May 4, 2012
Many audits of state agencies find wasted dollars, poor accounting controls, lax purchasing measures and even occasional fraud; so it’s worth pointing out that legislative auditors reviewing $2.6 billion of spending that went through the transportation secretary’s office found absolutely nothing. The good news comes as Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley announced she’s leaving the post July 1, after almost three years in the job. [...more]
After the General Assembly failed to pass a bill dictating state policy on public-private partnerships, plaintiffs in the State Center lawsuit are moving forward with their case. An attorney for the group of Baltimore business owners who have been suing the state since December 2010 said the amended bill’s failure to gain passage was further validation for their case. [...more]
May 3, 2012
Despite a strong protest, the Board of Public Works unanimously awarded a $598 million contract to provide health services to 26,000 prison inmates over the next five years to Wexford Health Sources of Pittsburgh. As prison officials advised, it rejected the bid by Corizon Inc. of St. Louis, which has been providing two-thirds of the services to the prisoners for the last seven years.
May 2, 2012
First elected in 1962, Sen. Norman Stone is the longest serving member in the current Maryland General Assembly and the longest serving state senator in Maryland history. He is historical artifact in other ways: one of the last remaining fiscally and socially conservative Democrats – an opponent of tax hikes, abortion and gay marriage, a supporter of labor unions and the rights of workers and crime victims. [...more]
May 1, 2012
Employees of the Maryland Transportation Authority, which operates the state’s toll bridges and tunnels, have kicked off a campaign for union representation even though the governor has yet to sign the bill authorizing collective bargaining at their agency. [...more]
April 30, 2012
The pressure is mounting for a special session to raise the taxes that failed to pass as the legislature adjourned April 9 and “fix” a “doomsday” budget with cuts that had been specifically designed to scare up votes for tax hikes.
Details have not been worked out, but legislators have been advised that Gov. Martin O’Malley will likely call a special session for the week of May 14.
April 26, 2012
The budget mess that has led to plans for a special legislative session has further emboldened Republicans to seek fiscally conservative solutions to what they see as failed policies of the Democratic monopoly. Larry Hogan has 12,000 people in his Change Maryland group; Marty Madden has an exploratory committee for governor and would seek public financing; and David Craig seems the best organized. [...more]
Any compromise on a 6th slots casino at National Harbor in Prince George’s County is complicated by strong regional interests of those jurisdictions like Baltimore City that already are supposed to have one of five casinos. [...more]
April 24, 2012
Gov. Martin O’Malley addressed more than 60 business leaders from India and Maryland in an attempt to strengthen trade and investment. But in an interview, O’Malley said two special sessions for the legislature are likely -- one in May to resolve budget issues and another in August to deal with gaming. He also suggested it might be time to create a new gaming commission to regulate gambling in the state. [...more]
Students and administrators at the state universities are worried that the $50 million cut in the state budget will lead to a double-digit tuition hike. [...more]