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LETTER TO THE AEGIS | April 12, 2012
Editor:  The 2012 Session of the Maryland General Assembly came to a strange close Monday night. Ongoing disagreements and dysfunction among the House and Senate leadership produced a stalemate regarding three legislative bills. Although the House and Senate passed an Operating Budget, the accompanying revenue bills were not agreed to with a pending gaming bill in the mix. This dysfunction provided a short reprieve for Maryland taxpayers and Maryland counties. The tax revenue bill on the floor of both houses would have increased personal income taxes for families making over $100,000.
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NEWS
June 14, 2014
With all due respect to my former General Assembly colleague and good friend Mickey Steinberg, his recent letter to the editor regarding Del. Jon Cardin's missed votes while tending to health concerns of his family was misleading ( "Steinberg: Cardin's missed committee votes are inexcusable," May 10). When I served in the House of Delegates, I was the vice-chairman of the Ways and Means committee, on which Mr. Cardin serves, and I know that there is a lot more to being an effective and responsible legislator than taking a vote in committee.
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NEWS
January 21, 2014
I'm so grateful that the voters in Maryland don't have to worry about contacting our legislators in Annapolis to present our views on the rain tax. Thank you, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch for making the decision for us that there will be no repeal ( "Miller, Busch vow no repeal of stormwater fees," Jan. 16). Thanks to you, we have avoided that pesky legislative process. Perhaps we should just eliminate the General Assembly and elections so Messrs.
NEWS
Letter to The Aegis | April 22, 2014
It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you. I am proud to be your conservative voice of reason in Annapolis. Let me remind you of some major changes in election law. The Maryland gubernatorial primary has been moved to June 24, with early voting at key locations starting Thursday, June 12, through Thursday, June 19, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. If you need to vote by absentee ballot, your request must be received by the Board of Elections by...
NEWS
April 28, 2013
The Maryland General Assembly has wisely reaffirmed the importance of maintaining Program Open Space, the state's premier program to conserve land and create recreation areas, as a dedicated fund based on revenues from the transfer of real estate ("Crunching numbers on Maryland's land," April 18). While the legislature cut Rural Legacy and the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Fund by $9 million, we were pleased the assembly rejected a restructuring of land conservation programs proposed by the Department of Legislative Services.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | April 23, 2012
Let's turn to baseball to sum up the Maryland legislative session's impact on consumers: It had a few singles but no home runs. "We made a lot of progress on some really critical issues," says Marceline White, executive director of the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition. "But there is a lot of work left to do and in some places we had some setbacks. " Last year's legislative session was strong on consumer protections, with Marylanders still reeling from the foreclosure crisis and weak economy, White says.
NEWS
By Baltimore Sun staff | April 12, 2011
State budget: The General Assembly approved a $14.6 state operating budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, closing a budget gap of about $1.5 billion. Part of a $34 billion spending plan that includes federal contributions and other pots of money, the general fund spending plan includes several fee increases, raising the cost of obtaining a birth certificate, getting a vanity license plate and recording real estate transactions, among others. Capital budget: Lawmakers approved $925 million in new borrowing as part of a $3 billion capital budget.
NEWS
By Most work had been postponed or finished.William Thompson and Most work had been postponed or finished.William Thompson,Evening Sun Staff Marina Sarris, Thomas W. Waldron and Jon Morgan contributed to this story | April 9, 1991
The last day of the 1991 General Assembly session was so uneventful that when a mechanical malfunction darkened the Senate "tote board" -- the large wall fixture displaying how each senator votes -- someone wondered aloud whether there was any reason to fix it.In stark contrast to last year's bitter session finale, when lawmakers angrily accused each other of sabotaging bills, the final hours of this 90-day session moved along easily, making the day one...
NEWS
By BARRY RASCOVAR | March 7, 1999
YOU might call it the curious case of the disappearing governor. Just past the mid-point in this year's General Assembly session, Gov. Parris Glendening has yet to become fully involved in legislative activities.It's almost as though he's focused on something else -- like positioning himself for a possible high-level Washington appointment after the 2000 presidential election.Low-key approachThe administration has taken a low-key approach toward this 90-day meeting of state lawmakers. Occasionally, the governor speaks out -- often by letter or formal announcement -- on a subject.
NEWS
By Ted Shelsby | April 20, 2008
Maryland farmers are getting more respect in Annapolis these days. This was evident during the recently ended 90-day session of the General Assembly. "Most members of the General Assembly realize that farmers are doing their part to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay," Valerie Connelly, director of government relations at the Maryland Farm Bureau, said after the close of the annual legislative session. "The farm community and the legislature have a lot better rapport now than in the past," she added.
