Junior GOP delegates make another attempt to oust House Minority Leader O’Donnell

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.

Transportation fund ‘lockbox’ sent to voters

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.”

$37 billion budget passes easily, including cut in pension funding

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.

Norman Conway

Legislature extends Md. driver’s licenses for immigrants here illegally

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.

Gas tax hike on fast track as House gives preliminary OK

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.

Republican legislators struggle against same-day voter registration

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.

Voters’ Rights Protection Act passes despite Republican objections on First Amendment grounds

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.