Larry Hogan

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate is scheduled to consider changes to the state's $40.4 billion budget plan.

Two budget bills that are working in tandem to balance the state's books for the next fiscal year will be before the Senate on Wednesday.

The House of Delegates approved the measures last week.

The House restored money for education that Gov. Larry Hogan had scaled back to help balance the state's books in the long term. The House also restored money for a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for state employees.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Senate committee is likely to vote this week on what direction the Maryland charter school law should go in the future.

Sen. Joan Conway, D-Baltimore City, chairwoman of the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, told reporters Tuesday her committee is considering an amended version of Gov. Larry Hogan's bill to expand the state's charter school law.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and members of Maryland's congressional delegation say they are unified in their efforts to draw a new FBI headquarters to the state.

Hogan and congressional members held a news conference Monday in Annapolis after a meeting. Maryland's congressional delegation is comprised of Democrats, except for Republican Rep. Andy Harris.

Hogan and Democratic leaders are pledging to work closely together to bring the headquarters from Washington to Prince George's County.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan and members of Maryland's congressional delegation will be outlining the state's federal priorities.

The governor has scheduled a news conference for Monday afternoon in Annapolis.

One priority the governor has already met with delegation members is to relocate the new FBI headquarters to Maryland.

Maryland is competing with Virginia for the new complex, which would be home to about 11,000 jobs.

Don Rush

Maryland state leaders could be close to a compromise on Governor Larry Hogan’s proposal to reduce the runoff of phosphorus from farms into the Chesapeake Bay.

WBOC reports that the regulations would divide farms into three tiers based on the amount of phosphorus in the soil.

There would be a 20 member advisory board that could weigh in on whether the farmers are making enough progress or need more time.

The panel would include environmentalists like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as well as agricultural advocates such as the Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates has passed the state's $40.4 billion budget.

The House voted 129-10 Thursday for the budget bill, with 89 Democrats voting for the measure and 40 Republicans. Ten Republicans voted against it.

The House also voted 122-17 for a companion bill needed to balance the budget.

The bill restores education funding that had not been as high as Democratic lawmakers had been hoping for in Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's budget. The House also restored a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for state employees.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate is nearing a vote on ending state-mandated stormwater management fees.

A vote could come Friday on the bill, which is sponsored by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller.

Currently nine counties and the city of Baltimore pay the fees, which critics call the "rain tax."

The bill would not require counties to charge a fee to meet federal stormwater requirements to clean up pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. However, they would have to show they can meet the requirements.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates is scheduled to vote on the state's $40.7 billion budget.

The vote is expected Thursday afternoon.

The House has made room in the budget to restore education funding that had not been as high as Democratic lawmakers had been hoping for in Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's budget. The House also restored a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for state employees.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates is taking up the state's $40 billion budget.

Lawmakers are scheduled Wednesday to consider changes to the budget plan for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

A House panel voted unanimously last week to make room to add more money for education and to restore a 2-percent cost-of-living adjustment for state employees.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates has voted to bring back a voluntary check off on individual income tax returns for public campaign financing for governor.

The House voted 134-6 on Tuesday for the bill, which was opposed by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

The original check off was repealed in 2010.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Leaders of a Maryland Senate panel that steers state spending say recent changes to the state budget are something the whole General Assembly can support.

Sen. Richard Madaleno, the panel's vice chairman, told a cheering crowd in Annapolis Monday that he expected unanimous votes in both chambers for changes to add more funding to education and to restore a 2-percent cost-of-living adjustment for state employees.

Panel chairman Sen. Edward Kasemeyer said he felt confident Republican Gov. Larry Hogan would also support the changes.

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Former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown says he is going to run for a seat on congress after his defeat by Republican Governor Larry Hogan in last year’s November elections.

The Maryland Democrat will seek Representative Donna Edwards’ seat who has decided to run for U.S. Senate now that Barbara Mikulski has announced her retirement next year.

Brown said that he believed he still had something to give to back to his community.

The district sits next to Washington D.C. and includes a portion of Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties.

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Mayor Jim Ireton gave his State of the City address yesterday.

And, he stressed the need to attack the city blight saying that property owners need to be held accountable.

In his "broken windows" approach, Ireton pushed an initiative to place QR codes on signs in front of abandoned buildings that would link to online sites providing details about the property’s history and current status.

"Let Summer Be Summer"

Mar 12, 2015
Don Rush

Could students begin to start the school term a little later in the year?

Yes, says Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot who backs the initiative known as Let Summer Be Summer.

The state official was up before a state Senate committee hearing yesterday for legislation that would have all Maryland school begins the fall semester after Labor Day.

The petition has more than 13-thousand signatures including Governor Larry Hogan.

Backers hope that the later date would help generate an additional $74 million in revenue.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Senate committee is giving an unfavorable vote to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's bill to repeal stormwater management fees.

The bill was voted down Tuesday 6-4 by the Senate Committee on Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs, along with two other bills that proposed the repeal of the fees.

Sen. President Thomas V. Mike Miller also has proposed a bill that would end a state mandate for fees. On Tuesday he testified before the same Senate committee, touting the bill's bipartisan support and cooperation among counties and environmentalists.

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - The director of Maryland's lottery and gaming agency is cashing in his chips.

Stephen Martino, who heads the state's Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, told staff in an email that he was resigning and his last day would be March 27. He plans on taking a job as a partner in the Baltimore office of law firm Duane Morris.

