Tag: Rich Madaleno

Md. legislators get high marks from consumer group — but not GOP

A consumer advocacy group is giving state lawmakers high scores for passing laws in the 2014 General Assembly session that raise the minimum wage and reduce the impact of foreclosures.

The Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, a nonprofit whose mission includes advancing fairness and justice for consumers, also released four-year scores that depicted state lawmakers as generally favorable to consumer issues. Only nine of 47 senators and 46 of 141 delegates got four-year scores lower than 80%.

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50% hike in cigarette tax gets hearing

Health care advocates are stoking the tax fires again with legislation that would make Maryland’s tobacco taxes some of the highest in the country.

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee heard testimony Wednesday on SB 589, which would increase the tobacco tax rate from $2 for a pack of cigarettes to $3. The bill also calls for steep hike on all other tobacco products — from 30% to 95% of the wholesale price.

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Podcasts: Miller, “I needed to get 24 votes” on the tax hike; Pipkin, “It will cost us jobs”

In this podcast, Senate President Mike Miller explains that progressive Democrats in his caucus demanded a higher tax on high earners. Minority Leader E.J. Pipkin says, “It will cost us jobs.”

“It’s class warfare,” said Sen. Bobby Zirkin in a second podcast. “It’s the worst instincts of the Democratic Party.”

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Hundreds rally for same-sex marriage on Monday night

Beneath the monument to Thurgood Marshall with the engraved words “Equal Justice Under Law,” around 800 advocates for same-sex marriage rallied on Lawyer’s Mall on Monday evening.

Organized by the Marylanders for Marriage Equality coalition, which consists of several state and national organizations, the rally and lobby day — which flooded House and Senate offices with 15,000 signed postcards urging support for the bill — came as supporters continue to round up the votes needed to pass the bill in the House of Delegates.

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