County and city leaders highlighted the desperate state of some of the schools in their communities to a panel of Maryland lawmakers on Thursday. Their testimony was in support of legislation that would provide more than $2 billion over the next five to ten years for school construction and renovation throughout the state. Baltimore Mayor Jack Young said the legislation would provide a big boost for city schools, some of which he said lack basic utilities such as heat and air conditioning.
Bipartisan support for Maryland’s business community was on full display Wednesday in Annapolis at a conference hosted by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce where lawmakers and members of the Hogan administration touted plans to make the state more business-friendly. Sens. Christopher West, R-Baltimore County, and Brian Feldman, D-Montgomery, are both members of the Senate “Small Business Jobs Working Group.” The General Assembly established the 12-member panel last year. West said he will introduce legislation that would establish a two-year workgroup consisting of public and private entities to study changes in Maryland’s economy.
The bill would eliminate the requirements that undocumented immigrants attend community college in the same county where they graduated from high school, go to community college before attending a four-year institution, and attend college within four years of graduating from high school.
The year 2010 closed with the unveiling of a new Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan lauded by states, federal officials and environmentalists as the rigorous, concrete and enforceable plan that would finally deliver on the promise of a clean and healthy Bay.
“People don’t know what they’re doing when they vote for judges. Judges are not permitted to really campaign, not permitted to talk about how they would rule on things and they can’t talk partisan politics,” said Del. Jon Cardin, D-Baltimore County. “They’re not allowed to by their rules and so essentially it is a name contest — whosever name you like the best is who you vote for. And that is not the way that we should be picking our judiciary.”
Retirees who make $50,000 a year or less “will pay no state income tax whatsoever” under the Retirement Tax Reduction Act of 2020, Hogan said. Retirees who make less than $100,000 a year would see their state taxes decrease from 50 to 100 percent, he said.
“Maryland may have some of the strongest gun laws in the country but it’s not enough,” said Andrea Chamblee, a volunteer with the Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America whose husband. John McNamara, was killed in the June 2018 shooting along with four other Gazette employees. “There are significant loopholes that endanger our families, including the loopholes corrected by this bill.”
“This budget funds all of the state’s top priorities while maintaining $1.3 billion in reserves and limiting budget growth to 1 percent without raising taxes, without cutting services and without raiding dedicated special funds,” Hogan said at a Tuesday morning news conference at the State House.
The Home Act, if passed, would forbid landlords in Maryland from discriminating against would-be renters paying with government housing vouchers. The legislation has yet to be filed in either chamber of the General Assembly this year but was filed in each of the past three years. The Home Act has been opposed by housing and real estate agent associations that have said voucher programs burden landlords with more rules than they would otherwise face.
The Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board members were given an extensive presentation about the financial disclosure requirements they must make as part of their service. Disclosure exemptions may be requested. However, Van Mitchell, chair of the board, said members voted prior to the meeting not to ask for exemptions.