Tag: House

Teenagers registering to vote causes GOP heartburn

Teenagers may soon be able to register to vote as soon as they can get their driver’s licenses, under a proposal passed by the House Monday.

The bill would allow all 16-year-old residents to register to vote. Although they still would not be able to vote in an election until they turn 18, they would be able to sign petitions for referendums and potential candidates, a point of contention among Republicans.

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Teacher labor panel bill gaining speed in Annapolis

Teachers would be able to take labor disputes beyond the respective boards of education that control their salaries, under a controversial bill gaining speed in both the House and Senate.

Even opponents to the bill, which would create a neutral third party to handle disputed negotiations for teachers statewide, call the measure “greased lightening.” Foes argue that the bill will take spending authority away from local decision makers, though there is a provision that allows counties not to fund pay hikes.

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Home efficiency or direct aid? Greenhouse gas tax money in dispute

The House and Senate are at odds over whether it’s best to help residents pay their energy bills by sending direct aid, or by offering cash to help make homes more efficient.

The House Appropriations Committee wants to use more of the money from a regional tax on greenhouse gas emissions to pay for the weatherization of homes. But the Senate has voted to send most of the money directly to ratepayers and right away.

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House committee rejects teacher pension shift, other Senate budget actions

The House budget committee roundly rejected a Senate proposal to hand off half of the state’s responsibility for teacher pensions within five years, one of a series of decisions that will lead to difficult negotiations between the two chambers.

The House Appropriations committee unanimously rejected the change, and also scaled back a plan to divert state and local highway money toward general expenses. Those changes were two major components of the close to $32 billion spending plan the Senate passed this week.

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Unemployment bill to get final vote after GOP changes fail

House lawmakers took a step toward passing Gov. Martin O’Malley’s unemployment insurance reform package Monday, despite Republican efforts to scale back coverage and reduce taxes.

Proponents said the bill puts Maryland in line with federal guidelines, making the state eligible for $127 million in federal money. Unemployment Insurance Subcommittee Chair Herman Taylor said that if the body doesn’t act now, the federal government can require the state to enact these guidelines in the future, without the monetary reward.

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Private schools tax credit uncertain in House, passes Senate

A proposal to provide tax credits to businesses that contribute to scholarship programs at private schools faces an uncertain fate in the House after it passed the Senate 30 to 17 Wednesday.

The Building Opportunities for All Students and Teachers in Maryland tax credit (BOAST) was scheduled for a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday afternoon.

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