal property tax returns or credits

January 22nd, 2014 | by Len Lazarick

The state Assessments and Taxation Department hasn’t performed regular physical inspections of individual properties to support property assessments as required by state law for “many years,” legislative auditors found. The department also did not audit or review business personal property tax returns or homeowner tax credits, according to an audit report released last month


Analyst dissects tactics O’Malley used to balance Md. budget, including pension cut

January 20th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick

Picking apart Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed fiscal 2015 budget, the legislature's chief fiscal analyst told lawmakers Monday that the administration relied on "familiar budget balancing strategies" to make the numbers work. They included a small than average surplus, shifting special funds, replacing cash with bonds, tapping reserves and cutting pension payments


At the first mile-marker in the money race for the 2014 campaign

January 19th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick

Money can't buy you love, but in campaigns, it can buy you lots of other things: attention, status, respect, advertising, mailers, staff and headlines. The candidates with the most money don't always win. But they win most of the time since they often happen to be incumbents. An incumbent in any office with solid money in the bank, high name recognition and low negatives will win


Rascovar column: Brown has a health care albatross

January 19th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick

Maryland's lieutenant governor, Anthony Brown, has a problem that won't go away -- his still unexplained leadership role in the state's disastrous Obamacare rollout. This is the biggest sticking point in Brown's run for governor. It could become an insurmountable obstacle if public attention remains focused on those computer glitches and poor sign-up results


Unions, pension board unhappy O’Malley cut $100M in promised payment to retirement fund

January 17th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick

The largest unions representing state workers and public school teachers are upset at Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision to permanently cut $100 million from extra payments into the state pension system. The money came from additional employee salary deductions required by a 2011 pension reform, and was intended to help cure underfunding in the pension system


Del. Wood has ‘had enough,’ retiring after 7 terms

January 12th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick

I've had enough,” Del. Johnny Wood told his colleagues in the legislature last week, confirming he would not seek reelection after seven terms in the House of Delegates. Wood, a St. Mary's County Democrat, turns 78 today (Jan. 13). "After 28 years, it's time to move on."



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