Montgomery council member to introduce affordable health care bill

A bill scheduled to be introduced next week by Montgomery County Councilwoman Nancy Navarro would require businesses who contract with the county to provide affordable health insurance for workers or a cash benefit that would allow workers to buy their own insurance. Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring said she plans to introduce the bill at the council’s Feb. 4 meeting. (Gazette)

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6th District congressional race loses one

A combat veteran from Brunswick on Tuesday announced he is withdrawing from the 6th District congressional race to avoid a contentious Republican primary. David E. Vogt III has been campaigning since June for the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D). In a phone interview, he said he decided to bow out because he wasn't interested in a divisive primary against fellow GOP candidate Dan Bongino. (News-Post)

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City to consider sending some appeals straight to Circuit Court

Frederick's elected and appointed officials are considering if appeals of decisions made by the city's Planning Commission should bypass the city's appeal board and go straight to a county courtroom. The members of the city's Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday was asked their thoughts on whether decisions of the city's Planning Commission should be heard by them, or go straight to Frederick County Circuit Court. (News-Post)

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Baltimore County Councilman Tom Quirk to seek re-election

Councilman Tom Quirk, a Democrat who has represented the 1st District in the southwest portion of Baltimore County for the past three years, filed for re-election Tuesday with the Baltimore County Board of Elections. "In the past three years, southwest Baltimore County has seen great progress in economic revitalization efforts, investment in our schools and efforts to protect our environment and improve our public safety," Quirk said in a press release. "I'm running for reelection to see that our district's positive momentum continues over the next four years." (Balt. Sun)

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Emergency health bill gets little support from Frederick County lawmakers

Five of six state delegates from Frederick County on Tuesday opposed emergency legislation offered in response to problems with the state's health care exchange. Supporters of the bill, which passed the House of Delegates by a vote of 94 to 42, said the proposal will help people who have tried to secure insurance through the state's health care exchange but have been unsuccessful because of problems with the website. (News-Post)

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Kelly, Murphy want job swap

Charles County commissioners’ President Candice Quinn Kelly and Del. Peter F. Murphy will attempt to trade posts in the 2014 election, with each deciding last week to run for the other’s current office. Kelly (D) and Murphy (D-Charles) both stressed that they did not conspire, but that their respective decisions were contingent on the other not seeking re-election. (Md. Ind. News)

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Jan. 28 // State leaders give partial backing to minimum-wage hike

Democratic legislative leaders gave partial support Monday to a push to raise the minimum wage, with some reiterating unwillingness to impose a "one size fits all" increase across the state. They provided few other clues as to how they will respond to Gov. Martin O'Malley's call to lift the state's minimum pay from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2016, with future increases tied to inflation. (Balt. Sun)

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Mikulski: Federal employees will see more certainty this year

After a year marked with employee furloughs and budget cuts, employees at the National Institute of Standards and Technology will see more certainty this year, U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski said Monday at the federal agency’s Gaithersburg headquarters. “There’s going to be no sequester this fiscal year,” Mikulski (D) of Baltimore told several hundred employees, to a round of applause. (Gazette)

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