Todd Eberly: Minimum wage needs a boost, but it is not a living wage

I’ve argued against proposals in Maryland to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour on the grounds that it will do significant damage to the employment prospects of young and unskilled workers — and not provide much actual help to the working poor. I do not oppose raising the minimum wage. But the proposal to make Maryland’s minimum $10.10 by 2016 simply goes too far and would likely have significant negative effects on youth and unskilled employment levels. (Md. Reporter)

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Robert L. Ehrlich: A letter to my son on marijuana

Dear Drew, I've been thinking a great deal about marijuana lately. You can't turn on the television without seeing breathless reporters talking about a new cultural enthusiasm for legalizing weed. Two states (Colorado and Washington) have legalized marijuana possession for personal use. And it's probably only a matter of time before Maryland joins the party — pun intended. You are now 14 years old. A high school freshman. Homework and sports dominate your life. Your goals are unlimited. Your mother and I think you are terrific, but not perfect. We also know you face the same issues and pressures any young person faces in today's permissive society. (Balt. Sun) 

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Gaines & Rodgers: The 'House' that Maryland built

House of Cards has received $11.6 million in tax credit for its first season alone, reported Jack Gerbes, director of the Maryland Film Office. The returns on this investment can range from job creation to business for local companies, according to Gerbes. "We like to see them employ local talent ... highlight Maryland products and have those jobs and payroll come back here," said Brinkley, who has supported the tax incentives. Statewide, the first season of "House of Cards" has generated an estimated economic impact of $138 million, Gerbes indicated. (News-Post)

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Louis Peck: Gansler Leads in Local Endorsements, But Some MoCo Officials Stay on Sidelines

Attorney General Doug Gansler, who spent eight years working in Rockville as state’s attorney, will open a field office there Sunday -- the latest of nine such outposts Gansler is establishing around the state in his bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.The establishment of the Rockville office follows the opening of a similar outpost last weekend in Prince George’s County, home base of his chief rival, Lt. Gov. Anthony BrownThe latest instance of Gansler’s in-your-face tactics raises a question of larger political significance: How effective have he and Brown have been in securing support in their respective home counties, where strong showings are key to their chances for success in the June primary? (MoCo)

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Rising student achievement

The rising number of students taking advanced placement classes demonstrates a commitment to education not only from state policy makers, but from students who push themselves to higher achievement while still in high school. Last week, the College Board released the latest figures on students taking and passing advanced placement classes across the nation. According to the College Board’s “10th Annual AP Report to the Nation,” the percentage of Maryland seniors who earned a score of 3 or higher on one or more AP exams reached 29.6 in 2013, the highest percentage in the nation and an increase over the 28.1 percent tallied in 2012. (Carr. Co. Times) 

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Feb. 14 // Politics and the exchange

Are Republican Reps. Andy Harris of Maryland and Jack Kingston of Georgia calling for an investigation into the federal spending on Maryland's Affordable Care Act insurance exchange out of a sincere desire to make sure it works efficiently and effectively? We doubt it. And is Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown's campaign spokesman right that Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's demand for an accounting of the money spent so far on the exchange is motivated by the politics of the governor's race? You bet. Critics of Maryland's Obamacare website may have ulterior motives, but that doesn't mean taxpayers aren't entitled to hear the answers to their questions. (Balt. Sun)

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Mamie J. Perkins: Fund school construction and we will build it

The cadre of school system, county and elected officials standing before the state Board of Public Works recently to ask for additional capital funding to address outdated educational buildings throughout our county should have sent a clear message: Our children deserve better facilities in which to learn, and we need help from the state to create them. (Capital)

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City, county so close, yet so unconnected

Mars Super Markets, Edison Highway, 78 jobs. Winner Distributing, Highlandtown, 125 jobs. Sun Products, Holabird Avenue, 300 jobs. In the space of a single month, that’s more than 500 jobs lost in Southeast Baltimore and Baltimore County. Steady, blue-collar jobs, many of them at union rates. Are the city and county paying attention? Are they talking to each other? (Daily Record)

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