Gov. Larry Hogan plans to submit a bill to the General Assembly in January that, if passed, he says will mitigate the worst effects of the tax overhaul measure that passed through Congress today.
Last night, while Maryland voters predictably went almost entirely with Democrats in their picks for Congress, America went down a different path. In an astonishing outcome, conservative voters from across the country picked Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House and kept the Senate and House under Republican control.
Budget Secretary David Brinkley sparred with Democratic legislators Tuesday over the Hogan administration’s proposal to gain relief from legislative spending mandates that exceed projected revenues.
Now that the State of the Union is over, our elected officials in DC are set to return to the work of taking what the president said, and putting it into action. Or, doing the exact opposite. Republicans aren’t staying in DC to plot their strategy, they are doing their planning a MARC ride away.
The Republican wave that swept both D.C. and Maryland in the November elections appears poised to at least reroute Baltimore’s plans to build a new east-west commuter rail. The proposed Red Line, which would run from Rosemont through downtown, Fell’s Point and Canton to Bayview Hospital, is currently projected to cost about $2 billion to build.
Usually when the subject is “Towson University students causing a ruckus by being provocatively hateful about race (or sexual orientation!), our old pal Matthew Heimbach has been the culprit. (If you don’t remember, he’s the college student who started a White Student Union, hosted a Straight Pride day, and chalked “WHITE PRIDE” messages all over Towson’s campus — right before a bunch of tour groups came through.) So we were surprised to learn that the Towson student who caused a “verbal brawl” at the prominent conservative CPAC conference by advocating segregation — yes, you heard me right, he is pro-segregation — I was surprised to hear that the culprit wasn’t Heimbach. But, of course, there’s more to the story than that.
If you’ve been following Maryland’s budget issue, you’ll know that Democrats are warning of a budget plan with hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to things like education, law enforcement, libraries, and state employees that is set to take effect unless the General Assembly passes a tax package in a special session, while Republicans argue that the so called “doomsday budget” actual represents a spending increase of $700 million.
At least one of them is lying, right? Or else maliciously distorting the truth. I mean, we’re talking about some pretty contradictory arithmetic, here. And with little to no explanation beyond these simple claims, what we get is not so much an argument as a partisan shouting match.
Now, I’ve got at least one thing in common with Mike Daisey, Glenn Beck, Crystal Cox, and this other guy: I’m not a journalist. So it was with great indignation as a citizen-blogger being forced to actually contact someone for a comment that I wrote to the Maryland Department of Budget and Management and asked them how Democrats could see hundreds of millions in cuts where Republicans see hundreds of millions in additional spending.
After Maryland’s general assembly failed to pass a tax package that would balance the budget and defaulted to a “doomsday” budget with heavy cuts to education, Gov. Martin O’Malley has been meeting with Senate and House leaders to work out the terms of a special session to special to address the budget problem, among other things.
But Maryland Republicans don’t see a need for a special session at all. As far as they’re concerned, the “doomsday” budget is overhyped. In the words of Del. Anthony J. O’Donnell, “We can live with this budget for a year.” Okay. So will he be ready to raise taxes next year?
Keeping everything as is, Maryland counties will find themselves in a bind, as they state has required they spend a prescribed amount on education while at the same time cutting aid — producing the type of financial inflexibility that government credit rating agency Moody’s says would be a “credit negative” for Maryland’s county governments.
By the way, a special session would cost tax payers somewhere around $20,000 a day. Let’s make it count, guys!
Courtesy of Citybizlist – The Republican presidential primary has become a dog fight for delegates to the August convention, putting Maryland in an unfamiliar situation — it actually matters.
“Probably the last time it was relevant was 35, 40 years ago,” said professor of history at American University and author of “The Keys to the White House,” Allan Lichtman, referring to the 1976 primary between Ronald Reagan and then-President Gerald Ford.
Maryland’s primary on April 3 is exactly three months after the first primary caucus in Iowa. Usually candidates have been selected by the time the primary comes to Maryland, but not this year.
The Republican primary has become a race to the magic number of 1,144 delegates that would give a candidate the nomination. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has the lead with 558 delegates, former Sen. Rick Santorum has 273, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has 133 and Rep. Ron Paul has 50.
“This is a contest for delegates and every delegate counts. And Maryland’s 37 delegates count,” said Lichtman.
Maryland’s delegates are allocated through a combination of a winner-take-all system and a proportion distribution. The primary is also closed, meaning only registered Republicans can vote.