Politics

  • Gov. Hogan promises a smaller Maryland budget that cuts ‘almost nothing’

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday promised a $43.5 billion state budget that would shrink spending and close an estimated $750 million deficit, yet increase funding for key programs such as education and the public safety net. The governor also proposed bills aimed at avoiding future funding shortfalls by reining in automatic spending increases — something Democrats rejected last year — and requiring the state to save more money when it has excess revenue. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Reed Cordish to join Trump administration

    A prominent Baltimore-based real estate developer and longtime friend of the Trump family will serve as an assistant to the president, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition announced on Tuesday. Reed S. Cordish, a partner at the Cordish Companies, has been involved in some of the region's largest developments, including Power Plant Live and the Maryland Live Casino. The company has developed casinos, hotels and other shopping centers across the country. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin says he cannot bring himself to attend Trump Inauguration

    In a reversal of plans, U.S. Jamie Raskin on Tuesday announced he will boycott Friday's inauguration of Republican President-elect Donald Trump, whom he accused of "relentless trafficking in bigotry, misogyny and fear." Raskin, who was elected in November to represent District 8, said in an interview Sunday he believed it was his constitutional duty to attend the swearing-in ceremony, even though many fellow progressives were opting to sit it out. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • Hixson steps down as House Ways and Means Committee chairman

    Longtime District 20 Del. Sheila Hixson (D-Silver Spring) has stepped down as chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee in Maryland’s House of Delegates. In a statement released Tuesday, Hixson, who is set to turn 84 next month, said she was stepping down from the role so she can help with the transition to a new chairman. She will assume the title of “chairman emeritus” on the committee. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • KOFA Policy Call: The Future of the ACA, Tuesday, January 10, 2017 [Audio Recording]

    On Tuesday January 10th, KOFA Public Affairs hosted their first policy call of 2017 with three distinguished guests, who discussed the future of the Affordable Care Act under the Trump administration.  John Deane, Chairman for Advisory Board Consulting, Jennifer Babcock, VP for Medicaid Policy and Director of Strategic Operations, ACAP and Dr. Leana Wen, Health Commissioner for Baltimore City discussed their perspectives on what to anticipate and what the likely impact will be on health insurance coverage. Listen to the recording here.Read Full Article

  • Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Trade Association (MedCan) Established to Advocate for Improved Public Health, Patient Access, Advancement of Science

    BALTIMORE, MARYLAND (January 6, 2017) – The Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Trade Association (MedCan) announced today that it has been established to advocate for improved public health, patient access, and the advancement of science within the state’s medical cannabis industry. MedCan founding members are among growers and processors of medical cannabis selected for preliminary licenses by the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. Read Full Article.

  • Celebrating Steve's 60th

    On January 1, our dear friend and brother Steve Kreseski would have celebrated his 60th birthday. Steve is never far from our minds, and at this time of year, we are reminded of the many people he helped through his work. He would have been so excited by the focus of the Steve Kreseski Victory Fund and by how many people have so generously donated to help us reach our $50,000 goal by the end of this year. The work supported by these donations would have meant so much to Steve: the research in lung healing, pulmonary disease and acute lung disease that is moving forward because of the gifts given by his family, friends, colleagues and loved ones. (UMSOM)Read More

  • Maryland Ranked 18th in America's Health Rankings

    Successes: In Maryland, we are observing a decrease in preventable hospitalizations, excessive drinking and disparity in health status by education. Challenges: In addition to growing rate of drug deaths, the state continues to struggle with high rates of violent crime, a prevalence of low birth weight and high infant mortality. (United Health Foundation)View Entire Report

Business

  • Affordable Care Act repeal could cost Maryland well over $2 billion, report says

    Efforts to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act could result in a financial impact for Maryland of over $2.2 billion in fiscal year 2018, and well over another $2 billion by fiscal year 2020, according to a new state report. The state government's Department of Legislative Services published a report Tuesday on the impact of the ACA in Maryland, and how plans to revise or repeal it may impact the state's economy and health care systems. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Amazon plans to open large distribution center in Cecil County

    Amazon announced plans Tuesday night to open a 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center in Cecil County that would create 700 jobs. The online retail giant now employs more than 3,000 workers at its distribution and sorting centers in Baltimore. Akash Chauhan, Amazon's vice president of North America operations, said the state-of-the-art warehouse just off Interstate 95 in North East would create hundreds of full-time jobs that pay wages 30 percent higher than traditional retail stores and include benefits, bonuses and stock awards. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Lockheed Martin secures U.K. contract worth hundreds of millions amid international push

    Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) scored a contract in the U.K. worth hundreds of millions of dollars, announced Monday, as the Bethesda defense company continues its sales push overseas. Under this contract, whose worth tops $330 million, the defense giant will outfit the U.K. Royal Navy's Merlin Mk2 helicopters with its Crowsnest airborne surveillance system. This will provide surveillance and intelligence — or "eyes and ears" as the U.K. Ministry of Defence described it Monday — to a planned fleet of Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. (Wash. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Under Armour hires vice president of investor relations

    Under Armour hired Lance Allega, a former senior manager at Nike, Sony and VF Corp., as vice president of investor relations, the company said Tuesday. Allega will help the brand communicate its growth strategy, financial performance, operating model and plans for building long-term shareholder value to investors, analysts and others. Most recently, he headed investor relations and strategic accounts for VF Corp. in Greensboro, N.C. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Education

