Wednesday, January 9, 2013
The session opened Wednesday with social and budget issues among lawmakers' top priorities.
Wednesday, January 9
By Lucas High, Capital News Service ANNAPOLIS—Gun control, the death penalty, transportation and environmental legislation were expected to be top priorities for state lawmakers as the Maryland General Assembly convened for its 433rd legislative session Wednesday in Annapolis. In the wake of the mass killings in Newtown, CT, in December, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) plans to push for tighter firearm restrictions, including a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. Sen. Brian E. Frosh said there will be a reintroduction of a bill he sponsored last legislative session that prohibits the sale of guns with magazines of 10 rounds or more. “[The proposed bill] can protect people, save lives and it certainly does not infringe on Second …
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
County Executive proposes one-time $2,000 payment.
Instead of pay raises, most Montgomery County employees could receive a one-time $2,000 payment next year, according to a compensation and benefits package reviewed by a County Council committee Tuesday. Analysts briefed the Government Operations Committee on County Executive Isiah Leggett’s recommendations. The briefing was needed because of the uncertainty of the economic outlook, council staff director Stephen B. Farber said Tuesday. According to county records, the lump-sum payouts to county government employees would cost $16.5 million, with $14.4 million coming from tax-supported funds. The payouts would include “longevity adjustments”—raises for certain employees who’ve worked for 20 years. Roughly 500 employees would be eligible …
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Gov. O'Malley appeared optimistic at 8:30 p.m. Monday, but when the clock struck midnight his attitude shifted to anger.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is known for putting on a good face even in hard times, but when the General Assembly, as he said Monday night, “failed to protect the priorities that allow our state to move forward,” his smile disappeared. O’Malley (D) appeared optimistic when speaking with reporters at about 8:30 p.m. on the last night of the 90-day legislative session, despite a looming midnight deadline for the legislature to pass key components of the state’s capital budget. The same could not be said at 12:40 a.m. (See video for a comparison.) “This is not the sort of operating budget that this administration proposed after eight months of careful consideration, after $800 million in cuts and I think the people of our state have the …
Monday, April 9, 2012
Budget bill must be passed by midnight or General Assembly will extend its session.
Gov. Martin O'Malley and House Speaker Michael Busch called on the Senate to compromise on a state budget in time for the General Assembly to end its session at midnight. "The one constitutional obligation we have is to pass a balanced budget," said Busch, adding that House members assigned to the conference committee were prepared to complete negotiations. "Because one chamber has an obsession with a certain issue, that they do not want to concur on the budget until that issue is resolved, does not initiate any responsible stand for us not to deal with the budget that is in front of us," said Busch, speaking of a Senate effort to expand gambling to include table games and a sixth casino location in Prince George's County. "They have 11 …
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
"The same story ... many years in a row."
Del. Kumar Barve gave the Rockville City Council grim news about the state budget Monday night. "This will be another stressful session with respect to the budget," Barve said. "It's the same story I've had to give to you many years in a row." Barve, the majority leader of the House of Delegates, noted the state reduced its revenue projections by $120 million, and the state is sensitive to what happens at the federal level. Barve and the other legislators in District 17 addressed the council, providing a preview of the 2012 General Assembly, which begins Jan. 11. Councilman Tom Moore asked about the chances of increasing the gas tax, which was set at 23.5 cents a gallon in 1992. Barve said he heard a rumor the tax could be levied as a …
Saturday, April 2, 2011
The research fund is once again weighed in state budget negotiations.
ANNAPOLIS—House and Senate budget writers once again are debating how much the state should spend to fund a program that's helped make Maryland a national leader in stem cell research. The issue is one of a cluster of differences between respective budget plans from both chambers that need to be hashed out in the coming days by a panel of House and Senate members. Top fiscal lawmakers from the two chambers have disagreed annually on how much money should go to a program created in 2006 that promotes state-funded research for stem cells. Money for the program, called the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, comes through an appropriation in the state budget. The Senate historically has sought to trim Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposals for the …