Maryland fairs poorly in university solvency evaluation

Maryland ranks among the worst states when it comes to short-, medium- and long-term fiscal solvency, according to a review released by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Gov. Martin O'Malley

Gov. Martin J. O’Malley during a Jan. 15, 2014 news conference explains what he called “the bad math of the past’ that resulted in structural budget deficitis for much of the last decade.

Maryland ranked no higher than 41 of 50 states in three categories meant to rate the liquidity of each state government, the ability to meet current expenses without running a deficit and the ability to meet all long-term costs, based on 2012 budget numbers. Continue reading

Miller predicts changes to O’Malley minimum wage bill

With Maryland’s top three Democrats on board, an increase in the state’s minimum wage may look like the stone cold lock of the 2014 General Assembly session but exactly how much the increase will be and other details may not be so certain.

Gov. Martin J. O'Malley

Gov. Martin O’Malley is making raising the minimum wage to $10.10 one of his top priorities for the 2014 General Assembly Session.

Gov. Martin J. O’Malley announced Monday that increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour was tops on his to-do list for his last 90-day session.

But Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller raised concerns about the proposal and predicted significant changes to the governor’s plan days O’Malley released his legislative agenda.

“It’s going to be a very tough sell—the bill as it is now,” Miller said last week. “I’m telling you, it’s going to be a very tough sell.” Continue reading

Soft shell crab sandwich gets Miller’s backing

The effort to designate the soft shell crab sandwich the official state sandwich is back.

And this time,  Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller

Miller, D-Calvert and Prince George’s, joins lead sponsor Sen. Richard Colburn, R-Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot and Wicomico, on a a bill that was pre-filed in the Senate for the 2014 session. Del. Rudolph C. Kane, D-Dorchester and Wicomico, has again filed a similar bill in the House of Delegates.

Miller, who does not sign on lightly to bills creating state designations, testified in favor of the soft shell crab sandwich before the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.   Continue reading

Eye on Annapolis on Inside Maryland Politics

How will the debate on increasing the minimum wage play out in Annapolis?

Inside Maryland Politics. Logo courtesy of WYPR

Inside Maryland Politics. Logo courtesy of WYPR

C. Fraser Smith, host of Inside Maryland Politics on WYPR, talks about the issue with me based on a story written as part of the Annapolis Summit series. Continue reading

McDonough calls for training wage

As the Maryland General Assembly prepares to return to Annapolis and discuss the issue of minimum wage, one legislator said he would like to see the state create a second, lower tier of wages for entry-level workers.

Del. Pat McDonough

Del. Pat McDonough

Del. Pat McDonough, R-Baltimore County, said he plans to introduce a bill creating a training wage for new employees at companies of 100 workers or less. Continue reading

Steiner talks minimum wage and the 2014 General Assembly session

As legislators return to Annapolis, some will be looking to bump the pay of those who make minimum wage in Maryland.

Annapolis Summit logoMarc Steiner takes a look at the issue in a podcast that is part of his lead-up to his 11th annual Annapolis Summit show on Jan. 8. The radio host speaks with Dels. Mary Washington and Andrew Serafini about the minimum wage issue. Continue reading

Minimum wage increase: ‘The sky will not fall’

Annapolis Summit logoThe lead legislative sponsor of a proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage said concerns about the possible increase on businesses is, for the most part, unwarranted.

“They’re still going to be in operation and they’re still going to be hiring people,” said Del. Aisha Braveboy, a Prince George’s County Democrat. “What it will impact is their bottom line.” Continue reading

Inside Maryland Politics: The Unemployment Insurance Tax Drop

Inside Maryland Politics. Logo courtesy of WYPR

Inside Maryland Politics. Logo courtesy of WYPR

In case you missed it this morning, I joined Fraser Smith, senior news analyst for WYPR, on Inside Maryland Politics to discuss the expected decrease in the state’s unemployment insurance tax. Continue reading

O’Malley on Sunday television — again

Gov. Martin O’Malley has quite the run going — he’s been booked on a national network’s Sunday news program four out of the last seven weeks.

This Sunday, O’Malley will be on ABC’s “This Week” at 9 a.m., where he’ll tangle with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal over Friday’s less-than-stellar jobs report. Jindal is a potential running mate for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

O’Malley fired the first shot Friday, in a statement released through the Democratic Governors Association, which he chairs.

“Unfortunately, Tea Party Republicans in Congress continue to obstruct the president’s jobs bill — and the head of their party, Mitt Romney, continues to bet against the American worker, while suggesting that our vital public sector doesn’t need more teachers, firefighters and police officers on the job,” O’Malley said. “Our continued economic recovery demands that Republicans stop rooting for failure and trying to score cheap political points and instead work with Democrats to create jobs and move forward.”

O’Malley, a possible Democratic candidate for president in 2016, was in high demand last weekend, too, following the Supreme Court’s health care ruling. Maryland has been preparing for the Affordable Care Act since it was passed by Congress.

Last weekend, O’Malley was on CBS’ “Face the Nation” to defend the act. Before that, he took a two week break after a previous “Face the Nation” appearance on June 10.

The run of national television spots started May 27 on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Before that, the governor hadn’t appeared on the Sunday stage since a March 11 “Meet the Press” appearance.

‘House of Cards’ to film in Harford County

Harford County has won the “House of Cards” sweepstakes, landing the production of the political drama to be distributed by online streaming service Netflix.

County Executive David R. Craig announced the deal this week.

“This represents a tremendous opportunity for Harford County and will provide a noticeable boost to our economy,” Craig said in a written statement. “Between the number of jobs created, office and studio space leased, hotel rooms booked, and businesses utilized, this is yet another indication that industries of all types recognize that Harford County is a good place to do business.”

The statement said the county expects “House of Cards” to have a “major impact” on its economy.

“House of Cards” will star Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey and its pilot will be directed by David Fincher, whose recent credits include “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Social Network.”

The Maryland Film Office estimates the series of 13 hour-long episodes will spur $75 million in spending in the state and create more than 2,000 jobs for local crew, actors and extras.

Filming is expected to take place in and around Baltimore, so those effects will likely be spread throughout the region.

“House of Cards” will be Harford’s first major film production since “Tuck Everlasting” in 2002.