  • Poll finds support for increased school aid and higher taxes to support it

    New polling results funded by the state teachers union finds broad bipartisan support for increased funding for public education, even if it means “closing corporate loopholes and raising income taxes on the state’s highest earners.” The poll taken late last month by Gonzales Research was part of the same survey that found 74% approval ratings for the job Gov. Larry Hogan is doing. (Md. Reporter) Read Full Article

  • Maryland tuition-aid program mostly helps students already in private schools

    More than 500 public school students in Maryland were able to attend private schools this year through a controversial new program that offers state grants of up to $4,400 to help defray tuition costs, state education officials say. But most students helped by the program — more than 1,900 — used the money to remain in private schools where they were already enrolled. The data is likely to be used as ammunition by opponents of the program, who argue it isn't meeting its stated objective of helping low-income students leave underperforming public schools. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Leggett proposes $1.73 billion for Montgomery County school projects

    Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett on Tuesday released his proposed capital budget for fiscal 2018, which recommends $1.73 billion for the county school system as well as $332 million for Montgomery College. In a statement, Leggett said the budget proposal focuses on job creation and business growth, with support for the White Oak Redevelopment and the Rapid Transit System program designed to connect with job centers. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • Harford Community College approves $3 per credit hour tuition increase for next year

    Harford Community College tuition is proposed to go up by 2.4 percent beginning in July, but college officials hope to be able to cap the increase at 2 percent, just as Gov. Larry Hogan is proposing for four-year state colleges. "If the state adds more money than anticipated, I would hope to hold tuition to the 2 percent [Hogan] is holding four-year colleges to," HCC Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Norling said during the college board's Jan. 10 meeting, where the latest tuition increase and next year's budget were approved. (Aegis) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Montgomery County Council approves $15 minimum wage bill

    A raucous crowd of more than 150 supporters cheered Tuesday as the Montgomery County Council approved a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour for most employees by 2020. Council member Marc Elrich, who championed the proposal, greeted the supporters on the steps of the Council Office Building in Rockville after the vote to join in their celebration as they chanted, “The workers, united, will never be defeated!” (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • Baltimore to assemble Bloomberg-funded team to tackle a city problem

    As the New Orleans homicide rate continued uncontrolled six years ago, city leaders tried something new. They assembled a small, diverse team of outsiders to brainstorm solutions under a pilot program of Bloomberg Philanthropies. The team studied policing tactics across the country and helped build a strategy that drove down homicides about 20 percent over four years. That outsider approach will now be reproduced in Baltimore, the latest city selected for an "innovation team" funded and guided by Bloomberg Philanthropies in New York. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Passions high at packed Howard County 'sanctuary' hearing

    A microcosm of the national immigration debate flared in Howard County's packed government chambers Tuesday night as more than 500 community members staked a divided stand on a bill that would label Howard County as a "sanctuary" for undocumented immigrants. Although the bill does little to change local law enforcement's current relationship with undocumented immigrants, the bill drew a divided public Tuesday night. (Howard Co.) Read Full Article

  • We may soon have driver-less cars in Maryland

    We could soon see driver-less cars in Maryland. Tuesday the MD Senate took up a bill that authorizes the M.V.A., along with state police to adopt regulations for autonomous cars. The state police and MVA will look at the safe testing and operation of autonomous technologies on state highways as well. (WMAR-TV) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Laslo Boyd: Thank you, President Obama

    It seems like only yesterday that a joyous throng filled Chicago’s Grant Park to celebrate the election of the nation’s first African-American president. Watching their smiles and their tears that evening, it was easy to believe we were entering an era in which the country would focus on what unites us rather than what divides us, that the arc of history really would continue to bend toward justice. (From a Certain Point of View)Read Full Article

  • Michael Saltsman: Montgomery County should back away from a higher minimum wage

    If the Montgomery County Council needs a compelling reason to hit pause on its plans to pursue a $15 minimum wage, it should look to the states and localities that already took the plunge on unprecedented wage hikes. Start with the District. In 2014, the District passed legislation to raise its starter wage to $11.50 by 2016; Montgomery and Prince George's counties followed suit and enacted similar laws to reach the same number in 2017. But as the labor union-backed "Fight for $15" gained notoriety, by early 2016 the pressure was on for the District to embrace that rate. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Student debt is the issue

    Given the projected $500 million gap Gov. Larry Hogan had to bridge between state spending and tax revenues in Maryland — and his commitment to not raising taxes to do it — providing extra money for public colleges was surely not an easy call. Yet Mr. Hogan made it last week, and he deserves credit for being willing to invest in one of the state's biggest competitive advantages: its high quality system of public education. He said he will allocate an extra $17.5 million to cap in-state tuition increases at 2 percent and provide a small tax break for interest paid on student loans. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Edd Doer: Md. BOOST program helps private schools at the expense of public ones

    Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has said he wants to increase the state-funded private school scholarship — or voucher — program known as BOOST from $5 million per year to $10 million over the next three years. Yet data show that the program, which was billed as a way to broaden education options for low-income children, is little more than a subsidy for private schools. Roughly 78 percent of the students who benefited from it last fall — more than 1,900 kids — were already attending private schools when they received the taxpayer funding. This raises serious questions. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article