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Apr 3, 2012

Flush tax debate centers on revenue bonds

ANNAPOLIS — As the lid closes on the 2012 legislative session, lawmakers will likely double the flush tax from $30 to $60 to cover a projected $385 million shortfall in the Bay Restoration Fund, but some lawmakers say the tax hike aims to cover repeated raids on the fund that triggered a downgrade by Moody’s […]

Apr 3, 2012

Conference committee cancels Tuesday meeting

ANNAPOLIS — A committee of lawmakers has put off meeting to resolve budget proposal differences between the state Senate and House of Delegates. Warren Deschenaux, the legislature’s chief budget analyst, said lawmakers canceled their Tuesday meeting because they are still at odds over differences in the two versions of the budget legislation. Deschenaux says the […]

Mar 26, 2012

Maryland lawmakers don hoodies in memory of Florida teen

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland lawmakers are calling for cultural sensitivity and an end to racial profiling following the shooting death of an unarmed teenager in Florida. Members of the Maryland Black Legislative Caucus gathered outside the statehouse Monday to decry the death of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who was shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer while […]

Mar 22, 2012

House of Delegates to consider amendments to budget

ANNAPOLIS — The House of Delegates will be working on the state’s $35.9 billion budget. The House has scheduled two sessions for Thursday, as it considers amendments to a package of budget measures. One includes a scaled-back version of an income tax increase already approved by the state Senate. Another budget measure would phase in […]

Mar 15, 2012

Mike Tidwell: Maryland needs drill fee for fracking study

Paul Roberts is a Western Maryland farmer who – understandably – doesn’t want his world to change. He grows gorgeous Appalachian wine grapes on a modest spread in Garrett County, near the Pennsylvania border. He and his wife Nadine turn those grapes into 1,000 cases of handcrafted wine sold annually across the East Coast. They […]

Mar 14, 2012

Advocates testify in Maryland for ‘Phylicia’s Law’

ANNAPOLIS — Advocates for missing children are hoping to convince Maryland lawmakers that better coordination between law enforcement and community groups is needed to improve the odds whenever a child disappears. The House Judiciary Committee heard Wednesday from about a dozen supporters of “Phylicia’s Law,” which aims to improve coordination and publicity of cases. The [&hell[...]

Mar 14, 2012

O’Malley pitches gas tax to legislative committees

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley warned that failing to enact his gas tax proposal could mean added costs to the state and more traffic congestion. O’Malley, a Democrat, testified before committees in the House of Delegates and Senate on Wednesday, asking lawmakers to sign off on his proposal to apply the state’s 6 percent […]

Mar 13, 2012

Miller: High gas prices make gas tax a tough sell

ANNAPOLIS — Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. sounded doubtful Tuesday about the prospects for increased taxes on gas, especially because of high gas prices and the fact that Maryland lawmakers will be wrestling with a proposed income tax increase to balance the budget. Miller, who supports finding new revenue for transportation, said he […]

Mar 9, 2012

O’Malley proposes reform of more than 130 policies

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley wants more than 130 regulatory policies to be repealed or modified. Last fall, O’Malley asked state agencies to review their regulations to identify measures that could be reformed to grow the economy and streamline business operations. The governor’s plan, which was submitted to the Administration, Executive and Legislative Review [&he[...]

Mar 9, 2012

O’Malley opposing medical marijuana bills

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration opposed Friday measures to legalize medical marijuana, citing concerns that state employees could face federal prosecution for putting into place proposals now before state lawmakers. Joshua Sharfstein, the governor’s health secretary, spoke out against the legislation at a bill hearing. He said he supports the concept [...]

Mar 6, 2012

Highway bill fails to clear hurdle in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers are under pressure to find a way to keep federal aid flowing to highway and transit programs beyond the end of this month after a transportation bill failed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate. The government’s power to spend federal Highway Trust Fund money on transportation programs and to levy […]

Mar 5, 2012

States finding tough climate for gas tax proposals

ANNAPOLIS — As if gas prices weren’t high enough, several states across the U.S. are looking to raise fuel taxes they say are needed to pay for roads and bridges that are outdated, congested and in some cases, dangerous. Gov. Martin O’Malley is proposing a phased-in 6 percent sales tax by 2 percent a year, […]

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