By The Associated Press
6:42 p.m. EST, January 17, 2012
ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Martin O’Malley discussed plans Tuesday with legislative leaders and local officials to shift teacher pension costs to Maryland counties and reduce tax exemptions for high-end earners, according to participants in the meetings.
Maryland currently is one of the few states in the nation that picks up the entire teacher pension cost, which is projected to be about $900 million in the next fiscal year.
POSTED: 5:32 PM TUE, JANUARY 17, 2012 BY DAILY RECORD STAFF
Ninety Maryland employees of Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Electronic Systems sector will be laid off, the company announced Tuesday. The cuts are part of a 400 person company-wide reduction.
In October, the Fall Church, Va.-based defense contractor announced plans to cut 800 positions across the country in their Electronic Systems sector by the end of January. While more than 300 employees left the company as a result, “the number of volunteers did not reduce our headcount to the extent required in all of the areas where we have an insufficient amount of work,” said company spokesperson Jack Martin Jr.
All laid-off employees will work through January 31. An additional 20 manufacturing employees at the company’s Linthicum plant will be furloughed for between four and five months due to lack of work during that time, Martin said.
By C.J. LOVELACE
8:20 p.m. EST, January 17, 2012
HAGERSTOWN — To bind or not to bind, that is the question facing the Hagerstown City Council on the 2012 general election ballot.
The council has been considering a proposed change that would make elections nonpartisan — an election in which candidates are not nominated based on political party — and planned to pose a non-binding question to voters on the Nov. 8 ballot to gauge support.
By Annie Linskey and Michael Dresser
6:39 a.m. EST, January 9, 2012
Priority legislation in the 90-day General Assembly session that begins Wednesday
•Gas tax: A blue ribbon commission recommended a 15-cent increase to the gas tax, which has not been raised since 1992. Senate President Miller has said he’d be more comfortable with a 10-cent increase.
•Economic stimulus: Governor O’Malley, House Speaker Busch and Miller have all talked about spurring the state’s construction industry with a larger than usual capital budget. A gas tax increase could pay for some of these projects.
Companies and organizations spent big money on lobbyists last year, looking for help in convincing the state government to act in their interests. The biggest spender, according to a Maryland State Ethics Commission report covering the period between Nov. 1, 2010 and Oct. 31, 2011, is the Maryland State Education Association.
The state’s powerful teachers union outpaced all other companies in reported spending on lobbyists. with $1,034,959.59 reported to the Maryland State Ethics Commission.
Lawmakers under pressure from several fronts to act now
4:50 p.m. EST, January 8, 2012
Democratic leaders in Annapolis have compiled a “To Do” list for the next three months that includes raising taxes and changing the definition of marriage. Some also want to close off big chunks of Maryland to development and open even more casinos in the state.
Any one of these proposals would be off-putting to many lawmakers in most years — indeed, some ideas have been passed along like a plate of limp vegetables from one session to the next. But during the 90-day session that begins Wednesday, pressure from many different directions is expected to spur the governor and General Assembly to take action.
Originally published January 05, 2012
By Bethany Rodgers
A state senator from Frederick County announced Wednesday that he is running to represent Western Maryland in the U.S. Congress.
Speaking at a news conference outsideFrederick City Hall, state Sen. David Brinkley said he is the most viable candidate to hold the 6th District seat for Republicans.
Democrats gained traction in the district after state legislators reshaped it in October to include more of Montgomery County. Many in the GOP viewed the changes as an effort to unseat 10-term U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a Republican.
Charles County housing tax assessments plunged again this year, according to data released last week by the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation, falling 16.6 percent in the southeastern portion of the county. Commercial property assessments also fell by 2.9 percent.
POSTED: 8:00 AM THU, JANUARY 5, 2012 BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
UPPER MARLBORO — State Sen. C. Anthony Muse is scheduled to announce his candidacy for U.S. Senate.
Muse, D-Prince George’s, has scheduled the announcement in Upper Marlboro on Thursday night.
He would then take on Sen. Benjamin Cardin in the primary.
Muse has been a state senator since 2007.
POSTED: 6:27 PM WED, JANUARY 4, 2012 BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
ANNAPOLIS — Maryland’s Board of Public Works has approved $19 million for wastewater treatment plant upgrades in Baltimore City and Carroll, Frederick and Anne Arundel counties.
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown says the projects are an important part of the state’s efforts to improve the Chesapeake Bay and other state waterways.
Baltimore’s Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant received a $10 million and a $5 million grant for upgrades that are expected to cut nitrogen discharges by two-thirds. Nitrogen is one of the key pollutants in sewage that can spur oxygen-robbing algae blooms once it reaches waterways.
The board also approved a $2.9 million grant for Anne Arundel County’s Maryland City plant, a $1 million grant for Carroll County’s Westminster Wastewater Treatment Plant, and a $758,000 grant for Frederick County’s Gas House Pike plant.