Rascovar: McIntosh bites the budget apple

Until last week, Del. Maggie McIntosh was an important member of the House of Delegates leadership.

Now, suddenly, she’s a Very Important Person.

The new chair of the House Appropriations Committee holds the second-most powerful post in the chamber. It even could put her in prime position to succeed House Speaker Mike Busch whenever the Annapolis lawmaker decides to give up his gavel.

Budget agreement reached, ditching provisions on stormwater, House of Cards

House and Senate negotiators working out their differences in the $38.7 billion state budget reached agreement Thursday evening, eliminating provisions on stormwater fees and “House of Cards” property. An alternative to the stormwater remediation fee proposed by Anne Arundel Sen. James DeGrange was ultimately eliminated from the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA).

Doubling flush tax almost certain, Bay Restoration Fund still vulnerable to future raids

Most Marylanders will see their flush tax bill double from $30 to $60 beginning July 1, but the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund will remain vulnerable to raids that have climbed to $290 million since 2010.

The Senate approved the fee increase in 28-18 vote late Saturday, with an amendment that exempts residents far western Maryland and the Ocean City area that are not part of the Chesapeake Bay drainage area.

Online financial disclosure faces problems in House committee

A Senate bill to require online financial disclosures of state and county officials hit a wall of skepticism Wednesday from House Environmental Committee Chair Maggie McIntosh. She said the time to consider the privacy ramifications for legislators was running out in the closing days of the legislative session.