Sept. 11 // American spirit will always win out over terror

If you’ve been to Lower Manhattan during the summer, you’ve felt it. Looking up at all 1,776 feet of the Freedom Tower, walking around the new financial complex and even strolling through the architecturally striking interiors of some of the completed buildings, it’s a feeling impossible to hide. Pride. Pride in America’s resilience. Pride in our industriousness. Pride in our very way of life. (Daily Times)

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Delay a minimum wage mandate

As the major state and county elections are still a year away, supporters of a minimum-wage increase have lined up an array of politicians.  For the proponents, the timing is perfect. Raising the minimum wage is an election-friendly issue for Maryland. Opposing an increase could be seen as opposing our hard-working neighbors who struggle to make ends meet. For the people who have to pay the minimum wage, however, the timing is horrible. The economy remains fragile; no one doubts better days are ahead, but the question remains how far off those better days are. (Gazette)

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Badly targeted gun gripes

Gun advocates have been crying for close to two years about how long it takes the Maryland State Police to conduct background checks for prospective gun buyers. The delays have lengthened with the passage earlier this year of Gov. Martin O'Malley's gun control law that will impose a fingerprint and handgun qualification license requirement beginning Oct. 1. So naturally one would think that anything the MSP could do to reduce that waiting period — which is now in the neighborhood of four months — would be welcomed by gun owners and those who advocate for them. And, of course, you would be wrong. (Balt. Sun)

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Sonja Sohn: Maryland needs a fundamental approach to criminal justice reform

In a summer filled with stories of jailhouse corruption and deadly violence afflicting our city, many of us in the advocacy community are asking which candidate for governor will show the strongest commitment to meaningful criminal and juvenile justice reforms. We are eager to see politicians who will do more than pay lip service to the topic, and we are beginning to see signs of life. (Balt. Sun)

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Address issues at RAD

The state Revenue Administration Division needs to redouble its efforts to fix deficiencies within the organization, some of which have existed for years. A state Department of Legislative Services audit that reviewed the division’s records over a period spanning March 2009 and February 2012 found several concerns. (Carroll Co. Times)

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O’Malley’s shouldn’t bask in the glow until the job is done

Brown, Gansler, Mizeur. Craig, George, Lollar. Maryland’s political solar system is filling up with gubernatorial-candidate planets. What’s a sitting governor — and presidential-maybe — to do? How can he redirect sunlight and attention his way? Martin O’Malley’s solution: Go on tour and proclaim his accomplishments after 6½ years in office. (Gazette)

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Avin & Hoven: A chance to fix Medicare

More than 1 million men and women in Maryland have one thing in common: They are enrolled in Medicare or Tricare. These programs provide seniors, the disabled and military families the coverage they need to remain healthy and to access the care when they are sick or injured. In Maryland, a number of new health care payment and delivery models are being established to improve patient care and reduce health care costs under the Medicare system, but a broken Medicare payment formula threatens to disrupt the progress of these innovations. (Balt. Sun)

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Gun jam

Maryland State Police continue to be flooded with applications from prospective gun buyers. This glut is in response to the state’s Firearms Safety Act of 2013, which becomes effective Oct. 1. The state police, clearly overwhelmed by the task they were facing, decided to do a three-day “All Hands on Deck” push to help reduce the backlog. That all-out effort involved bringing in 200 workers from five other state agencies. Maryland State Police came up with a good idea that resulted in processing more applications than they would have otherwise. For that they deserve praise, not dubious criticism. (News-Post)

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