March 26, 2012
House lawmakers Monday night passed a 7.5% state severance tax on natural gas in a 82-51 vote, after the delegates on Saturday fended off an amendment from Del. Wendell Beitzel, R-Garrett, that would cap state and local taxes on natural gas extraction at 7.5% combined. [...more]
AARP and MarylandReporter.com sponsored a 6th District debate for all congressional candidates on Sunday. Duane Keenan was there and produced a podcast featuring the Republican candidates. [...more]
A bill to raise pension contributions for new judges was amended in the House of Delegates Saturday to strike down a contentious provision in Maryland law that awards judges automatic pay hikes if the legislature fails to reject them. [...more]
The candidates for the House of Representatives in the 6th Congressional District participated in two debates Sunday sponsored by AARP Maryland and MarylandReporter.com and held on the Germantown campus of Montgomery College.
Webcasts of the two debates will be available at MarylandReporter.com later today. [...more]
March 24, 2012
A series of nine amendments to the O’Malley administration’s septic bill cleared the Senate Friday evening, preserving longstanding control of septic use by local planning authorities. The administration worked on the deal with the Maryland Association of Counties, farmers, developers and builders to salvage passage of the controversial measure. Liberal Democrats opposed the compromise. [...more]
March 23, 2012
The House of Delegates approved their version of the state’s $35.8 billion budget Friday, moving the process into its final stage to resolve differences with the Senate.
The budget bill was approved 95-43, but not before Republican lawmakers attempted one last time to derail its passage. [...more]
The House approved new requirements for counties to fund their local schools, raised the income tax rate for people making over $100,000 per year, and passed a new stormwater fee for nine counties, as well as a doubling of the flush tax to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Republicans opposed all these measures, along with a smattering of Democrats. [...more]
March 22, 2012
In a nearly 11-hour session, the House of Delegates fended off proposals to level fund the fiscal 2013 budget, block shifting teacher pension costs, and eliminate an income tax hike.
Scores of amendments were attempted on the controversial bills, but none passed. All of the bills will go for final votes Friday or Saturday exactly as they came from their committees. [...more]
A bill to require state lawmakers and their cabinet level appointees to post financial disclosures statements online cleared the Senate for final passage Thursday, after spirited debate on Wednesday on amendments to apply the same requirement to county, municipal and school board officials. [...more]
Gov. Martin O’Malley announced on March 9 that his administration was moving to make Maryland a more business-friendly state by repealing, revising and streamlining more than 131 regulations. But the Maryland Chamber of Commerce said the regulations had little impact on business, compared to legislation that has been proposed.