May 9, 2013
Maryland House Republicans were surprisingly complimentary of Public Safety Secretary Gary Maynard at a Thursday news conference about the pervasive gang activity in state prisons revealed in a federal indictment of 13 correctional officers at the Baltimore City Detention Center. The Republicans described the secretary as a reformer whose efforts had been thwarted by the inaction of others, and said that they admired his willingness to uncover corruption. [...more]
April 14, 2013
You might not expect a CEO and a person without a job to agree on legislation, but there are exceptions. Marylanders Mark Rice and Paul Behler live in very different circumstances -- Rice is the owner of a Baltimore City manufacturing plant and Behler is one of the city’s unemployed. But both support a new state program signed into law Tuesday that will fund the training of Maryland’s workforce. [...more]
April 5, 2013
Despite general agreement on the need for more mental health services to prevent gun violence, providers argue that the state’s psychiatric services are woefully underfunded and that the General Assembly has done little to address this problem. They were particularly shocked that the governor revoked $7.2 million of funding for mental health in his supplemental budget this week. [...more]
April 3, 2013
Who got to Gov. O'Malley about the Towson University baseball program? And why did he offer $300,000 to save it? [...more]
March 29, 2013
Just 25 days after it was introduced, the Maryland Senate enacted the first gas tax hike in 21 years, sending the governor a 10 to 12 cent per gallon increase by 2015. The bill calls for the tax to go even higher -- it will rise automatically in future years. [...more]
March 22, 2013
The intensely debated gas tax hike electrified the house floor on Friday moving many delegates to speak who “hadn’t planned on standing up.” The two hour debate, culminated in a hotly disputed vote, ultimately passing 76 votes to 63.
HB 1515 raises Maryland’s gas tax by at least 10 cents per gallon or more over the next two years, indexing it to inflation, with aims to fund mass transit projects and highway improvements. [...more]
March 21, 2013
Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed gasoline tax hike that was late arriving for this year's General Assembly session is now clearly on a fast track for passage. The House of Delegates gave it preliminary approval Wednesday night -- just five days after its first hearing. The Democrat-dominated House easily beat back Republican attempts to modify the bill, HB1515, indicating more than enough Democrats are on board to pass it as early as Thursday. [...more]
Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget passed the Senate in a landslide vote, with only five Republicans voting against it and seven Republicans voting in favor along with 35 of their Democratic colleagues.
The passage of a $36.8 billion budget was preceded by an exceptionally short debate, which lasted only an hour and included no Republican proposals to cut state spending in fiscal year 2014. [...more]
March 14, 2013
A new Goucher College poll finds a slight majority of Marylanders (51%) oppose ending executions -- even though many overestimate how often it is used and a majority says it does not deter murder and would prefer life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. An overwhelming majority of Marylanders -- more than four out of five -- support the major provisions of Gov. Martin O'Malley's gun control proposal, despite the fierce opposition of a gun-owning minority that has flooded Annapolis hearing rooms. [...more]
March 12, 2013
The House Appropriations Committee finished cutting Gov. Martin O'Malley's fiscal 2014 budget Friday, and the final tally released Monday night in its report to the House shows the budget is $420 million less than what the governor proposed, bringing it slightly under $37 billion.
The overall budget still increases by $1.26 billion, or 3.5%, but excluding federal funds and the money put in the Rainy Day fund, spending of state taxpayer dollars rises by just 2%. [...more]