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NEWS
April 27, 2012
Not one but two more special sessions of the Maryland General Assembly? And all because the state House and Senate wasted the regular session on trivial matters and expressions of ego. Neither the so-called governor nor his two minions in the legislature should draw a salary for the dog and pony show they exhibited this year. Maybe that would help defray the costs of this double-dipping. Even Doc Holliday said that his hypocrisy only went so far. F. Cordell, Lutherville
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
October 3, 2014
Maryland's legislature decided to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for a few reasons. Lawmakers concluded that police and prosecutors should not be focusing their attention on what is increasingly viewed by the public as a relatively harmless vice; they expressed concern that criminal convictions related to marijuana possession were harming the employment and educational prospects of thousands of Marylanders; and they were alarmed...
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NEWS
September 30, 2011
Maryland's roads, tunnels and bridges are in need of repair. But before we raise the gas tax, all funding that has been removed from the Transportation Trust Fund to pay for other programs over at least the last two decades should be returned to the fund. To do this I suggest that the sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel be directed to the trust fund until all of the money that has been removed is restored. I further recommend that legislation be passed to prevent these special funds from being removed from the fund in the future.
NEWS
June 11, 2014
The Sun makes endorsements for state legislature and County Council in the following races: 9th District The 9th District senate seat is being vacated by Republican Allan Kittleman who is running to be Howard County executive. Current Republican delegate Gail Bates is seeking his seat and is unopposed in the Republican primary. The Democratic race is between Dan Medinger, owner of a small media company, and Ryan Frederic, owner of several small businesses. This is the first run for public office by both candidates and each would bring a small business perspective to the legislature, but Mr. Frederic gets our endorsement.
NEWS
April 11, 2013
The politicians of Maryland made a major miscalculation during this session. I still have some change in my pocket. Perhaps they should have put a parking meter in front of my house? Leonard Magsamen, Nottingham
NEWS
Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | February 4, 2013
Ravens mania has moved the Maryland legislature. Both chambers of the General Assembly will start early tomorrow so that lawmakers won't miss the Ravens' Super Bowl victory parade in Baltimore that beings at 10:45 a.m. at City Hall. "If I had my way, everyone would be here at 7 a.m.," joked House Speaker Michael E. Busch. Instead, the House of Delegates will convene an hour early at 9 a.m. The Senate will start a half-hour early at 9:30 a.m., aides said.   
NEWS
August 15, 2012
The Maryland legislature should be applauded for its willingness to tackle the many problems created by the Tracey v. Solesky decision dealing with liability for pit bull attacks. Too many Maryland renters are now fearing eviction for no other reason than the apparent breed of their companion dogs. And, as the many hours of hearing testimony made clear, breed-specific liability standards are not the way to solve dangerous dog problems. The American Bar Association recently adopted a resolution urging legislatures "to adopt comprehensive breed-neutral dangerous dog/reckless owner laws that ensure due process protections for owners, encourage responsible pet ownership and focus on the behavior of both dog owners and dogs, and to repeal any breed discriminatory or breed specific provisions.
NEWS
February 8, 2012
Year after year this "Free State" becomes more and more excessive in what it takes from the working citizens. Each year the state legislature and governor conjure up new ways to wear away the patience of taxpayers. There is a point when our backs have been broken. Too bad for us that we do not consider throwing the rascals out of office. The school system in Maryland reeks of waste, and it begins with the school administrations. Too many administrators, and too much levied on students because of educators wanting more and more and working less and less.
NEWS
March 4, 2014
A person works hard for many years to achieve a pension for retirement. It's scary to hear that Gov. Martin O'Malley wants to divert $100 million from the state pension fund for next year's budget and to make this a permanent happening. Thankfully, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot appeared before the Senate to state how this withdrawal can affect the state's overall credit rating of the state pension money and what the withdraw can do to pension benefits and other matters ( "Franchot, Kopp fight transfer of pension money," Feb. 26)
NEWS
August 12, 2012
Many people credit Mark Twain with coining the phrase "No man is safe when the legislature is in session. " Maybe that is why Maryland's state constitution limits the legislature to only 90 days a year. But the current trend is to have special sessions to deal with so-called "emergencies. " Shortly after his election as governor in the fall of 2006,Martin O'Malleycalled a "special session" of the legislature in 2007, after lawmakers failed to raise taxes during the regular session.
