Hogan budget plan would trim Baltimore recovery programs

Gov. Larry Hogan is proposing cuts to programs passed to help Baltimore recover after the riots of 2015, $10 million to lure Amazon’s new headquarters to the state and a small raise for state workers. State analysts started poring over the Republican governor’s $44.4 billion state budget proposal in detail Wednesday, providing a deeper glimpse into the final spending plan of Hogan’s four-year term. (Balt. Sun)

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Kirwan tells lawmakers Md. is complacent about education system

The chairman of the commission studying Maryland’s education policy and funding formulas told legislative fiscal committees Tuesday that despite being ranked among the best in the nation in years past, state schools are actually in the “middle of the pack” in the United States. William E. “Brit” Kirwan, chairman of the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, went on to point out that since the United States is similarly ranked in the middle internationally, Maryland schools are in the middle of the middle in terms of ranking. (Md. Matters)

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Gov. Larry Hogan has large cash advantage over Democratic rivals, with over $9M in the bank

Gov. Larry Hogan has more than $9 million in the bank for his re-election effort this year, according to the finance reports filed Wednesday night, giving him a sizable cash advantage over his potential Democratic rivals. Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford raised a combined $5.4 million over the past 12 months, bringing their total cash on hand to $9.03 million, according to the reports. Individual Democrats in the race were expected to post totals less than one-third that figure when the latest round of campaign finance reports were due at midnight Wednesday. (Balt. Sun)

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Brochin has most cash on hand in Baltimore County executive race

Of the five people running to become the next Baltimore County executive, state Sen. Jim Brochin's campaign has the most money on hand. The Democrat from Cockeysville said he raised about $381,000 over the course of the past year and has $765,000 in the bank heading toward the June primary. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland agrees to contract with state employees; Hogan proposes 2018 budget

Maryland state employees, whose contracts expired Dec. 31, will receive a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment in 2019 and a break on insurance premiums this year under a new labor agreement announced Wednesday. The three-year deal, which will be voted on by union members on Jan. 31, follows lengthy and, at times, bitter negotiations with the administration of Gov. Larry Hogan (R) that highlighted staffing shortages and working conditions for correctional officers and other employees. (Wash. Post)

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Maryland senators argue over skipping budget breakfast

Two Maryland senators have publicly argued over a decision by the legislature’s top leaders to skip the governor’s breakfast on the state’s budget. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller announced Wednesday in the Senate that leading Democrats didn’t feel they needed to attend, because Gov. Larry Hogan already briefed certain people and announced highlights at a news conference Tuesday. (AP)

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Md. Democratic leaders to Trump and GOP-led Congress: ‘Enough is enough’

The top Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly have a message for President Trump and the Republican-led Congress as they veer dangerously close to the first federal government shutdown in five years: “Enough is enough.” In a letter to Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday, state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) said they are frustrated by recent actions taken by Republicans and deeply concerned about the possibility of a shutdown, which they say could cost the state $5 million a day. (Wash. Post)

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Raskin meeting on Trump changes course after reports of violent threats

A town hall meeting with Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) to discuss his bill to determine whether President Trump is fit for office — and the 25th Amendment in general — changed course last week after the event attracted what his spokeswoman described as a series of violent threats. The meeting, set to take place at a Silver Spring senior center on Jan. 11, was supposed to include the Yale psychiatrist Bandy Lee, who in December briefed a dozen members of Congress on Trump’s mental state. (Wash. Post)

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