Friday, March 29, 2013
The bill that increases the gasoline tax by as much as 20 cents by 2016 now heads to Gov. Martin O'Malley for his signature.
A tax that will increase the cost of gas by as much as 20 cents by 2016 was given final approval Friday by the Maryland Senate. The bill passed largely along party lines by a vote of 27-20. Eight Democrats joined all 12 Republicans in opposing the tax increase measure. The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is expected to sign the tax into law. The final vote came after legislators suspended the rules, allowing them to take both a preliminary and final vote in the same day and allow many lawmakers to leave the capital to observe Good Friday. The bill increases the state's tax on gas by more than 20 cents to 43.7 cents per gallon on July 2016. The tax would increase to 44.6 cents per gallon if the federal government …
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Capital punishment in Maryland already is effectively dead, according to some prosecutors.
Saturday, February 9
By Julia Maldonado, Capital News Service A bill that would repeal the death penalty in Maryland appears to have the votes needed to clear the Senate, adding momentum to Gov. Martin O’Malley and proponents’ push for repeal. But some prosecutors and other death penalty supporters say a repeal would only make official what is already true—capital punishment doesn’t really exist in Maryland. The state has one of the most restrictive death penalty laws in the country. Combine that with bureaucratic opposition from the governor and judges’ reluctance to impose the ultimate penalty, and even the most violent criminals are not likely to ever be executed, some say. “I don’t want them to ever have the opportunity to do it again,” said Sen. Kathleen …
Thursday, February 7, 2013
A state senator wants a new state bird; one man's technolgical fortress is his castle; and the Senate president feels snubbed by Obama.
It's not a statue in front of the office building that bares his name but Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller did receive a bust of himself this week courtesy of the Regional Manufacturing Institute. Sen. Kathy Klausmeier, a Perry Hall Democrat, gave a sneak preview of the small, light-weight bust of Miller moments before presenting it to the Senate's top dog. "You can't have too much Mike Miller," Klausmeier said. The technology is similar to what was used in a scene of Jurassic Park 3 where a copy of a velociraptor's larynx was recreated. The institute offered legislators in Annapolis the opportunity to have themselves scanned into a computer and get busts of themselves. Miller seemed impressed with the petite bust but joked that it …
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The governor's seventh State of the State address is seen by many as a prelude to an expected run for president in 2016.
Gov. Martin O'Malley Wednesday urged lawmakers to pass his offshore wind bill and find more money for transportation projects—though he offered no details on a gas tax initiative. In his seventh State of the State speech, the Democratic governor also used his 35-minute address to remind legislators of what he sees as his major accomplishments since taking office in 2007. In many ways, the speech seemed to lay the groundwork for what many expect will be a run for President in 2016. Choice was a major theme in O'Malley's speech. "Better choices. Better results. The proof is in our progress," O'Malley said. [Read O'Malley's speech as prepared or watch it.] O'Malley's Legislative Wish List On the top of O'Malley's wish list are the passage of …
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Senate President's plan would raise $300 million through a sales tax on gasoline and would allow local governments to impose a 5 cent tax.
UPDATED (5:39 p.m.)—Maryland could raise $300 million for transportation projects under a plan proposed by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller. Miller's plan calls for a 3 percent tax on the wholesale price of gas. That tax would be in addition to the 23.5 cents per gallon drivers already pay in Maryland. "Everybody is going to pay a gas tax," Miller said of his proposal. The additional tax would raise up to $300 million in additional funds, Miller said. The proposal would allow local jurisdictions to impose up to a 5 cents per gallon tax for local transportation projects. Miller said the idea is to let counties with specific transportation needs assess a tax to pay for those needs. "They would be able to meet the needs by the votes of …
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
State Sen. Allan Kittleman wants voting sessions recorded, a Prince George's County senator suffers a basketball injury and two Baltimore County legislators team up to shorten the wait to get a divorce.
A proposal by Baltimore City to secure hundreds of millions in state money for school construction is missing a key ingredient, according to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. "The state needs to have a role in school construction," Miller said. Baltimore City wants the state to guarantee as much as $30 million a year for 20 years in the form of block grants for school construction and renovations. The city will then use that promise to leverage borrowing $1 billion for its plan. Miller rejects the plan saying it's a lot of money and that the state is needed to provide a check and balance to potential malfeasance and corruption. "I'm a historian, I study all history, OK," Miller said. "Whenever you have a one-sided government you …
Friday, July 27, 2012
O'Malley says session, which begins on August 9, will be about job creation and funding for schools.
UPDATED (2:57 p.m.)—Gov. Martin O'Malley Friday announced he will call the General Assembly back to Annapolis for a special session on the issues of gambling and the creation of a sixth casino. "This is an issue about jobs," O'Malley said. "This is an issue about maximizing revenues from gaming." A bill was not available at the time of the morning news conference. O'Malley said it needed tweaking and would likely be made public shortly before the beginning of the special session. O'Malley, House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller all said the bill would create about 2,500 jobs from the legalization of table games and generate $100 million for schools. Sen. E.J. Pipkin Friday afternoon blasted O'Malley for …