Dutch bows out

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, the six-term Baltimore County Democrat, will forego a run for Maryland governor and instead seek a seventh term in Congress.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, the former-Baltimore County Executive thanked Marylanders who encouraged him to run for top state job in 2014. Continue reading

Snow can’t stop Hogan from officially entering race for governor

What’s a little (or a lot) of snow when it comes to officially announcing that your running for governor of Maryland.

Larry Hogan

Larry Hogan

Larry Hogan had planned to officially announce his candidacy later today at a rally at Mike’s Crab House in Riva but mother nature had other plans.

So Hogan made two official announcements. Continue reading

Miller: Legal pot will happen ‘in my lifetime’

The legalization of recreational marijuana is coming to Maryland but probably not this year or any time soon, according to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller.

Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller

Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller

“It’s going to happen,” Miller said. “I’m not advocating it but it’s going to happen.” Continue reading

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

Mission failure: O’Malley budget won’t erase structural deficit

A structural budget deficit that has plagued the state for more than a decade will continue to vex the next governor, according to a budget expected to be released later today by Gov. Martin J. O’Malley.

Maryland State Budget

Maryland State Budget

The Baltimore Sun reports this morning that O’Malley will present a $39 million billion budget that will close a $400 million gap in the budget without raising taxes but leaves the next governor and General Assembly holding the bag next year to the tune of about $188 million in structural deficit. Continue reading

O’Malley: School systems fall short when it comes to transparency

If Gov. Martin  O’Malley thought he was going to get a simple question from the cherub-faced sixth-grade student from Baltimore City, he surely got a surprise.

Gov. Martin J. O'Malley

Gov. Martin O’Malley said school systems need to be a better job being transparent when conducting public business.

The student, who identified himself as Ronald, is a member of the Baltimore Urban Debate League  debate team and was one of the first in line early Wednesday morning. Of everything he could have asked, Ronald wanted to know O’Malley’s thoughts about how the government could be better at one thing—wait for it—open meetings laws. Continue reading

Craig proposes move away from state health benefit exchange site

A Republican candidate for governor and his running mate are calling for Maryland to divert money earmarked for promoting the state health care benefit exchange to efforts that would encourage residents to sign up for insurance using private brokers.

Harford County Executive David Craig

Harford County Executive David Craig

“Up to $150 million dollars is going towards promoting a failing exchange, and throwing good money after bad needs to end now,” said Harford County Executive David Craig in a statement Monday.  “The administration must realize that their intended solutions are only causing more problems, creating mass confusion, ruining credibility in government and harming our quality of life.”

Craig said he supports seeking a waiver from the federal Department of Health and Human Services that would allow the state to “re-program funds to launch a public awareness campaign informing consumers of their right to obtain health insurance directly through carriers” as well as a complimentary campaign focusing on resident’s rights to use licensed insurance brokers to obtain qualified insurance plans. Continue reading

McDonough: Drivers license law makes Maryland ‘Disneyland for illegal immigrants’

A new Maryland law granting drivers licenses to immigrants who live in the country illegally may officially be on the books but at least one state legislator continues to rail against it.

Del. Pat McDonough

Del. Pat McDonough

Del. Patrick McDonough, R-Baltimore, said the law is the prime example of how “the General Assembly is so infected with the illegal alien advocates that the people of Maryland are just shut out and have no voice whatsoever.” Continue reading

Baltimore restaurant owner not a fan of Anthony Brown

One of two plaintiffs who brought suit last month against the Maryland State Board of Elections as well as Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and his running mate Howard County Executive Ken Ulman previously accused Brown’s campaign of voter intimidation.

Casey Jenkins

Casey Jenkins, a local chef and owner of Darker than Blue Cafe, is a plaintiff in a lawsuit that names Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown as a defendant. [Screen capture of a YouTube video by Doni Glover/Bmorenews.com]

Casey A. Jenkins, chef and owner of Darker than Blue Cafe on Greenmount Avenue, also reportedly had a run-in with Brown during a campaign event at Waverly Middle School in which Jenkins attempted to “shout down” the lieutenant governor.
Continue reading