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Quality of life index puts Maryland 12th, behind Virginia and Delaware

June 28, 2013

Maryland ranks 12th for overall quality of life out of the 50 states, according to a report released this week. The study, published by the nonprofit, nonpartisan collaborative encyclopedia Ballotpedia, examined 19 different indices to determine quality of life from 1992 to 2012. [...more]

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Md. employers getting good deal on hospital payments for injured workers compared to Va., Pa.

June 26, 2013

Maryland employers who pay workers compensation benefits for employees are getting a good deal on their hospital coverage compared to their counterparts in Virginia and Pennsylvania, a new report shows. They are paying about the same amount as group health insurers for common workplace surgeries. [...more]

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Spending on state lobbying shifts from gambling to health care

Eight out of the 10 highest paid lobbyists in 2012 are on track to retain their titles in 2013, while business spending on lobbyists shifted from gambling to health care, according to a post-session report released by the State Ethics Commission. For the six month reporting period from Nov. 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013, lobbyists have reported earning $23 million. [...more]

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Lollar not running for governor — yet

June 24, 2013

Charles Lollar invited bloggers in for pizza to tell them why he wasn't actually running for governor, but very well might be in a month. The reason: the Pentagon made him do it. Lollar was attempting to explain why there was still a Draft Charles Lollar for Governor campaign committee, raising money and arranging for speaking engagements. For the past two and half years, Lollar has been a full-time active duty intelligence officer as a Marine Corps major working at the National Military Command Center in the Pentagon. "I cannot campaign," Lollar said, forbidden by Defense Department rules from being a partisan candidate. [...more]

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Massive turnover in legislature expected, with Howard County a prime example

June 23, 2013

Massive turnover in the legislature is expected in the 2014 election, with at least a third of the 188 Maryland General Assembly seats changing. Nowhere is the upheaval more dramatic than in Howard County, where two-thirds of its seats are up for grabs: two of three Senate seats and six of nine delegate seats. These changes have already led to the announcement or filing of more candidates for Howard County legislative districts by non-incumbents than any other area in the state. [...more]

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Rep. Paul Ryan serves up red meat for GOP dinner

June 21, 2013

The juicy red meat of the steaks on the dinner plates was matched by the red meat politics Rep. Paul Ryan dished out to 400 Republican Party faithful at the Maryland GOP's annual Red, White & Blue dinner Thursday night at Baltimore's Renaissance Hotel. Ryan, last year's Republican nominee for vice president, urged the GOP in Maryland to follow Wisconsin's example, and overthrow Democratic dominance of state government as his home state did when it elected Scott Walker governor in 2010. [...more]

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New teacher evaluations don’t fully match new Common Core curriculum

June 20, 2013

Teachers could face salary freezes or eventual firing under a new evaluation system based on results of old tests that don’t match up with the new curriculum they are teaching. Maryland’s school districts are revamping their teacher evaluation guidelines as required by the Maryland State Department of Education. At the same time, the state is implementing a new curriculum – Common Core, a state-led effort to make curriculum across the United States more uniform. [...more]

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Maryland schools prepare for Common Core

Maryland public schools plan to move ahead with a new curriculum next school year, undeterred by opposition to the Common Core curriculum standards in other states. [...more]

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Pension board lowers investment target

June 19, 2013

The state pension board on Tuesday lowered its target for investment return on the $41 billion retirement fund from 7.75% to 7.55%, a move it's been considering for over a year The 14-member Board of Trustees of the State Retirement and Pension System also lowered its projection of inflation from 3% a year to 2.8%, and phased in both steps over the next four years. [...more]

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Legislators call for early voting the weekend before Election Day, but elections chief concerned about double voting

June 18, 2013

Two lawmakers want to increase turnout by extending early voting through the Sunday before Election Day, a move election officials say would wipe out safeguards that keep people from voting twice. [...more]

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