April 10, 2013
A House bill refining guidelines for public-private partnerships (P3s) was signed into law by Gov. Martin O’Malley Tuesday after finally passing the House and Senate in the closing days of the session. The idea is to leverage private financing and construction contracting to build infrastructure projects the state wants more efficiently without adding to bond debt. [...more]
April 9, 2013
Tuesday was the first day candidates could file for the 2014 election, and 11 candidates took the plunge, including four Montgomery County legislators filing for reelection. Del. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, a 20-year veteran Democrat currently representing Baltimore County District 10, filed to run for state Senate in the redrawn District 44 currently represented by Sen. Verna Jones-Rodwell.
Voters next year will be asked to approve a constitutional amendment creating a “lockbox” to prevent raids on the Transportation Trust Fund for other purposes, but Republican opponents said the measure was a sham that would provide little protection. The measure provides that money can only be taken out of the Transportation Trust Fund after a three-fifths vote of both houses of the Maryland General Assembly once the governor has declared a state of “fiscal emergency.” [...more]
An attempt to delay implementation of stormwater clean-up fees that will cost Maryland property owners millions come July failed in the legislature’s final day. The delay died after it was attached to a bill exempting nonprofits and government agencies from the fees called “the rain tax" by critics. [...more]
After a difficult few months of fighting to pass Lynette’s Law -- a bill to prohibit sexual abuse by therapists -- Heather Lynette Sinclair and bill co-sponsors got less than half of what they wanted. [...more]
April 7, 2013
The beleaguered Maryland Republican Party, which has won only one statewide election in decades, is having yet another bitter internal contest over who will chair the state central committee. Three candidates representing various factions in the party are running: interim chairman Diana Waterman, attorney Greg Kline, and businessman Collins Bailey. [...more]
A $36.9 billion state budget for fiscal 2014 easily passed the House of Delegates and state Senate Friday, with less Republican opposition than last year. The budget raises overall spending 3% and is $500 million less than Gov. Martin O'Malley originally proposed, largely by setting aside funds in case federal budget cuts impact state revenues. [...more]
A bill granting immigrants in the country illegally with access to a legal driver’s license passed in the House of Delegates Friday after heated debate. The bill has already been approved in the Senate and awaits the governor’s signature.
The legislation extends a program allowing Marylanders to obtain a driver’s license without proving they are in the country legally or have a valid Social Security number – bringing issues of immigration, terrorism and compassion to the debate. [...more]
April 5, 2013
Despite general agreement on the need for more mental health services to prevent gun violence, providers argue that the state’s psychiatric services are woefully underfunded and that the General Assembly has done little to address this problem. They were particularly shocked that the governor revoked $7.2 million of funding for mental health in his supplemental budget this week. [...more]
Following the controversial passage of the Firearms Safety Act of 2013, many Marylanders in opposition to the law may be wondering: what next?
Republican delegates have not yet come together with a unified response. However, rumors of a referendum petition are moving fast. [...more]