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By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | February 22, 1997
With barely a whimper to betray many legislators' misgivings, the House of Delegates passed and sent to the Senate yesterday an ambitious package of campaign finance reform bills intended to polish the reputation of Maryland's elected officials.The series of unanimous and near-unanimous votes was a significant victory for House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr., who threw the weight of his office behind the package after several campaign finance scandals last year.Among the bills passed yesterday is one that would require the state to maintain its campaign finance records in computerized form rather than the current blizzard of paper.
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NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | April 3, 2014
The Maryland General Assembly approved legislation Thursday that will provide new protections for motorists from erroneous tickets and other speed camera abuses, sending the bill to the governor for his expected signature. The compromise measure - two years in the making - requires jurisdictions to employ ombudsmen to void erroneous tickets before a trial and bans the so-called bounty system in which contractors are rewarded financially for issuing more tickets, though it does not apply to current contracts.
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NEWS
By Michael Dresser and David Nitkin and Michael Dresser and David Nitkin,SUN STAFF | April 20, 2004
IT WAS THE session that wasn't ready for reform. When the General Assembly adjourned for the year last week, it left without acting on several bills aimed at reducing the role of big money in politics -- or at least shedding some light on the process. Three such measures died in the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee without being brought up for a vote. One was a sweeping proposal, the product of a two-year task force study, to institute a system of public financing of General Assembly campaigns.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | January 31, 2014
The chairman of a key state senate committee said Friday he believes a “consensus” speed camera reform bill has a “good chance” of passing this year, after an effort failed last year on the General Assembly's final night. Sen. Brian Frosh, of Montgomery County, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said he believes lawmakers will begin work on speed cameras with legislation that passed the House but never got voted on in the Senate. “It had the votes to pass last year,” said Frosh, a candidate for Attorney General.
NEWS
By Sarah Koenig and Sarah Koenig,SUN STAFF | February 21, 2002
Advocates for campaign finance reform, buoyed by a recent vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to ban unregulated donations to political parties, urged lawmakers yesterday to close what they believe are serious loopholes in Maryland laws regulating campaign contributions. "I don't think there's been such a bright light shining on this issue since the Watergate scandal," Del. Elizabeth Bobo of Howard County told fellow members of the House Commerce and Government Matters Committee in Annapolis.
NEWS
By JOHN FAIRHALL | September 4, 1994
Washington. -- The debate over health care reform has never been just about insurance -- as officials of the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland know only too well.The major reform bills in the House and Senate included another kind of reform, affecting the future of academic medical centers and the valuable research and teaching they do. Looking for long-term financial security, which is increasingly threatened, the centers lobbied Congress for assistance. Lawmakers responded, adding provisions to health reform legislation that would, in effect, guarantee funding of medical research and teaching.
NEWS
By Thomas Easton and Thomas Easton,Tokyo Bureau | January 29, 1994
TOKYO -- With only hours left in an emergency session of parliament, back room compromises resolved a major political crisis and cleared the way for Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa to concentrate on a trade issues with Washington and Japan's recession.The last-minute deal enabled parliament today to take up a revised package of anti-corruption reforms that Mr. Hosokawa had staked his future on.Many of Japan's most important political factions, meeting throughout Tokyo last night, quickly announced their support for the package.
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | January 7, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Disappointed over signs the administration is delaying action on welfare reform, moderate Democrats in both houses of Congress are drawing plans to introduce their own reform bills in an effort to pressure President Clinton to act."It's quite possible people on the Hill will move on their own, not against the administration, but to show there is bipartisan support for welfare reform this year along with health care reform," said Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn.In the House, the Mainstream Forum, an organization of centrist Democrats, is planning to send Mr. Clinton a letter, perhaps as early as today, urging him to reconsider the apparent decision to delay the introduction of an administration welfare reform bill.
NEWS
By Steny H. Hoyer | May 17, 2001
WASHINGTON -- After prevailing in the closest presidential election in history -- which only 50 percent of Americans said in a recent poll he had won "fair and square" -- George W. Bush gave every indication that he would be a strong voice for federal election reform. Eleven days after taking office, President Bush met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and promised them that he would give serious attention to fixing the nation's election system. "This is America," the president said.
NEWS
By JOHN FAIRHALL | February 20, 1994
Washington.--With the health reform debate dragging into its second confusing year, you may feel like a Stallone fan at a Bergman retrospective, wondering: Hey, when does the action begin? What is this movie all about anyway?Answers are coming soon. Congressional committees will start writing legislation in the next two weeks. While this may chug on into the fall, a rough draft of the reform plot could appear by early spring. That'll give Americans their first clue to how lawmakers plan to fix problems in a health system that offers magnificent care -- to those with insurance that can pay the ever-rising price.
