Public financing of Maryland gubernatorial elections could get help from the general fund in years the Fair Campaign Financing Fund falls short, said Del. Eric Luedtke, D-Montgomery. Prince George’s Del. Jimmy Tarlau plans to introduce legislation creating public financing for legislative races.
Back when I was a naïve and newbie political reporter covering the Maryland General Assembly in the early 1970s, I was baffled when legislators joked in lounges and hallways about “Honest Prince George.” I found out soon enough it was a jovial but derogatory reference to the questionable “pay for play” politics practiced by some leaders of Prince George’s County. Now “Honest Prince George’s” has surfaced again.
Gov. Hogan announces sweeping, bipartisan anti-crime package targeting serial rapists, drunken driving and victims’ rights; Arundel County Exec Schuh supports face-off of new Frederick Douglass statue with old Taney statue on State House grounds; Nick Mosby nominated for vacant delegate seat; Baltimore City, U.S. Justice Department roll out 227-page consent decree on police reforms prior to Trump inauguration; Howard County school super sues her school board; and Mikulski join JHU.
As the very first piece of legislation, Democrat lawmakers have reintroduced the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, the paid sick leave bill, which passed the House in a party line vote last year but failed to move in the Senate. This year’s House bill, HB01, will compete with a measure recently announced by Gov. Larry Hogan. But some Republican lawmakers are not enthusiastic about Hogan’s compromise, even though it is less burdensome to businesses than the House bill.
Two public health and medical professionals write that they see the health of Marylanders is an overarching issue connecting two important pieces of unfinished business facing our state legislators in this session. One is passing a ban on hydraulic fracturing – “fracking.” The second is overriding the Governor’s veto of bipartisan legislation to increase our state’s target for renewable energy
Amid calls for bipartisanship, opening day in Annapolis has a rocky start with Sen. Gladden’s and Del. Vaughn’s resignations; Vaughn cites health reasons, but FBI probe may be related; Gladden, who has MS, cites health reasons; Gov. Hogan says he won’t engage in partisan warfare during the session but Speaker Busch and Senate President Miller seem more combative; reorganized Legislative Black Caucus comes on strong with 5-point plan including equal funding for HBCUs; court delay in decision on state bail decision means reform will founder; state energy program saved $1.8 billion for consumers; U.S. Rep. Harris, a possible candidate to head NIH, meets with Prez-elect Trump; and Montgomery golf club may snub soon-to-be ex Prez Obama over Israel stand.
House Speaker Michael Busch on Tuesday thanked the U.S. attorney and the FBI “for their due diligence in completing this investigation” into Prince George’s County corruption that may put as many as three former and current delegates in prison. Actually the investigation is not be completed at all. But the person who should be really grateful to the feds for their probe and the awkward timing of their announcement is Gov. Larry Hogan.
The Maryland legislature formally convenes at noon today, opening the doors on a wide revenue gap, partisan bickering, some vacant seats and a federal corruption probe that could cast a pall over the State House; but it’s business as usual for Atty. Gen. Frosh as he introduces two bills to curb the rising costs of prescription meds; Gov. Hogan seeks to cap rising college tuition costs; state Sen. Gladden not expected at opening day; new delegate named to fill Montgomery vacancy; man who would be delegate still on Pugh payroll after charges; former Prince George’s delegate pleads guilty to taking bribes, most while a councilman; Baltimore County exec digs in heels over school construction funding; U.S. Rep. Raskin gets seat on Judiciary; U.S. Rep. Brown gets tapped for Armed Services panel; and Dem leaders to rally in Bowie for ACA.
The most troubling fact, for an old-school journalist like myself, is that facts don’t seem to matter much anymore, writes Len Lazarick. But facts should still matter to both reporters and to politicians.
On the eve of the 2017 legislative session, Democrat lawmakers and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh rolled out two bills that would authorize the state to sue drug makers for price gouging — and require that companies give public notice when price hikes exceed 10%.