State Roundup, January 13, 2020

Medical marijuana brings in $10 million in tax revenues in FY2019; Southern Maryland officials plan to launch push to bring commuter rail to their communities; death with dignity bill could fall short again this year; tax proposed for online venues that host digital ads; legislature, workers have little confidence in handling of harassment, bias claims; two companies received a quarter of state tax abatements in 2019; with Baltimore City, Prince George’s concerned over Kirwan financial hit, lawmakers say they’ll study adjusting formula; federal lawmakers push to hold EPA accountable over Bay cleanup; dems seeking late Rep. Cummings’ seat hold forum; Prince George’s County Exec Alsobrooks slams law banning some fund-raising as biased; and is former Arundel County Exec Leopold running for AA school board?

State Roundup, January 8, 2020

Comptroller Franchot tells crowd he’s running for governor in 2022; with the General Assembly session opening today, the Statehouse will see new House and Senate leaders: Speaker Adrienne Jones brings a quiet style to her post while incoming Senate President Bill Ferguson seeks stability during the transition; pay attention to the up and comers within the House and Senate; who are the six new members of the House and Senate?; as Gov. Hogan sets his top priorities as crime and corruption, he brushes off questions about his real estate business deals following Washington Monthly report; proposed I-270 monorail between Frederick and Montgomery counties gains traction; and with Amazon blooming in Arlington County, Va., the economic split between it and Montgomery County, Md., grows.

State Roundup, January 7, 2020

While Gov. Hogan may not like a lot of what President Trump is doing, the way the two real estate executives have handled their private business affairs while in office is strikingly similar; Hogan faced a bumpy, windy road on the way to compromises over his Capital-area highway widening plans; a top Hogan aide is leaving to take government relations job with highway construction firm; on the eve of the General Assembly’s 441st session, Kirwan education reforms expected to remain top issue in Annapolis; with new leadership in the House of Delegates and the Senate comes uncertainty; new prescription drug board kicks off with bipartisanship, hope of reining in costs; Gonzales Poll finds Hogan’s popularity continues; and former U.S. Treasury official joins race for Baltimore mayor.

State Roundup, January 6, 2020

Gov. Hogan, Comptroller Franchot reach agreement over Beltway, I-270 roads projects, now expected to go before Board of Public Works on Wednesday; as the General Assembly session gets ready to open, education reform – without massive tax hike – leads concerns; bills Hogan vetoed last May expected to reappear; with changes aplenty, House Speaker Jones taps new committee leadership; Prince George’s lawmakers want deal for Bowie Race Track in any Pimlico legislation; Carroll County lawmakers set sights on Kirwan ed reform; AFSCME says Hogan denied its members raises; Frederick County skewing slightly blue; banning hair discrimination expected in Baltimore city, may come up in Annapolis; and towns to fight proposed maglev project.

New Senate budget chair Guzzone forecasts a phase-in for school reforms, spending

The new chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, Howard County’s Guy Guzzone, sees a way forward by phasing in the recommendations without tax hikes – at least for the moment. “If you’re going to spend all this money, you want to see results,” Guzzone said in an interview. “What I believe by now at this point is that we have the resources right now to get this going. We have the resources to see improvements along the way.” “And we’re going to keep checking. And every time we check and realize that we’re succeeding and we’re reaching the next level of success, we can say, OK, let’s figure out how to fund that next level. I think that’s the right way to think about it.”