Tag: Progressive Maryland

Reaction to Supreme Court decision on health care includes victory dances and calls for repeal

The torrent of comment on the Supreme Court decision to uphold most of the Affordable Care Act fell predictably along party and ideological lines: Democrats and progressives were exulting; Republicans and conservatives were disgusted, except for the ruling that the individual mandate was a tax. It will take several days to digest the full implications, but here are lightly edited versions of over two dozen Maryland reactions.

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Progressive, nonprofits push for permanent “millionaires’ tax”

Several tax watchdogs and policy analysts concerned about the state of Maryland’s economy and buoyed by a new report urged delegates to revisit a just-expired method of raising more money — extending the tax surcharge on millionaires.

Enacted in 2008, the “millionaires’ tax” taxes all net income above $1 million at a rate of 6.25%. The base tax rate for everything less than $1 million is 5.5%. The surcharge passed in 2008 to replace the sales tax on computer services was to last only three years, expiring at the end of 2010.

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Public financing of election campaigns makes another try

In what has become an annual tradition, Del. Jon Cardin is sponsoring legislation to establish a fund that would finance General Assembly campaigns with public funds.

The bill was applauded by citizens’ and voter rights groups appearing before the House Ways and Means Committee Tuesday. It has yet to win approval from both houses of the General Assembly. Cardin, a Baltimore County Democrat, said that he “inherited” the bill from former Del. John Adams Hurson, who retired in 2005.

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Bill would increase minimum wage to $10 in three years

Minimum wage would increase to nearly $10 an hour through a bill that Majority Leader Robert Garagiola planned to introduce in the Senate on Monday.

The bill, which had 15 co-sponsors by Monday afternoon, would incrementally increase minimum wage from its current $7.25 up to close to $10 by 2013, a 35% increase over three years. It also would boost pay for employees who earn tips from half to 70% of minimum wage, and would add overtime and inflation provisions for other employees.

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Progressive groups want to raise income, gas, corporate and sales taxes, and boost minimum wage

Progressive groups and legislators are aiming to raise state taxes on millionaires, corporations, liquor, gasoline and a broad array of consumer services, as well as boosting the state minimum wage to $10 an hour to help protect government services and the incomes of “working families.”

The proposals came in the annual “State of Working Maryland” report from the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute and the Progressive Maryland coalition of liberal groups.

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Efforts for more open government brings divergent groups together

Legislators and advocates on the right and left are often at odds on policy, but a conference next week will bring divergent groups together on something they can all agree on: the need for greater openness and transparency in government.

The Maryland Public Policy Institute, along with the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute, Progressive Maryland, and Community Research, are sponsoring a session Dec. 8 to discuss ways that the government can be more accountable to the people through increased disclosure of information.

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