March 2, 2014
How high will it go? How much more will it cost the O’Malley-Brown administration to fix or totally replace the dysfunctional online health insurance system that it bragged about until the software crashed on Day One?
It already is the most costly debacle in state history. [...more]
February 27, 2014
In unusual joint testimony, Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot, chair and vice-chair of the state pension board, pleaded with Senate budgeters not to permanently cut $100 million in state payments to the retirement system. They said the cut proposed by Gov. Martin O'Malley had high long-term repercussions and undermined the state's credibility with bond rating agencies by reneging on promises made in 2011 pension reforms. [...more]
February 9, 2014
Blocking inmate calls from cell phones they're not supposed to have is a good idea. Blocking cell phone use on busy city streets outside the jail is not so great. [...more]
It takes quite a bit for the quiet, diplomatic State Treasurer, Nancy Kopp, to criticize her fellow Democrat, Gov. Martin O'Malley. But she gently laid it on the line in opposing O'Malley's $100 million budget cut for state pension contributions.
"It's a question of trust," Kopp said [...more]
February 2, 2014
Raising the minimum wage is all the rage among liberal Democrats and liberal advocacy groups. Listening to them it’s clear a much higher minimum will dramatically close the income inequity gap. Columnist Barry Rascovar explores the downside of upping the minimum wage, and offers a better alternative. [...more]
January 28, 2014
Gov. Martin O'Malley solved part of the mystery about the odd quote in his State of the State address last week. “The only things worth doing are the things that might possibly break your heart," O'Malley said. It turns out O'Malley didn't just lift the quote from something he read -- Irish writer Column McCann helped him craft some of the speech, [...more]
January 24, 2014
From my usual corner at the back of the House of Delegates chamber, Martin O'Malley's eighth and final State of the State address seemed one of his better efforts.
Think what you might of O'Malley's accomplishments over the last seven years -- the real subject of the whole speech -- the gov is an effective communicator, except when he reaches too far for the lofty rhetoric of his beloved Irish poets. [...more]
January 19, 2014
Maryland's lieutenant governor, Anthony Brown, has a problem that won't go away -- his still unexplained leadership role in the state's disastrous Obamacare rollout.
This is the biggest sticking point in Brown's run for governor. It could become an insurmountable obstacle if public attention remains focused on those computer glitches and poor sign-up results. [...more]
January 17, 2014
The largest unions representing state workers and public school teachers are upset at Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision to permanently cut $100 million from extra payments into the state pension system. The money came from additional employee salary deductions required by a 2011 pension reform, and was intended to help cure underfunding in the pension system. [...more]
January 16, 2014
O'Malley as usual rolled out the new budget with an elaborate PowerPoint presentation to reporters that put a positive spin on the budget numbers. But a different spin can be put on some of the numbers. [...more]