State Roundup, December 9, 2016

Two-year study urges Maryland to add $2.9 billion to public education funding; online firearm licensing to begin Jan. 1, 2017; Anne Arundel leads state in new jobs, matching national average; as Gov. Hogan preps for Army-Navy game, he says chances iffy on chatting with Prez-elect Trump; legislative panel puts hold on transit project scoring plan; House Speaker Busch ill, but recovering; GBC pushes plan for businesses, government to hire more ex-convicts; Montgomery Exec Leggett joins call for Trump to shield undocumented children; Baltimore County Exec Kamenetz to head MACo; and Ben Carson says he won’t gut safety net at HUD.

Billions more in school aid sought, but commissioners question results

Consultants are recommending that Maryland spend $2.9 billion more on public schools each year, a 29% overall increase. The state share would increase by $1.9 billion and the counties would pick up the rest, with some big winners and Montgomery County the biggest loser in the reallocation of school dollars. The commission that will actually make recommendations to the legislature next year about school funding got its first bite at a thick consulting report justifying the increased spending on Thursday, with members questioning the two-year study and its approach.

State Roundup, December 8, 2016

Gov. Hogan proposes his own paid-sick leave bill that would provide 40 hours yearly for businesses with at least 50 employees; Dels. Robinson, Smith picked to replace Mayor Pugh, Rep. Raskin in state Senate; U.S. Sen. Mikulski bids farewell in last speech on Senate floor, was longest serving woman in the Senate; Democratic female candidates organization graduated largest class in its five year history; Hogan to attend Army-Navy game, may or may not see Trump but says he has a good relationship with VP-elect Pence; Board of Public Works delays action on Baltimore County equestrian center; and Hyattsville gives non-citizens the vote in city elections.


Advocates of public financing of local campaigns in Howard outspent opponents 10-1

Howard County voters approved setting up a system of public financing for people running for County Council and executive with a safe 7,500-vote margin, though the measure actually lost among people who voted on Election Day by 2,000 votes. Question A proponents — a coalition of good government and progressive groups outspent the organized opponents — mostly Republicans — at least 10 to 1 if in-kind support from progressive organizations is counted.

State Roundup, December 7, 2016

Former Sen. Pugh sworn in as new Baltimore City mayor to much promise of bipartisan work with Gov. Hogan; Hogan administration unveils a major overhaul of how state contracts are bid, awarded; Washington County lawmakers target education, economic development as they prep for 2017 legislature; state audit finds unsupervised fund in telecommunications tower rentals; as MGM National Harbor Casino sets to open, two older casinos to benefit from tax-cut agreement; Maryland ranked one of best states to live; Prince George’s council sets up panel to oversee government-vehicle use; and President-elect Trump’s advisor says he will observe tradition at Army-Navy game in Baltimore on Saturday.


Major overhaul of state contracting proposed, along with hundreds of changes to regulations

The Hogan administration has unveiled a major overhaul of how billions in state contracts are bid and awarded, along with a revamping of hundreds of regulations designed to making doing business in Maryland easier. Few of the changes have broad impact on the public at large, but they impact hundreds of state contractors and thousands of professionals, such as a real estate agents and mortgage brokers.

State Roundup, December 6, 2016

Incoming Mayor Pugh names Del. Hammen, former Ba Co Exec Jim Smith as top aides; State to get $15 million in education grants for pre-k programs; Sen. Cardin urges environmental leaders to continue work on restoring Chesapeake Bay; Maryland casinos bring in $92 million in November; Speaker Busch urges Washington County Dems to find inspiration; Talbot Council regulated solar farm size in concern over farmland loss; Common Cause questions outgoing Mayor Rawlings-Blake use of campaign funds for party; and MADD seeks to curb PG Councilman with use of ignition lock device.

State Roundup, December 5, 2016

Ben Carson picked to head HUD; Dirk Haire takes over state GOP chairmanship; Fracking opponents push for ban, but extension of moratorium more likely; lawmakers target cash bail system; investigative report finds police dismiss a high rate of sex assaults; Lt. Gov. Rutherford finds himself in tweet controversy over hate speech; Gov. Hogan sits down with new members of Baltimore City Council; St. John’s joins program to shield students from deportation; OD deaths up in Anne Arundel; Prince George’s council member has history of car accidents in county vehicles; and arrests made in assault on City Councilwoman Rikki Spector.

Rascovar: Corporate welfare works in Maryland and Indiana

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Jr. may not have supported or voted for President-elect Donald Trump but they agree on one thing: Corporate welfare works. Throwing money and tax breaks at Northrop Grumman, Marriott International and United Technologies did the trick this past week – along with a good deal of loud, Trumpian threats in the case of UT’s subsidiary, Carrier Corp., in Indiana.

State Roundup, December 2, 2016

Rep. Harris says he’s willing to work in Trump admin; task force recommends major curtailing of strip searches of youths in custody; compromise could bring legislation on paid sick leave back to the General Assembly; Sen. Currie’s reversal on retirement could have impact on Maryland Dems’ standard operating procedure; delegates seek to give Total Wine local loophole for another Class A liquor store; Arundel council member suggests change in allocation of Maryland’s Electoral votes; Raskin, Warren rally progressives; Gov. Hogan brings in $1.5 million at fund-raiser; Prince George’s council member had previous accidents with government car; and feds set replacement of city train tunnel at $4 billion.