Sen. Richard Madaleno said Thursday on the floor of the Senate he was shocked by the news that Maryland will not be replacing old touchscreen voting machines with more advanced technology before the 2014 election. “I was under the impression that we were going to have new voting machines in place by then,” Madaleno said during debate on a bill to make voting easier.Read More
Supporters of a major increase in alcohol taxes to support health care believe the election results, legislative committee assignments and a new poll have put them close to their goal of a “dime-a-drink” tax hike.
“We think we’re close to majorities” in both the House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, said Vincent DeMarco, president of the Health Care for All Coalition.Read More
Despite the deceptively simple catch phrase, bars, restaurants, wineries and alcohol wholesalers think that the “dime-a-drink” proposal to increase the state tax rate on alcoholic beverages will cost them a lot more.
“They can call it 10 cents a drink. I call it $3 a case of beer,” said Jack Milani, a partner in Monaghan’s Pub in Baltimore County. Milani is legislative co-chair of the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association.Read More
When candidates Martin O’Malley and Bob Ehrlich appeared together before the Maryland Disabilities Forum Monday, they tried to outdo each other in touting ways they had helped people with disabilities as governor.
The forum by a coalition of diverse groups on disabilities was the kind of influence on top policymakers many other interest groups are striving for this election year.Read More
Most child support payments in the state will be eligible to go up in October, under a law approved Tuesday by Gov. Martin O’Malley.
Payments have been increased in what advocates called an attempt to reflect modern costs of living. The payment awards have not been changed since 1988.Read More
In a marathon five-hour session Tuesday night, the Maryland Senate gave preliminary approval to Gov. Martin O’Malley’s $32 billion budget, cutting only about $100 million from his spending plan for fiscal 2011.
The senators rejected scores of amendments to make changes to the action taken by its own budget committee last week. They voted down attempts to ban funding of Medicaid abortions and stem cell research, and refused efforts to further cut funding for public schools. They also rejected efforts to boost funding for Chesapeake Bay cleanup or for highway funding to counties. Those are two of the many areas where O’Malley made cuts in order to fund other programs in the face of declining revenues.Read More
A new poll says half of Maryland voters would support a a 10-cent per drink tax on alcohol, though they weren’t told the relative magnitude of the hike.Read More
Though there’s still support for electric re-regulation among Maryland lawmakers and in Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration, it appears unlikely that any new proposal can move forward next year unless a key House committee changes its leanings on the issue.
O’Malley and some members of the Senate said Wednesday that they continue to support a more heavily-regulated market, in which the Public Service Commission would have additional control over the development and sale of electric supply in Maryland, but O’Malley conceded the legislature is likely not ready to pass such a change.Read More
By focusing on a 10-cent increase in the price of “a drink,” a report advocating higher alcohol taxes never actually mentions the true dimensions of the tax increases being proposed by the Health Care for All coalition.Read More
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