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House rejects lower pay raise for judges

The House of Delegates Thursday rejected Republican attempts to lower a proposed pay raise for judges and tentatively approved a plan to give the 313 judges $20,000 more over the next four years.

Published on 22 February 2018 | 11:06 pm

State Roundup, February 22, 2018

Fireworks expected during Friday's House debate over proposed changes to new micro-breweries law; following alleged grade fixing, theft allegations, two bills would set up investigative offices to oversee schools; what seemed like a shoo-in bill regulating international election observers turned into a debate over Russian interference and Senate President Miller's quashing the bill; House pulling together deal to fund Metro; contract awarded to set up service to allow 911 to receive texts; Gov. Hogan, Mayor Pugh tout city crime drop after sweeping arrests; and gubernatorial hopeful Kamenetz picks Montgomery pol Valerie Ervin as running mate.

Published on 22 February 2018 | 1:33 pm

Fear of Russia derails “simple bill” on allowing foreign observers of Maryland elections

A heightened fear of Russian meddling in American elections helped derail what its sponsors thought was "a simple bill" to regulate how international observers witness Maryland elections.

Published on 22 February 2018 | 3:44 am

State Roundup, February 21, 2018

Seven months after grandson's murder, Del. Talmadge Branch urges lawmakers to expand Safe Streets program; House panel recommends cutting judicial pay raise proposal; bill would allow Marylanders to vote on making recreational marijuana legal; progressive coalition rallies for women's economic, reproductive freedom; bill would raise penalty, fine for negligent accidents that cause life-threatening injuries; legislation would require voters to fill General Assembly vacancies; ACLU concerned about impact on First Amendment from cyberbullying bill; Transportation Secretary Rahn criticized over Baltimore Metro management; Goucher Poll finds majority of Marylanders know someone addicted to opioids; and gubernatorial candidate Baker hits the ground running after running mate announcement.

Published on 21 February 2018 | 1:30 pm

Committee cuts judicial pay raise to $20K; Strong support for term limits for legislators, more education funding, $15 minimum wage

All 313 Maryland judges would get a $20,000 pay raise -- $5,000 for each of the next four years, the House Appropriations Committee is recommending. The committee cut $15,000 from the raises proposed by the Judicial Compensation Commission. Three-quarters of Marylanders (75%) support term limits for state legislators, and a majority (56%) support the two-term, 8-year limit proposed by Gov. Larry Hogan, according to part 2 of a Goucher College poll taken last week.

Published on 21 February 2018 | 5:01 am

State Roundup, February 20, 2018

new Goucher Poll finds Gov. Hogan still retains strong support, but re-election is more iffy; legislation proposed to mandate health insurance at the state level; Del. Morhaim says supervised drug use facilities save lives, cut crime, get addicts into treatment; state senator proposes a tax holiday on college textbooks; a bipartisan group of lawmakers working on law and order package; following Florida shooting, some states looking at Maryland gun control laws; there's no Maryland women in Congress, but now one is running for governor and four are running mates; Rushern Baker taps Elizabeth Embry as running mate; and

Published on 20 February 2018 | 1:32 pm

The real story about Supervised Consumption Facilities for drugs

Supervised Consumption Facilities (SCF) are proven effective in reducing drug use, reducing disease, reducing discarded needles, reducing crime, and getting people into treatment. Equally important, there have been no overdose deaths in any of the facilities in operation because a trained rescuer is present at all times.

Published on 19 February 2018 | 11:00 pm

State Roundup, February 19, 2018

The Maryland Women's Caucus released accounts of harassment in the legislature, makes recommendations to answer the problem; state's expansion of contraception did not include state workers; environmentalists find loophole in state's attempts to protect forests; ACLU negotiating settlement with Hogan administration over deleting of Facebook comments; William Kirwan disputes claim that education report won't be released until after the election; Gov. Hogan frustrating Democrats by mirroring ideas, taking credit, critics say; lawmakers may be ready to change insulting wording of “Maryland, My Maryland;” it's relatively easy to get on the statewide ballot in Maryland; delegate candidate's gun raffle fundraiser draws protests following Florida school killings; and Democratic gubernatorial candidates Madaleno and Ross pick running mates.

Published on 19 February 2018 | 1:25 pm

Maryland makes getting on statewide ballot easy

How do you get your name on hundreds of thousands ballots in Maryland, get listed in multiple voters guides, get invited to candidate forums across the state, and all with very little effort? Plunk down $290 to the State Board of Elections, fill out a few forms and wait for the candidate questionnaires and forum invitations to roll in. That's how you do it if you're a registered Democrat or Republican wanting to run for governor, U.S. senator, attorney general or comptroller.  

Published on 19 February 2018 | 1:57 am

Opinion: Annapolis should keep hands off local pensions

About a year ago, I wrote an essay for the Maryland Reporter suggesting the state legislature look to local governments for ideas on how to successfully manage pension systems.  Naturally, the opposite has happened. A delegate is sponsoring legislation that would require local government pensions to provide a potentially budget-breaking disability benefit for some public safety employees.

Published on 19 February 2018 | 1:50 am

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