Browsing the "News" Category

More money from rising gas tax going to mass transit

November 19th, 2013 | by Len Lazarick

Maryland needs to continue to invest more in public transportation as it sees a boost in funding from the rising state gas tax, transportation experts said Monday at annual transportation summit of the Greater Baltimore Committee

How old is that Bentley? Cantankerous ex-congresswoman and champion of port turns 90

November 18th, 2013 | by Len Lazarick

How old is Helen Delich Bentley, the crotchety ex-congresswoman who could swear like the longshoremen she covered for years at the Port of Baltimore now named in her honor? Turns out she'll be 90 on Thanksgiving. Sunday, she was feted with a celebration and roast that brought out a distinguished crowd of aging congressional leaders, former governors and senators, has-beens and wannabes along with hundreds of old friends to the Museum of Industry on the Inner Harbor waterfront

Rascovar commentary: Democrats for governor pander, stalk and misstep

November 18th, 2013 | by Len Lazarick

The bidding race is on. Democratic candidates for governor are seeking to one-up each other on new programs and tax cuts. All of them ignore the fact Maryland's finances are unsteady and could continue that way. The next governor is likely to face a structural deficit exceeding a half-billion dollars

Staff tells legislators to keep current lid on state debt

November 14th, 2013 | by Len Lazarick

The legislature's fiscal staff told lawmakers Thursday that they should not follow an O’Malley administration proposal to increase Maryland's authorized debt by $375 million over the next five years. The staff said this is one way to reduce debt service -- payments of principal and interest on the state's bonds -- that will grow by 24% in those five years. It would be the largest increase in any budget category

Teachers feel unprepared for new Common Core curriculum, tests, survey finds

November 13th, 2013 | by Len Lazarick

A survey of 745 Maryland teachers shows that two-thirds of teachers (65%) don’t feel prepared to implement the new Common Core curriculum, which was introduced in public schools this fall. And almost nine out of 10 (88%) answered there are still significant challenges to understanding and implementing new evaluation systems that measure progress on teaching Common Core

Voters oppose corporate tax cuts but favor minimum wage hike, poll finds

November 13th, 2013 | by Len Lazarick

Progressive Democrats are using new polling results to continue their push for increasing Maryland's minimum wage to $10 an hour, while they reject attempts to lower corporate taxes. A minimum wage hike and corporate tax cut are being discussed by General Assembly leaders ahead of the 2014 session

Tom Horton: Balancing growth and nature in a Greenspring Valley stream

November 12th, 2013 | by Len Lazarick

A small stream in Baltimore County, pristine 30 years ago but now damaged by development, shows how difficult it can be to find a balance between growth and the health of natural systems, writes Tom Horton. Horton has written with elegance and persistence about our Chesapeake environment for decades, including several books.

Commentary: Medicare a model of efficiency compared to Obamacare

November 11th, 2013 | by Len Lazarick

The federal government does indeed know how to run some health insurance programs efficiently. Of course, it has had 47 years to master Medicare. It is helpful to remember the history of Medicare, a government program run by many of our neighbors, as we contemplate the disaster Obamacare implementation has become

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