Politics

  • Mikulski hopes to play a major role in Clinton campaign

    Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who announced this week she will retire in 2016, said Wednesday she expects to play a significant role in Hillary Clinton's presumed presidential campaign as she closes a more than four-decade-long career in politics. "We've a had a few conversations as she's putting her own thoughts and her own plans together and I will play a significant role" if she runs, Mikulski said during a wide-ranging interview with The Baltimore Sun in her Capitol Hill office. "What that is, we're not into names on the back of chairs yet." (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Rep. Chris Van Hollen says he will run for Mikulski’s Senate seat in 2016

    U.S. Rep. Christopher Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Wednesday that he would run for the Senate seat being vacated in 2016 by retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski, becoming the first politician to declare his candidacy in what is expected to become a crowded field. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article

  • Mizeur weighing run for retiring Mikulski's Senate seat

    Former Del. Heather R. Mizeur, who gained statewide recognition in Democratic circles last year with a spirited campaign for governor, is considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. Joanna Belanger, Mizeur's former campaign manager, said the former lawmaker, who has been out of town this week, is talking with the people she needs to consult before mounting such a campaign. "She's definitely not ruling it out," Belanger said. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Kennedy Townsend considers Senate seat

    Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a former lieutenant governor of Maryland, said Wednesday that she will consider running for the Senate seat of retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski -- adding her name to a long list of Democrats in the state who are thinking about the job. Townsend, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2002 -- losing to Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. -- said she has heard from a number of supporters who have encouraged her to look at the seat. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Laslo Boyd: Barbara Mikulski's Incredible Voyage

    It’s a long long way from the working class neighborhoods of East Baltimore to a seat as Chair of the United States Senate’s Appropriations Committee.  Equally remarkable is that Barbara Mikulski is much the same person today that she was at the start of her journey.Read Full Article

  • Gene Ransom III -- Biosimilars & Compounding Regulation

    Gene Ransom III, CEO of MedChi, visits Center Maryland to discuss new legislation being considered in Annapolis that would regulate biosimilars and compounding.Watch Full Video

  • Tom Coale: Maryland: The “Customer Service” State

    When Peter Franchot came into his job as Comptroller in 2007, his first focus was customer service.  And not just service with a smile, but promising Marylanders “the most effective and efficient customer service possible”. In 2011, he even hired a “Taxpayer Ombudsman” to evaluate the experience of the average taxpayer in interacting with his office and provide a direct line of communication for taxpayer concerns.  And it’s shown results.Read Full Article

  • Join Wendy Davis in Annapolis on Monday, March 9

    In honor of International Women’s Month, Progressive Choice is hosting an event in Annapolis with former Texas gubernatorial candidate and national leader on women’s issues, Wendy Davis. Wendy will discuss important issues facing women in Maryland and across the country. Tickets are free but going quickly! RSVP here.

Business

  • West Coast slowdown didn’t benefit Baltimore port

    The Port of Baltimore’s ability to take advantage of a shipping slowdown on the West Coast caused by a labor dispute was undercut by its inability to transport double stacks. While the port benefited from the slowdown, caused by contract negotiations with union dock workers at ports from Seattle to San Diego, it only resulted in between a 1 percent and 2 percent increase in the port’s container business. Richard Scher, a spokesman for the Maryland Port Administration, said the increase might have been greater if the port was able to accommodate double-stack container service. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Under Armour COO Fulks to head footwear

    Under Armour has moved its chief operating officer into a new role as head of footwear and product innovation, the sports apparel maker said Wednesday. Kip J. Fulks, one of the founders of the brand along with CEO Kevin Plank, has a new title as president of footwear and innovation. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Harris Teeter to open in Bowie by mid-2016

    The final days of the decaying Bowie Marketplace shopping center are finally at hand. Brian Berman, a partner in Berman Enterprises, said Wednesday his company expects to start construction on a new shopping center on the Bowie Marketplace site at the beginning of June. Bowie residents could be buying their groceries at a new Harris Teeter store — which will serve as the anchor for the new retail outlet — by the middle of 2016. (Capital)Read Full Article

  • $105 million contract approved for BWI concourse connection for international service

    A $105 million contract for the reconstruction of two concourses at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport — meant to allow for more international service — was approved Wednesday by the Board of Public Works. The contract went to Greenbelt-based Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. The project will create a new connector between concourses D and E at the airport — with two new gates that will be able to "swing" between international and domestic service — as well as a new security checkpoint capable of handling international and domestic travelers. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Education

  • Hogan raises concerns about the number of tests students are given

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday that he thinks that students are over-tested, a growing criticism among teachers, parents and students across the country.How often, and when, students are given standardized tests are the subjects of two pieces of legislation being considered in the General Assembly.Read Full Article

