April 22, 2013
A movement led by junior Republican delegates is underway to replace Maryland GOP House Minority Leader Tony O’Donnell and Minority Whip Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio. Second term Del. Nicholaus Kipke, 34, Anne Arundel, and freshman Del. Kathy Szeliga, 51, Baltimore and Harford counties, have been named by party insiders as the team running to replace O’Donnell, 52, and House Whip, Eastern Shore Del. Haddaway-Riccio, 35. [...more]
April 9, 2013
Voters next year will be asked to approve a constitutional amendment creating a “lockbox” to prevent raids on the Transportation Trust Fund for other purposes, but Republican opponents said the measure was a sham that would provide little protection. The measure provides that money can only be taken out of the Transportation Trust Fund after a three-fifths vote of both houses of the Maryland General Assembly once the governor has declared a state of “fiscal emergency.” [...more]
April 7, 2013
A $36.9 billion state budget for fiscal 2014 easily passed the House of Delegates and state Senate Friday, with less Republican opposition than last year. The budget raises overall spending 3% and is $500 million less than Gov. Martin O'Malley originally proposed, largely by setting aside funds in case federal budget cuts impact state revenues. [...more]
A bill granting immigrants in the country illegally with access to a legal driver’s license passed in the House of Delegates Friday after heated debate. The bill has already been approved in the Senate and awaits the governor’s signature.
The legislation extends a program allowing Marylanders to obtain a driver’s license without proving they are in the country legally or have a valid Social Security number – bringing issues of immigration, terrorism and compassion to the debate. [...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]
Facing the prospect of same-day registration for early voters, Republican delegates battled Wednesday to pass amendments intended to safeguard elections from fraud. Republicans feel that voter fraud is a widespread problem across the state and that most efforts to expand voting access further weaken the integrity of the vote. [...more]
March 13, 2013
A bill intended to prevent voter suppression was passed by the House of Delegates 90-46 on Tuesday, after a heated argument between Democrats and Republicans about the impact of the legislation on Marylanders’ civil rights.
HB220, which passed along party lines, would enable the attorney general to go to court and seek injunctive relief in cases where the attorney general believes voter intimidation and ballot fraud has a high probability of influencing the results of an election. [...more]
February 19, 2013
Responding to Republican assertions at a Tuesday morning news conference that a gas tax hike he proposed is unnecessary, Senate President Mike Miller said, “These people are Neanderthals.”
Miller suggested that Republicans were towing the party line even though many of their districts would benefit from the passage of the tax bill.
February 12, 2013
In hopes of slowing the political revolving door out of government to influence government as a lobbyist, House Minority Leader O’Donnell testified Tuesday for a package of four ethics measures he’s introduced.
The package seeks to renew and in some cases tighten up the ethics code, particularly as it relates to former government officials becoming lobbyists to advocate for issues they worked on and where their influence remains. [...more]
February 6, 2013
Bills to increase compliance with the Open Meetings Act by public bodies in Maryland and stiffen penalties for violating the law will get a hearing Thursday afternoon in the House Health and Government Operations Committee. One of the bills, sponsored by Del. Dan Morhaim who chairs the Government Operations Subcommittee, is significantly different than what MarylandReporter.com initially reported in January. [...more]