Immigrant licensing plan a smart option

Good public policy can seem counterintuitive. A number of Daily Times readers find it unfathomable that the state of Maryland would allow undocumented persons to hold a driver’s license. The state expects to issue about 135,000 learner’s permits and driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants over the next five years. That this is necessary, and the smartest possible move, reflects the utter failure of the federal government to come to grips with the presence of about 11 million undocumented persons in the United States. Because their status has not been resolved, these immigrants are forced to live in the shadows, part of the economy and civic life but also apart from it. (Daily Times)

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Mike Wicklein: Baltimore: brave and free

The experiment of staging a Grand Prix in the heart of Baltimore has benefited the city. Whether you loved or hated it, it has caused us to consider the branding and selling of the city of Baltimore — who we are and why people want to visit, work and live here. The Grand Prix was dubbed a "signature event," the kind of occasion that put a spotlight on the city and brought thousands here. Now that it's gone, we should be thinking about how to replace it with something else that enhances our image and visibility. (Balt. Sun)

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Eberly: In Maryland Speech, Obama Promised No Changes for Individual Market Plans

Let me preface this post by stating something that some new readers may not know, I supported the Affordable Care Act when it was passed in 2010. I continue to support substantial portions of it, especially the use of tax credits and insurance exchanges to extend coverage to the uninsured. That said, I consider the substantial disruption of the Individual Health Insurance Market to be an unacceptable outcome. (FreeStater)

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Lee: Harris voted for economic tailspin

Our congressman, Andy Harris, voted no to raise the debt limit. By voting no, he was voting to send our government into default on our debts for the first time in our 200-plus-year history. A default on our debt would have sent our country into an economic tailspin. These are not games, this is not hypothesis — Congressman Harris’ vote was a vote that would have damaged our economy, the job market and our national security. The credit rating of the United States would have been downgraded and our borrowing costs, along with our debt, would have increased significantly. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed on both sides of the aisle and we avoided default. (Star Dem.)

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Nov. 5 // Go Ahead. Don’t Vote Today.

Today, if you live in the city of Frederick, you could be one of those scarce but exceptional people the municipality has to offer — an actual voter. They are a precious commodity, if history is anything to go by. (News-Post)

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Old Mill should be an election issue in 2014

School officials had hoped repair or replacement work on Old Mill High School would have started by now. That hope must have been shared by parents listening to their kids talk about noisy classrooms where walls don’t reach the ceiling, and confusing hallways where foot traffic piles up. Of the top priorities set out by a 2005 study of school system needs, the outdated monster in Millersville is the only one still untouched. And no wonder: We’re talking about a project budgeted for a staggering $319 million and involving 5,000 students. (Capital)

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Maglev Would Transform Baltimore

It's easy to be cynical about the idea of a magnetic levitation train whisking riders from Baltimore to Washington in 15 minutes. The technology, though not new, still sounds fanciful. The costs of even such a small system are enormous, the commercial viability of maglev is much in doubt, and the prospects that Congress would authorize significant expenditures on any kind of high-speed rail appear slim. But it's also easy to see how transformative such a system would be. (Balt. Sun)

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The ‘Rain Tax’ Debate

With the 2014 general election almost exactly one year away, at least five of Maryland's gubernatorial candidates are scheduled to debate environmental issues for the first time tomorrow in Annapolis. No doubt questions will range from smart growth to climate change to the future of the Chesapeake Bay, but surely no topic is likely to prove more contentious than what Maryland should do about polluted run-off from city and suburban streets. (Balt. Sun)

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