senator jamie raskin

Senate broadens protections for those reporting fraud

The state will have an easier time prosecuting government contractors for fraud under a whistle-blower protection act passed by the Senate on Tuesday.

The Maryland False Claims Act of 2015 would widen Maryland’s current false claims protections to state and local government contractors.

Courtyard Marriott Hotel by JeepersMedia on Flickr

Senate approves online travel tax

The Senate in a 32-15 vote Tuesday passed a bill its sponsors claim closes a tax loophole for online travel sites, but those companies as well as brick-and-motor travel agents are protesting it as a new tax on services.

Uber 4U by afagen on flickr

Uber and taxis duke it out over level of regulation

With standing room only, the battle over the ridesharing “Uber bill” began in the state Senate Finance committee Tuesday.

Sponsored by Sen. Bill Ferguson, D-Baltimore, the bill would keep power in the hands of ridesharing companies to conduct their own drivers’ background checks and vehicle safety inspections rather than require state oversight.

Marylanders for open government 620x350

Legislation creates compliance board and ombudsman for public information requests

Major changes are in the works for getting public records from state and local governments in Maryland designed to make the process easier, more uniform and less expensive.

In a unanimous vote, a Senate committee brought legislation to the floor Monday night that will create a new Public Information Act Compliance Board to oversee fees. It will also establish that those fees must be actual costs to assemble the records -- with the first two hours free -- and create a new ombudsman in the office of the Attorney General to mediate and offer guidance to all government agencies about requests for public records.

Donna Edwards

Race and gender may help Donna Edwards in race to replace Mikulski

Filling the shoes of retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski is going to be tough, but Congresswoman Donna Edwards, a leading voice among progressives, says she's up to the task. Other prominent Maryland Democrats are considering a run for the seat, and Congressman Chris Van Hollen has already announced his candidacy, carrying a similar progressive torch - including advocating for women's rights.

House Delegates

Rascovar: Pension move betrayed state workers

Once again, the House of Delegate took the easy way out of its budget bind -- and in the process stuck it to future state workers, teachers and taxpayers.

The Senate is on a glide path that follows that same flawed approach.

Instead of facing up to its fiduciary pension obligations, Annapolis delegates opted to play games, placing at risk the safety of state retirement programs.