House and Senate conferees working on the state budget tentatively approved an alternative to the contentious stormwater remediation fee dubbed the “rain tax” by opponents.
The surprise move offered by Sen. James Ed DeGrange of Anne Arundel County appears to be an end-run around environmentalists and the House Environmental Matters Committee, which has blocked any changes to the requirement that nine counties and Baltimore City impose a separate tax to clean up stormwater polluting the bay.
The Senate voted Tuesday to provide a 20% salary increase over the next four years to the attorney general, comptroller, state treasurer and secretary of state. Under the bill, which Senate members approved 36-10, the attorney general, comptroller and treasurer would earn $149,500 in 2018, and the secretary of state would earn $109,500.
Support staff who work for mostly nonprofit agencies provide care for people with developmental disabilities. The state reimburses their agencies at $9.82 per hour. With proposals to raise the minimum wage above that, the workers and their agencies are concerned about high turnover and the value placed on the work they do.
Oregon's website for the Affordable Care Act failed in many of the same ways as Maryland's but the governor there ordered an independent probe and dealt with the problems differently than Maryland officials have.
The House of Delegates approved its version of Gov. Martin O'Malley's $38.7 billion budget Thursday by a vote of 100-38, but not before Republicans got in some licks about high taxes, Common Core and the lack of a vote on their own pay raises.
The Senate gave preliminary approval Thursday to a bill that would restrict members of the Anne Arundel Board of Education from running for public office during their five-year term, even if they resign early.
The bill generated an unusual battle over a local bill.
A federal judge this week told the Carroll County commissioners to stop praying in Jesus' name at their meetings. One of the commissioners defied the order, and said she's willing to go to jail over it. They tackled this problem some time ago at the State House, But what would Jesus do?
Republican legislators applied their usual persistence in trying to trim the Maryland budget Wednesday and were rewarded with their usual result: Every one of the dozen amendments they offered to reduce spending were defeated by overwhelming Democratic majorities.