September 12 // Adam Pagnucco: What Jealous’s plan to tax the 1 percent means for MoCo

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous has said he would raise income taxes by 1 percent on the wealthiest 1 percent of Maryland taxpayers to pay for new spending. What would that mean for MoCo? Jealous, who won the Democratic nomination as a progressive, favors at least four expensive new spending programs—free tuition for community colleges, more K-12 education funding under recommendations from the state's Kirwan commission (including a 29 percent raise for teachers), universal pre-K education and single payer health care. (Bethesda)

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Samuel Jordan and Glenn Smith: Central Md. can recover from loss of Red Line light rail project - by building it

Baltimore's 2019-2022 Transportation Improvement Plan project viewer depicted below shows with a single purple dot the only mass transit project to be constructed in Baltimore City over the next four years. Using a combination of federal and state dollars, the Kirk Division Bus Facility is to be replaced. Red dots denote highway "preservation" projects. These are largely maintenance projects including road repaving, repair to bridges, upgraded street lighting and improved stormwater drainage. In other words, the Transportation Improvement Plan for the next four years includes not one actual transportation project. Is there any mystery why Baltimore will not grow? (Md. Matters)

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KunSun Sweeley, Roxane Prettyman, and Pat Lundberg: Reforming Baltimore liquor board critical to stemming city violence

Wednesday, the task force commissioned by the General Assembly to study the efficacy of state alcohol regulations will meet for the first time. As residents who have spent hundreds of hours navigating the alcohol beverage code attempting to rid our neighborhoods of troublesome bars, we welcome this potential for reform; in fact, we feel it’s critical to stem the violence in our city. These laws have for far too long disproportionately protected business interests at the expense of the public good. (Balt. Sun)

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George Donohue: The next Anne Arundel executive must invest in the future

The Kirwan report on the state of Education in Maryland will release its final report this December and will have some important observations and recommendations for both the state and Anne Arundel County. The current state of our education system leaves much to be desired. As a minimum, it will likely recommend free pre-kindergarten for 3 and 4-year-olds and a 10 percent pay hike for teachers. No matter who is elected in November, these recommendations will pose a fiscal challenge to both the state and county elected officials. (Capital)

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Purchase card episode proves Anne Arundel needs a more robust auditor

County Executive Steve Schuh has long fought with the county auditor, casting the office as an unreasonable check on his authority. When Teresa Sutherland, now the Annapolis City manager, held the office, Schuh lambasted her as an unelected member of the County Council. When her successor, Jodee Dicksonson, decided to join Sutherland and take a position as city finance director, the Schuh administration responded with petty vengeance, stripping her of her job and shoving her out the door in a single day. About the same time, Schuh worked to kill resolutions by Councilman Jerry Walker — a longtime nemesis — that would have given the auditor broader powers to investigate reports of fraud and theft within county government. (Capital)

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September 11 // Rep. Cummings: Trump administration turns back the clock on health care reform

Last week, a federal court in Texas heard oral arguments in yet another lawsuit attacking the Affordable Care Act. The difference this time is that the Trump administration refused to defend the law — choosing instead to jeopardize the health care and financial well-being of tens of millions of Americans with pre-existing health conditions. Back in 2010, before we passed the Affordable Care Act, one of the most devastating experiences for Americans with pre-existing conditions was being denied coverage by insurance companies or having to pay exorbitantly higher premiums just because they had gotten sick. (Balt. Sun)

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Who lost the Md. gubernatorial debate? The voters.

Gov. Larry Hogan publicly announced he wanted two televised debates before the November election. Democrat Ben Jealous, who is challenging him, demanded five. So they compromised … on one. After more than a month of negotiations, the campaigns of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic challenger Ben Jealous agreed to participate in a single, hourlong televised debate on Sept. 24, the two camps announced jointly Thursday. There’s a lot of back and forth between the two campaigns about how things got to this point and whose fault it is that we’ll have the fewest opportunities to see the two major parties’ candidates debate since 2002. (Balt. Sun)

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What do Trump, Jealous and Hogan have in common? They'd all love to talk about free community college for undocumented immigrants.

The ironies of President Donald Trump’s dig at Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous’ promise to provide free community college for undocumented immigrants are thick. Mr. Jealous was over the moon at being singled out for criticism by a president whose disapproval ratings in Maryland rival those of sea lice. Gov. Larry Hogan, the Republican incumbent who was probably wondering what he could do to get criticized by the president, was quick to point out that he has already signed legislation that would provide free community college tuition to some undocumented immigrants, and that he wants to go further and let them transfer to a four-year school for free, too. (Balt. Sun)

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