NEWS
April 8, 2014
In passing legislation to raise Maryland's minimum wage, the General Assembly included a provision to increase reimbursement for community-based developmental disabilities providers 3.5 percent each year for four years starting July 1, 2015 ( "State leaders reach agreement on minimum wage, pay for caregivers," April 2). The intent is to ensure that these providers are able to pay competitive salaries to the direct care workers who support vulnerable Marylanders in community settings.
NEWS
April 3, 2014
The General Assembly session ends Monday, and already lawmakers have sent to Gov. Martin O'Malley's desk a number of important pieces of legislation, including a bill banning discrimination against transgender individuals, reforms to Baltimore's liquor board and new protections against domestic violence. But a few major issue remain to be decided during the next few days, including: •Minimum wage. The most important item on Governor O'Malley's agenda has gotten steadily watered down.
NEWS
By Alain Leray | March 7, 2014
Perhaps the darkest episode in human history, the Holocaust has been at the center of Jewish and world consciousness for over six decades. In the spring of 1940, France was invaded and occupied by Nazi troops. Both my parents and grandparents, who were living in Paris at the time, fled into hiding to survive. During this time, SNCF, the company operating the French railroad system, and the parent company of my current employer, SNCF America, was placed under Nazi command according to Article 13 of the French-German Armistice agreement of June 1940.
NEWS
March 4, 2014
A person works hard for many years to achieve a pension for retirement. It's scary to hear that Gov. Martin O'Malley wants to divert $100 million from the state pension fund for next year's budget and to make this a permanent happening. Thankfully, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot appeared before the Senate to state how this withdrawal can affect the state's overall credit rating of the state pension money and what the withdraw can do to pension benefits and other matters ( "Franchot, Kopp fight transfer of pension money," Feb. 26)
NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | February 25, 2014
Morgan Lane Arnold's bedroom at her mother's house was painted pink and lilac, with white unicorns prancing in a border that ran along the walls. Even at 14, her mother said, she still believed in unicorns. The room has been repainted recently, the unicorns vanished under layers of pale blue and sea green, and Arnold, at 15, is now an adult in the eyes of the law. She is charged with first-degree murder and four other counts in the stabbing last year of her father, prominent Howard County businessman and blogger Dennis Lane.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | February 24, 2014
"Discrimination," he said, "is horrible. It's hurtful. It has no place in civilized society... " You would think that statement, delivered recently in the Kansas legislature, a noble sentiment no right-thinking person could argue with. But we are gathered here today to argue with it. Because it turns out that when Republican legislator Charles Macheers said "discrimination," he didn't mean, well ... discrimination. Mr. Macheers sponsored a bill -- passed overwhelmingly by the Kansas House, but killed last week by the Senate in an attack of common sense -- that sought to exempt any business or government employee from providing "any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges" related to any "marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement" if doing so would conflict with the employee's" sincerely held religious beliefs.
NEWS
December 12, 2013
I thought I was on the Joke of the Day website when I saw The Sun's recommendation that the legislature investigate the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act ("Maryland's ACA debacle," Dec. 10). Gov. Martin O'Malley has probably already called his friends - House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller - and told them to do it, but make sure the fault does not lie with himself or Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown. They likely bowed to him as they hung up. Lyle Rescott, Marriottsville - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
NEWS
By TIMOTHY F. MALONEY | July 6, 1994
The Maryland General Assembly has a strong reputation of fiscal integrity and leadership, dating back to the second decade of this century. Our prized triple-A bond rating is the ultimate testament to this strong leadership.At a time when legislative bodies at all levels have suffered from political paralysis, the Maryland legislature has been able to react decisively and responsibly, even in the most difficult of times. Our state weathered the political crises of the late 1970s, the savings-and-loan crisis of the mid-1980s, and in the 1990s, the most severe recession in this half of the century.
NEWS
By David Wilson | February 3, 2014
About six months ago, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, speaking at the Maryland Competitiveness Coalition's Economic Summit, was asked how Maryland could position itself to compete in this fast-paced global economy. Mr. Freidman's view was that the state and its anchor institutions needed to start with a compelling economic vision that would have appeal to investors around the world - a vision with the same cachet as those in the Silicon Valley, along Route 128 outside Boston or in North Carolina's Research Triangle.
NEWS
January 21, 2014
All of the official proceedings of the Maryland General Assembly - committee hearings, voting sessions, floor debates and so on - are open to the public. Anyone who cares to can watch as their senators and delegates discuss and vote on any of the thousands of pieces of legislation that move through the General Assembly every year. Anyone, that is, who happens to be in Annapolis. The options for those who can't hang around the State House and the House and Senate office buildings have gotten better in recent years, but they're still far from ideal.
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