Speaking of Public Information… Annapolis Gets Slightly Less Opaque

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Currently, Maryland is one of a minority of states in which the occupations and employers of large contributors to political campaigns are not disclosed to the public. Thankfully, our otherwise flailing General Assembly managed to pass a bill to rectify the situation, requiring campaigns to collect that kind of information about anyone giving more than $500. If Gov. Martin O’Malley doesn’t veto it, it will go into effect June 1.

According to an article in The Baltimore Sun, the bill’s sponsors think a veto would be unlikely (and pretty audacious considering the measure passed 46-0 in the Senate, 89-45 in the House).

The bill is just one of several passed this legislative session that might help Maryland raise its corruption grade from a shameful D- to a disgraceful D, or maybe even a lackluster C-. Also awaiting a gubernatorial signature is a bill “requiring that the ethics disclosure forms filed by legislators and other high-ranking officials be made available online.” And coming up for referendum in November: a constitutional amendment that would boot from office elected officials immediately upon conviction of a crime.

So even if our budget falls to pieces, our legislators can’t compromise on a gaming bill, at least they’ve made government a little easier to keep an eye on.



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