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Maryland Politics: January 25, 2009 - January 31, 2009

Budget Cuts Will Delay Tax Refunds

Add quick tax refunds to the casualties of Maryland's budget shortfall. The state comptroller's office says cuts to the workforce of temporary employees the agency hires during tax filing season to process paper returns will force delays in refunds, to...

By Lisa Rein  |  January 30, 2009; 4:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Lisa Rein  
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Senate Finance Tops List of Most Courted Committees

The Senate Finance Committee is the most popular dinner date in Annapolis. That's according to a new report by the State Ethics Commission, which details how often various committees and delegations were invited to dinners, receptions and other "special events"...

By John Wagner  |  January 30, 2009; 3:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  John Wagner  
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Montgomery Council Member Praisner Dies at 76

BY WILLIAM WAN WASHINGTON POST STAFF WRITER Donald Praisner. (Carl Iseli) Montgomery Councilmember Donald Praisner, 76, died this afternoon after undergoing surgery for colon cancer. Praisner, a Democrat, won his Eastern County seat in a special election last spring after...

By Anne Bartlett  |  January 30, 2009; 2:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Montgomery County  
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Utilities, Business Groups Spent Most on Lobbying

Utility companies and associations representing retailers, real-estate brokers, bankers and health interests were among the big spenders on lobbyists last year in Annapolis. Pepco Holdings tops a list just released by the State Ethics Commission, having spent $723,330 on lobbying...

By John Wagner  |  January 30, 2009; 2:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  John Wagner  
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Busch Urges Financial Restraint in House

House Speaker Michael E. Busch has announced that any bill proposed in the House of Delegates requiring new spending will get a special review by the body's leadership before it comes to a vote. The group of 10 delegates, which...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  January 30, 2009; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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Prince George's to Gov: We're Less Wealthy Than You Think

And now for a full-on wonk topic that has the possibility of bursting into raw politics in Annapolis in the next few weeks: how the state calculates the net taxable income of each county. The topic consumed a good two-hour...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  January 30, 2009; 12:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  General Assembly , Rosalind Helderman  
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Lt. Gov. Brown to Focus on Domestic Violence, Military Issues

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) announced today that his legislative priorities this session will be bills to help victims of domestic violence and military families. With the announcement, Brown, whose cousin was fatally shot last year by an ex-boyfriend...

By John Wagner  |  January 30, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly , John Wagner  
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Miller Urges Caution On Bills That Cost Money

Given the state's tough budget times, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) is urging restraint when considering legislation this session that costs the state money. In a letter today to Senate committee chairmen and vice-chairmen, Miller noted that...

By John Wagner  |  January 29, 2009; 5:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly , John Wagner  
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MoCo's IG Presses For Disability Retirement Fix

Montgomery County's independent inspector general this afternoon issued the third in a series of reports on the police disability retirement system that has been criticized for lax oversight. The inspector general's latest memo backs key provisions of legislation pending before...

By Ann Marimow  |  January 29, 2009; 3:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Ann Marimow , Montgomery County  
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O'Malley Strikes Resolute Tone in Annual Address

Governor Martin O'Malley this afternoon delivered his State of the State address, in which he praised the election of Barack Obama and Maryland's achievements in education and public safety, and urging the state to fight through its current economic trials....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  January 29, 2009; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Governor  
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Simmons Bill on Reckless Driving

Rosalind S. Helderman reports this morning on a new push for a long-stymied legislative proposal that would make it easier to prosecute reckless drivers. Here's the summary of to Montgomery Democratic Rep Luiz R.S. Simmons's bill: FOR the purpose of...

By Anne Bartlett  |  January 29, 2009; 10:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  General Assembly , Reader Polls , Rosalind Helderman  
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Franchot Questions Fee Payments for Land Purchases

The Board of Public Works added 4,400 acres in Southern Maryland and Cecil County to Maryland's vault of land preserved for open space today with a $57 million purchase from the Jesuit order. The land, which includes 19 miles of...

By Lisa Rein  |  January 28, 2009; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Lisa Rein  
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A Failed Push to Delay Purple Line Vote?

The Montgomery County Council unanimously agreed to a 16-mile rail line connecting the county with Prince George's today, but some delegates in Annapolis are buzzing about possible last minute efforts to convince the council to hold back their support. Del....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  January 27, 2009; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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Lawmakers Urge O'Malley To Hold Off On "Real ID"

A dozen Democratic lawmakers representing the "New Americans" caucus in Annapolis met with Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) yesterday to urge him not to move ahead with legislation to require immigrants to prove they are legal residents before they can drive....

By Lisa Rein  |  January 27, 2009; 2:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  General Assembly , Lisa Rein  
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O'Malley Delays $56 Million in Cuts to Local Aid

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) said this afternoon that he is delaying a proposal to reduce aid to local governments by $56 million until the fate of federal stimulus package becomes clearer. The largest of the contemplated mid-year reductions, $38 million,...

By John Wagner  |  January 27, 2009; 2:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  John Wagner  
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O'Malley Talks Leadership With Midshipmen

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, football coach Dick Vermeil and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had done it before. Last night was Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's chance. O'Malley (D) was the featured speaker at the U.S. Naval Academy Forrestal...

By John Wagner  |  January 27, 2009; 10:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  John Wagner  
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Andrews Criticizes MoCo Firefighter Deal

Montgomery County Council president Phil Andrews today criticized a proposal to delay a pay hike for county firefighters, saying it did not go far enough to address the county's fiscal problems. "It doesn't provide the structural savings we need," said...

By Anne Bartlett  |  January 26, 2009; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Miranda Spivack , Montgomery County  
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Praisner to Undergo Surgery

Montgomery County Council member Don Praisner (D-Eastern County) will undergo surgery for colon cancer, the council office has announced in a statement. Praisner was admitted to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda last week for tests involving "recurring stomach discomfort." Council president...

By Anne Bartlett  |  January 26, 2009; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Montgomery County  
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Currie's Fundraising Slows To a Trickle; Gansler, Smith Step Up

Among other things, the federal investigation of Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George's) appears to have taken a significant toll on his campaign fundraising. Currie, chairman of the powerful Budget and Taxation Committee and one of the Senate's most prolific fundraisers,...

By John Wagner  |  January 26, 2009; 8:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  John Wagner  
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