Center MD

Center MD

Maryland’s leading source of aggregated and original news and opinion on government, politics, business and more. Called one of the “nation’s best state-based political blogs” by the Washington Post.

Towson is Stronger Than in 2010, But Key Challenges Remain - County Councilman David Marks

In 2010, I was elected to the Baltimore County Council from the Fifth District. Towson is the westernmost region of the Fifth District—a center for law, government, medicine, and higher education, with some of the most stable and desirable neighborhoods in central Maryland. Despite all these enviable characteristics, Downtown Towson was a major concern. In 2010, vast tracts of land were rotting away in Downtown Towson. The movie theatres at Towson Commons were on the verge of closing, and the remaining retail space was largely vacant. The deterioration of Downtown Towson was a blight on an otherwise strong region. Today, no one talks about how we need to jumpstart the revitalization of Downtown Towson—it is already underway. Whole blocks of Downtown Towson have been revitalized, and construction cranes are in the air. I attribute our success in Downtown Towson to three key factors. First and most importantly, entrepreneurs have invested in... Continue reading
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Chris West: Single-Payer Healthcare – Another View

On August 6, my good friend, State Delegate Kirill Reznik, posted a blog on Center Maryland (“Single Payer Healthcare”) in which he took aim at a Baltimore Sun analysis of Ben Jealous’s proposed single-payer healthcare plan. Delegate Reznik criticized the Baltimore Sun and launched a pretty bitter partisan attack on Governor Hogan and all Maryland Republicans because they are not swooning at the prospect of socialized medicine in Maryland. As a member of the Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission, I would like to advance several points in response. First, the analysis relied upon by the Sun reporter was a non-partisan analysis produced by the General Assembly’s Department of Legislative Services, an organization run by Senate President Mike Miller’s former Chief of Staff. The last time I checked, Senator Miller is not a Republican. Second, the analysis stated that a single-payer plan would cost the State of Maryland $24 billion a... Continue reading
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Kirill Reznik: Single Payer Healthcare

There’s a lot of controversy over a Baltimore Sun article that says single-payer healthcare costs $24 billion, and Larry Hogan is having a field day with that misinformation.  This is what happens when you Govern by polls and slogans.  But the truth is not scary, and in fact, quite commonplace. If you read beyond the headline, you would have see $24 billion does NOT represent the cost to Marylanders, but is the cost of all private pay healthcare in the State.  This number also includes insurance profits, commissions, inflated pharmaceuticals, and the expense that medical providers incur arguing with insurers.  Last year I crafted a single-payer health care plan that could be implemented in Maryland.  That bill would eliminate all of those costs, provide for a single payroll tax REPLACING the costs and burdens to employers, and cover every Marylander. Businesses in Maryland pay an almost $7,000 for individual coverage, and... Continue reading
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Cory V. McCray: McFadden's Multiple Residence

The responsibilities of an elected state legislator are myriad. There are the official duties: showing up to vote, taking an active role in committee assignments, and attending community and statewide functions, among other responsibilities. But arguably the most important role of a legislator isn’t one that takes place in any official setting. Rather, it’s the time they spend in their district building relationships with constituents and learning the needs of the many communities that make up the district. This duty often isn’t performed in any sort of formal manner. It takes shape when you meet someone new at a grocery store or restaurant you both frequent – or at that person’s front door as you’re canvassing the neighborhood. These moments are so important because they go on to inform the decisions that are made once you’re sitting in a committee hearing room or getting ready to cast a vote in the... Continue reading
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Aaron Tomarchio: How Kevin Kamenetz Steered Sparrows Point Toward The Future

In 2010, during his first campaign for Baltimore County Executive, Kevin Kamenetz said something about Sparrows Point that seemed politically risky at the time: Maybe it’s time to think about a future beyond steel production. His words seemed prescient two years later when, after cycling through five owners in a decade, the steel mill closed, putting 2,200 men and women out of work. At that time, most of Maryland’s political leaders promised that they would work to find a new steel company to take over production – although, in retrospect, that outcome was not possible. County Executive Kamenetz had the foresight and courage to say something different. He said, the steel mill isn’t coming back, but let’s figure out how to bring new jobs to Sparrows Point. This wasn’t an easy leap for many people to make. For generations, Sparrows Point represented the power of American industry. But by 2012, much... Continue reading
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