Archive | News

State keeps its AAA bond rating, but firms warn of federal cuts, pension debt

July 15, 2013

The governor and state treasurer cheered Maryland's retention of its AAA bond ratings released Friday, and the three New York rating agencies continued their praise of Maryland's high incomes, diversified economy and strong fiscal management. But the agencies, which have given their top ratings to Maryland for decades, also sounded what have become routine warnings about the state's dependence on federal spending in an era of cutbacks and sequestration. They continued to worry about the state's high pension liabilities, particularly compared to the other eight states that also get AAA ratings. [...more]

Budget, News, Pensions Comments (2)

State prepares for former inmates to sign up for Medicaid

July 11, 2013

State officials are working to make sure people being released from prison will sign up for benefits during the 2014 Medicaid expansion. When the enrollment date for individual health plans rolls around in October, former inmates will also be eligible for health plans offered in state health care exchanges, another part of the “Obamacare” Affordable Care Act implementation. But health advocates say that at best it’s more likely they’ll be signing up for Medicaid, because of their low incomes. [...more]

Health, News Comments (1)

War on drugs fostered mass incarceration

Forty years ago, 204,211 people were held by U.S. prison authorities; in 2011, there were 1.6 million, a 780% increase while the U.S. population as a whole had grown by about 50%. A new book produced by the Justice Policy Institute in Washington, "Incarceration Generation" documents how, why and to whom that happened. It gathers commentary from 19 researchers, advocates and people who have personally experienced the system, including an ex-cop and an ex-con who spoke in Baltimore Wednesday night. [...more]

News Comments (6)

Board approves $55K in lawsuit settlement over I-95 arrest

July 9, 2013

The Board of Public Works approved $55,000 for a settlement in a racial profiling lawsuit involving a Philadelphia man who was stopped by the Maryland State Police, despite reservations from one board member. The Maryland State Police requested the settlement money in a BPW meeting last week after considering the costs of going to trial and the costs of losing the trial -- a move that made Comptroller Peter Franchot question the backbone of the Maryland attorney general’s office. [...more]

Board of Public Works, News Comments (0)

Kittleman must woo Dems to win Howard exec race

July 8, 2013

It’s no secret that Sen. Allan Kittleman will need lots of Democrats to vote for a Republican for Howard County executive for him to accomplish what the GOP did 23 years ago — take over the county government. “If Allan Kittleman can’t have a chance in Howard County, no one has a chance,” said attorney Michael Davis, who was campaign chairman for Republican Chuck Ecker when Ecker defeated Democrat Liz Bobo during her re-election bid for executive in 1990. [...more]

Election 2014, News Comments (3)

Franchot dubious about long-promised Bethesda Metro South Entrance

July 7, 2013

A visibly skeptical and hesitant Comptroller Peter Franchot ultimately sided with the governor and treasurer on the Board of Public Works and approved $2.3 million of funding that went to the “fabled long-awaited” South Entrance to the Bethesda Metro station, as he put it. The entrance would connect the end of the proposed Purple Line to the Red Line. [...more]

Board of Public Works, News Comments (0)

Business group gives low marks to many Md. lawmakers, mostly Democrats

July 3, 2013

A Maryland business group rating state lawmakers in its annual scorecard gave low marks to the two Democrats leading the Maryland General Assembly, typifying how business organizations view the legislature as a whole. Maryland Business for Responsive Government gave House Speaker Michael Busch a 29% in 2013, and Senate President Mike Miller fared slightly better at 40%. [...more]

News Comments (4)

University housekeepers rally for better wages, working conditions

July 1, 2013

For as long as some housekeepers at the University of Maryland College Park can remember, they have been eating lunch next to mops, brooms, dust pans, and cleaning sprays in tight janitor closets. That's among the working conditions at issue as the $11.50-an-hour housekeepers hold a rally as they are about to open contract negotiations. [...more]

News Comments (5)

Hogan hopes Change Maryland is the ticket

June 30, 2013

Larry Hogan was kicking himself after his brief speech to some 250 guests at his waterfront home in Edgewater Thursday night. He blew a major applause line by forgetting to mention a top accomplishment of his anti-O'Malley policy group, Change Maryland. Change Maryland had just surpassed Gov. Martin O'Malley on Facebook with 46,790 "likes" compared to O'Malley's 46,135. [...more]

Annapolitics Blog, Election 2014, News Comments (13)

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]

News Comments (4)