MOBILE
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | April 2, 2013
With just six days left in the General Assembly session, a House of Delegates committee is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would increase oversight of speed camera programs in Maryland, tighten rules on camera placement and more clearly bar government contracts that pay vendors on a per-ticket basis. But the legislation, drafted after The Baltimore Sun documented a range of problems in the city's program, would not require governments to put precise time stamps on their citation photos - a necessity for motorists to be able to verify their tickets, according to experts.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | January 25, 2013
Members of Baltimore's legislative delegation in Annapolis chastised city transportation officials Friday for problems with the city's lucrative network of speed cameras. Del. Brian McHale called it "unjust" that the city won't try to identify, and refund, every erroneous ticket issued. Del. Curt Anderson said he thought existing state law barred the city from paying its contractor a share of each $40 fine, a view shared by Gov. Martin O'Malley. And a skeptical Del. Nathaniel Oaks asked city officials what they'll do after finding that a motorist paid a ticket that shouldn't have been issued.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | December 19, 2011
Baltimore County Council members unanimously passed wide-ranging ethics reform legislation Monday, but not before scaling back parts of the measure. A series of amendments sponsored by all seven council members weakened parts of the original bill proposed by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. Those sections touched on when officials can accept gifts and what defines a conflict of interest for council members. The new rules still will require elected officials' financial disclosure forms to be posted online starting in May 2012, prohibit former employees from lobbying on issues they worked on and strengthen a county charter rule against council members holding state jobs.
NEWS
By Raven L. Hill, The Baltimore Sun | June 28, 2011
Proposed changes to Baltimore County's process for planned unit developments don't go far enough, residents argued Tuesday, and accused council members of cozying up to developers. Developers would be required to review projects with affected residents before plans are submitted to the council for approval under legislation slated for passage next week. The bill would also allow the controversial Thistle Landing project in Catonsville to proceed, reversing an earlier council decision to revoke its approvals.
NEWS
March 8, 2011
In your recent editorial on Maryland and campaign finance reform you state that in addition to the limited liability corporation (LLC) loophole, there are others sorely in need of attention ("A boost for campaign finance reform" Feb. 17). We very much appreciate Gov. Martin O'Malley's support of this bill, just as we appreciate the report done by Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler on several needed campaign finance reforms. What distinguishes this major loophole from the others, and what you would not know from reading the attorney general's report, is legislation to eliminate it has passed the House of Delegates six times in the past 10 years.
NEWS
June 30, 2010
The effect of the "loophole" to the Disclose Act you mentioned in the editorial "Disclose, disclose, disclose" (June 29) is that it empowers the entrenched special interest groups who are exempted from it. Such groups, as the NRA (which you mentioned) and many, many others, such as AFL/CIO, ACLU, NARAL, NAACP, Planned Parenthood, PETA, People for the American Way and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are given a free pass, and the bill silences the citizens of the U.S. Any group of citizens who decide to band together and make a TV ad about the state of our country or to speak out and let the American people know facts about a particular issue are silenced by the bill.
NEWS
By C. Fraser Smith and C. Fraser Smith,Annapolis Bureau of The Sun | March 28, 1991
ANNAPOLIS -- The Senate president wanted to put the brakes on campaign fund raising in Maryland -- but he didn't want to be thrown through the windshield.Having joined House Speaker R. Clayton Mitchell Jr., D-Kent, in proposing an $8,000 limit on contributions by political action committees, Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Prince George's, has watched with alarm as members of the House of Delegates -- and even one of his own committees -- lowered his ceiling by half, to $4,000.A major citizens lobby, Maryland Common Cause, applauded the change as essential reform.
NEWS
By M. Dion Thompson and Thomas W. Waldron and M. Dion Thompson and Thomas W. Waldron,SUN STAFF | April 7, 2000
An ambitious package of legislation to overhaul the state's troubled juvenile justice system was pronounced dead yesterday after Gov. Parris N. Glendening urged the General Assembly to give the agency's new leader a free hand -- a trade-off that immediately angered reform advocates. Supporters of a bill that would have created an oversight commission for the department acknowledged the measure's demise and blamed Glendening, who said the panel was unnecessary with former public safety chief Bishop L. Robinson coming in to head the agency.
NEWS
February 26, 2010
A pattern emerged during yesterday's health care summit between President Barack Obama and members of both parties in Congress. Republicans argued that Democrats have gone badly astray in their efforts to reform the system and should be focusing instead on other things - tort reform, allowing people to buy insurance across state lines, providing incentives for better primary care, and so on. Then the Democrats responded by saying they agree and...
NEWS
February 1, 2010
Your Saturday coverage of the meeting between President Obama and the House Republicans was well done with what I deem to be one exception ("Obama talks jobs and political jabs," Jan. 30). When you pulled out specific quotes and highlighted them, you omitted one of the most significant pertinent to health care. A review of President Obama's comments indicates a basic principle and pledge: We will be able to keep the health insurance we now have and doctor- patient relationships will continue without government interference.
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