Martino was appointed to his position by former Gov. Martin O'Malley in 2010. Prior to his appointment, he served as the executive director of the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.

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FRIENDSVILLE, Md. (AP) - Frostburg State University students are recording public comments about prospects for natural gas drilling in western Maryland.

They're holding a "listening event" Tuesday in Friendsville as part of a project to document local opinions about the drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has confirmed four of Gov. Larry Hogan's Cabinet appointments.
 
The Senate voted 47-0 Friday for the governor's nominees. One of them is Pete Rahn, who is Hogan's choice to lead the Maryland Department of Transportation.
 
Ben Grumbles, Hogan's nominee for the Maryland Department of the Environment, also was confirmed. Rona Kramer was confirmed to lead the Maryland Department of Aging.
 
The Senate also confirmed Kenneth Holt, who is Hogan's choice for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware transportation officials say very low temperatures and packed snow and ice are making it tough to plow roads in the state.
 
Officials say all crews are still on the job Friday and their goal remains clearing primary and some secondary roads, a day after a snowstorm dumped a half a foot of snow in some areas.

The heaviest snowfall in Delaware occurred in Greenville at 7 and a half inches and in Hockesson at 6 and a half inches.

Dover received just over 5 inches while Bethany Beach got just shy of 3 inches.

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Governor Larry Hogan is urging Maryland residents to stay off the roads today.

10 inches of snow expected in the northern, central and western parts of the state and up to 3 inches of snow are expected to blanket southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore.

Meanwhile, Governor Jack Markell warns that roads may have been clear during the morning rush hour but that heavy midday snowfall could mean a tough afternoon drive.

Markell is suggesting that drivers stay off the roads to allow the crews to clear the snow.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Republican Gov. Larry Hogan says it's time to approve a tax credit for businesses that donate money to support education.

Hogan was joined Wednesday by the Rev. William Lori, archbishop of Baltimore. Rabbi Ariel Sadwin, director at Agudath Israel of Maryland, also attended the event promoting the Maryland Education Credit Initiative.

It would provide a qualifying Maryland business with a tax credit equal to 60 percent of its donation to public and private education.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan's pick for transportation secretary has been given unanimous approval by a Senate committee.

Pete Rahn survived a final round of questions on Monday as he defended his work and explained what his team was doing to make progress on both the Purple and Red line projects.

Rahn said work on cutting costs for the Red Line would not begin until the planning stages of the Purple Line were complete.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Senate panel is scheduled to continue questioning Gov. Larry Hogan's nominee to head the transportation department.

Pete Rahn is scheduled to appear before the Senate Executive Nominations Committee late Monday.

Rahn appeared before the panel last week. Lawmakers on the panel held off on voting on his nomination and several other nominees to the governor's Cabinet to ask more questions.

Last week, Rahn faced questions about a controversial highway project in New Mexico in 1997, when he led that state's transportation department.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan is holding a news conference with education leaders to talk about his charter school bill.

The governor also plans to discuss a bill to create tax credits for people who make voluntary contributions to private or parochial schools at the event on Thursday.

The news conference is being held as the governor's charter school measure is scheduled for a hearing Thursday afternoon before lawmakers. The bill is designed to make it easier to operate charter schools in Maryland.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers are targeting phosphorous pollution of the Chesapeake Bay.

A Senate subcommittee heard testimony Tuesday for a bill sponsored by Sen. Paul Pinsky, D-Prince George's County, that addresses pollution caused by excess fertilizer on Eastern Shore poultry farms.

The bill contains recommendations similar to those proposed by former Gov. Martin O'Malley, which aim to address high levels of phosphorous by requiring farmers to test and monitor their soil nutrient levels and manage excess fertilizer.

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Governor Larry Hogan outlined his plan to fight the increasing number of heroin overdose deaths.

Hogan’s concern is also personal with the death of his own cousin to a heroin overdose a few years ago.

The Republican governor will be setting up a council and a separate special taskforce to deal with the problem.

They are to meet regularly and get advice from educators, families and others in the community.

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Governor Larry Hogan has laid out a new phosphorus initiative.

Billed as an enhanced phosphorus management tool the Maryland Governor would give more time for farmers to cut their use of phosphorus and would immediately stop the state’s greatest offenders.

Most farmers would have until 2022 to fully comply with the new regulations.

Hogan’s spokeswoman Erin Montgomery said that 21 percent of farmers on the Lower Shore would feel the immediate impact of the change.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland public schools are preparing for new standardized testing.

Elementary, middle and high school students are to start testing in March through the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. The exam is connected to the Common Core State Standards for reading and math proficiency.

School districts statewide provided students with a recent demonstration, allowing schools to test technological infrastructure for the computer-based exams.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The state of Maryland has released details of an offer to state employees who are willing to leave their jobs to help the state save money.

In a letter made public Thursday, state employees would be offered a lump sum payment of $15,000. They also would receive an additional $200 for each year of service.

The goal of the program is to reduce the size of the state workforce by allowing employees to voluntarily leave. Employees in state agencies under the executive branch are eligible for the offer. They would have to leave no later than April 28.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan is visiting a Baltimore charter school with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to discuss his proposed bill that would strengthen Maryland's charter school law.

Hogan is scheduled to participate in a reading exercise and talk with students at the Empowerment Academy in Baltimore. Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford is also set to join the visit.

The Republican governor is looking to expand choices for students and their families as well as make it easier for charter schools to operate in Maryland.

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