Our suggestions to fix Maryland politics

On Friday, we editorialized on Delegate Michael Hough’s “Agenda to Fix Maryland,” which had four reasonable, but doomed, proposals to cure what he termed the state’s “broken” political system: more transparency, term limits, more restrictions on lawmakers and political aides becoming lobbyists, and a supermajority vote to raise taxes. We don’t have any restrictions about what we can suggest to improve Maryland’s political process. With that carte blanche in hand, here’s our list of tweaks. (News-Post)

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Rascovar: Lt. Gov. Brown takes heat on Obamacare

Let’s face it: Maryland dropped the ball on implementing Obamacare. To date the rollout has been a failure. Thirty-seven hundred sign-ups since October 1. That’s pathetic. Who bears ultimate responsibility? (Md. Reporter)

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Lloyd Waters: And the people cried term limits

And the people cried, “term limits!” Del. Michael J. Hough has come up with a novel idea that actually has the support of many people. When the Maryland General Assembly meets this session, Hough is going to propose that Maryland adopt a “term limit” proposal and a two-thirds majority to increase taxes.

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Address shortfalls in services

While arguments can be made for and against the special exceptions that the Carroll County Board of Commissioners granted for two developments last week, the fact that the board approved the exceptions without also figuring out a way to address the current deficiency is inexcusable. Last week, the board voted to allow two subdivisions that had previously been rejected by the planning commission because of a lack of adequate facilities. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Thomas Maronick Jr.: Reform bail system, don't discard it

The Sun editorial on amending the bail system ("Better Bail," Nov. 29) argues that changing the bail system from a financial-based system to a risk-based system would provide a fairer way of getting defendants to court regardless of financial status, but such a move would likely create many more problems that it will ever solve. (Balt. Sun) 

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Doug Colbert: Maryland's pretrial detention is unfair

Changing a pretrial justice system challenges every principal player to do things differently. That's the situation Maryland's elected officials, judges, prosecutors, public defenders and pretrial investigators face as they encounter the most monumental transition in pretrial justice since the Supreme Court recognized a poor person's constitutional right to counsel in 1963. (Balt. Sun)

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Jim Lee: Advisory board delves into issues

Ramifications of the state’s tax on impervious surfaces, what a hike in the minimum wage might mean for businesses and declining state funding even as mandates increase were among the concerns expressed last week by members of the Carroll County Times Editorial Advisory Board as we get ready to head into the 2014 legislative session. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Harrison Jackson: Enjoy our winter visitors from a distance

Seals, like many other marine mammals, are cute and seem cuddly. Like the Assateague ponies, one cannot help but want to get closer and even touch or feed them. Such human contact, however, does more harm than good and ultimately can lead to disastrous results or major problems not only for the seals, but for us. (Daily Times)

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