NEWS
March 15, 2014
I would like to comment on the March 10 op-ed, "Shale study should stick to timeline. " I object to the comforting tone of the commentary in describing the current situation as being "on track. " Marylanders should know that the commission's work is under significant time pressure and may not be completed by Aug. 1. This has been openly discussed between MDE staff and commissioners. Front and center should be the fact that we need protection in place before Gov. Martin O'Malley's executive order against fracking expires on August 1. There is enormous public resistance to fracking in Maryland, and we can be sure the General Assembly is aware of it. In Annapolis this session, there are bills to ban fracking completely and others to extend Governor O'Malley's moratorium on fracking.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | January 27, 2014
Democratic legislative leaders gave partial support Monday to a push to raise the minimum wage, with some reiterating unwillingness to impose a "one size fits all" increase across the state. They provided few other clues as to how they will respond to Gov. Martin O'Malley's call to lift the state's minimum pay from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2016, with future increases tied to inflation. "That's a debate we will have in committee," House Speaker Michael E. Busch said Monday at a breakfast for business leaders hosted by the Greater Baltimore Committee.
NEWS
January 21, 2014
I'm so grateful that the voters in Maryland don't have to worry about contacting our legislators in Annapolis to present our views on the rain tax. Thank you, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch for making the decision for us that there will be no repeal ( "Miller, Busch vow no repeal of stormwater fees," Jan. 16). Thanks to you, we have avoided that pesky legislative process. Perhaps we should just eliminate the General Assembly and elections so Messrs.
NEWS
December 23, 2013
If Thursday's ruling by the Maryland Board of Elections on which gubernatorial campaigns are allowed to raise money during the upcoming General Assembly session proves anything, it's just how arbitrary Maryland's campaign finance laws are. The board's decision, which can and probably will be appealed in court, held that Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown can't raise money for his gubernatorial campaign during the session because he is a state-level official, but...
NEWS
April 28, 2013
The Maryland General Assembly has wisely reaffirmed the importance of maintaining Program Open Space, the state's premier program to conserve land and create recreation areas, as a dedicated fund based on revenues from the transfer of real estate ("Crunching numbers on Maryland's land," April 18). While the legislature cut Rural Legacy and the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Fund by $9 million, we were pleased the assembly rejected a restructuring of land conservation programs proposed by the Department of Legislative Services.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | April 21, 2013
Consumer advocates say they didn't get everything on their wish list during the latest meeting of the General Assembly, but the session produced several victories for Maryland consumers. For example, Marylanders would find it easier to buy auto coverage from a state insurance fund, foster children would gain protection from identity thieves and debtors would be less likely to be jailed under bills recently passed by lawmakers. Gov. Martin O'Malley is expected to sign these and other consumer-friendly bills next month.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | December 20, 2011
The Baltimore Board of Rabbis has renewed its call for the abolition of the death penalty in Maryland, arguing that the only safeguard against the exection of innocent people is to have no executions at all. The rabbinical group restated its opposition to capital punishment as the Maryland General Assembly prepares for its 2012 legislative session Jan 11. Once again, the legislature is expected to consider bills calling for full repeal of...
NEWS
By William F. Zorzi Jr. and William F. Zorzi Jr.,SUN STAFF | January 27, 1996
Del. Elijah E. Cummings, one of five state legislators in the race for the 7th District congressional seat, raised nearly $50,000 yesterday during a fund-raising breakfast in Annapolis that was attended by business leaders and the top lobbyists in the state capital.Mr. Cummings, whose $250-a-ticket event was sponsored by two of the most powerful committee chairmen in the House of Delegates, then returned to the State House to consider pending legislation important to those who attended, their businesses and clients.
NEWS
By Becky Wagner | April 16, 2013
As the legislative session closed last week, I was happy to see that we made great progress on behalf of Maryland's children. We made strides in health, child welfare and education. However, one of the standout accomplishments was in juvenile justice. Before the General Assembly session began, juvenile justice public policy advocates came together to hammer out a five-piece legislative package aimed at right-sizing the Department of Juvenile Services and stopping the transfer of youths to the adult system.
NEWS
April 15, 2013
In your recent article praising the accomplishments of our governor and this year's legislative session you conveniently omitted the failure to delay implementation of the new "rain tax" that will be assessed on most residents ("Session ends in flurry of votes," April 9). This tax will amount to at least $100 on property tax bills in many jurisdictions. Satellite pictures of your property will be used to determine a resident's assessment. Not only is "Big Brother" watching you, but now he is taxing you for what he sees.
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