  • Hogan presses for vote on 60 percent tax credit on school donations

    Gov. Larry Hogan stepped up his pressure on Speaker Michael E. Busch Wednesday to allow a vote of the full House on a long-stymied bill that would provide businesses with a 60 percent tax credit for donations to schools. Speaking to an overflow crowd of private school students in one of the State House complex's largest meeting rooms, Hogan called on the General Assembly to pass the Maryland Education Credit as a way of promoting alternative educational choices for Maryland families. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Thornton outlines plan to close city schools' budget deficit

    Central office layoffs, elimination of hundreds of teaching and staff positions in a "surplus pool" and other savings totaling $63 million are part of Baltimore schools CEO Gregory Thornton's plan to shrink an estimated $108 million budget deficit. In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, Thornton outlined out a plan to chip away at a deficit run up by union contracts, pre-kindergarten expenses and an overhaul of the district's infrastructure — and made even larger due to $35 million in proposed cuts in state funding. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • At meeting, Hogan speaks loudly and carries a big stick

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan calls himself the “new sheriff in town” — aggressively policing state spending in a way that has left some state officials in the hot seat. On Wednesday, the chief operating officer of the University System of Maryland felt his wrath after trying to defend a $16 million expenditure by telling Hogan (R) that it had already been approved by the General Assembly. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • 'Death with Dignity' advocates rally in Annapolis

    Advocates for a "death with dignity" law lobbied Annapolis lawmakers Wednesday, trying to garner support for a proposal that's under consideration in legislatures across the country. A pending bill that would allow certain terminally ill patients to take a doctor-prescribed pill will get its first hearing in Annapolis on Friday. Before then, advocates hope to combat the perception they're proposing a "physician-assisted suicide" law. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Kittleman to testify in favor of stormwater fee repeal

    Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman is heading to Annapolis Wednesday to testify in support of repealing the stormwater fee, according to his office. Kittleman will make his case in front of the House's Environment and Transportation Committee, which is weighing a bill that would eliminate Maryland's requirement that nine counties, including Howard, and Baltimore City pay a fee, dubbed a "rain tax" by critics, to fund stormwater management improvements mandated by the federal government in an effort to improve the Chesapeake Bay's water quality. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • City hires former Baltimore Co. delegate as lobbyist

    Former state delegate Del. John A. Olszewski Jr. of Baltimore County will join the city's payroll to lobby the General Assembly on transportation issues. The Board of Estimates on Wednesday awarded a $90,000 contract to Olszewski, a Democrat who represented Dundalk until he lost a race for state Senate during 2014's Republican wave. "I don't think they could have picked a better person," said City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young, who chairs the five-member board that approved the contract without discussion. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Harford starts collecting hotel tax March 23, revenue grant application process open

    Collection of Harford County's first lodging tax will begin later this month, and the county government has begun taking applications from local public and private nonprofits for grants from the revenue that will used to promote and implement tourism-related activities. The county will begin collecting the tax on March 23, county government spokesperson Cindy Mumby said Tuesday. The 6 percent on hotel and motel room rentals of less than 30 days was approved in January by the Harford County Council. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Robert Thomson: Killing Purple Line would be radical step

    If Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) kills the Purple Line, as some transportation advocates fear, it would be a sharp departure from the recent history of highway and transit projects in the D.C. region.That doesn’t mean he won’t do it. My purpose here is to show how big a deal that would be in local history. Major projects, whether they’re highways or transit lines, don’t die when they reach a certain point in the planning and investment stage with solid backing in their region. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Joe Bartenfelder: Hogan's phosphorus regulations reflect the nation's best science

    There seems to be a great deal of confusion about what Gov. Larry Hogan's Agriculture Phosphorus Initiative really contains, and I would like to clearly state the facts about how we plan to address phosphorus. The new phosphorus management tool regulations make four significant enhancements to the previous administration's November 2014 proposal, and they are the only substantive changes. These changes address key concerns of the agricultural community while providing immediate environmental protection and comprehensive data on agricultural soil phosphorus conditions across the state. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Ending judicial elections

    Electing judges by popular vote is a bad idea. Experience has taught this lesson over and over again. If you want judges to be impartial and fair (or at least appear to be), you don't force them to act like politicians making promises and seeking campaign contributions from the very people who are likely to appear before them in a courtroom. Maryland operates on a bit of a hybrid system. Circuit court judges are appointed by the governor (after being vetted and recommended by local judicial nominating committees), but then they must stand for election to a 15-year term in a contest where any Tom, Dick or Harry from the local bar can run against them. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Claire Louder: We must invest in transportation network at Fort Meade

    West Anne Arundel County continues to grow, with new housing and commercial development arising from Gambrills to Hanover. But none of that growth, which results in increased tax revenues for the county and state, would be occurring if it weren't for our state's largest employer, Fort George G. Meade. Fort Meade brings an estimated $23 billion a year to our region, including payroll, purchases, and construction. (Capital)Read Full Article