April 14 // State won't enforce $10,000 limit on campaign contributions

After a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Maryland election officials said Friday that they will no longer enforce a state law that imposes an overall limit of $10,000 on campaign contributions in a four-year election cycle. State officials said they would continue to enforce a Maryland law limiting individuals to contributing no more than $4,000 to a particular candidate during an election cycle. Donors, however, are now free to give $4,000 to as many candidates as desired. (Balt. Sun)

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With session over, O'Malley more free to focus on 2016

His final legislative session is over, but Gov. Martin O'Malley is unlikely to have a restful last nine months in office. As he weighs whether to seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, political observers and those who have facedthe samesituation say the remainder of this year will be an important test of the governor's ability to lift his profile in early-voting states and raise enough money to appear credible on the national stage. (Balt. Sun)

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In Wisconsin, O’Malley takes aim at state’s GOP governor and well-known congressman

In a speech to Wisconsin Democrats on Saturday night, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) took jabs at the state’s Republican governor and its high-profile congressman Paul Ryan, and touted his own efforts back home to raise the minimum wage. O’Malley, who is preparing for a possible 2016 White House bid, was highly critical of the federal budget authored by Ryan, the House’s budget committee chairman, which passed the chamber this week. (Wash. Post)

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Maryland’s activist government progressive to some, an intrusive Mary Poppins to others

The legislative session that Maryland’s General Assembly concluded last week was an example of progressive government in action, leaders of its Democratic majority say, with lawmakers increasing the minimum wage, passing civil rights protections for transgender people and decriminalizing marijuana in small amounts. But this year, as in years past, there also was an undercurrent of grumbling — mostly from Republicans — that the Free State is gradually becoming less so. (Wash. Post)

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Legislative session shaped the campaign to come

Past is prologue, and much of what happened, and didn’t happen, in the 90-day General Assembly session was all about setting the table for the coming elections. For Gov. Martin O’Malley, who isn’t seeking election this year, the focus is on legacy building — hitting his checklist for a potential Democratic presidential bid in 2016 and extending the O’Malley administration to a third term through the election of his lieutenant governor. In the race for governor, the expansion of early childhood education and decriminalization of marijuana has helped one dark-horse candidate become more of a contender. (Daily Record)

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In new ads, Gansler calls Maryland’s health exchange a ‘mess’ he wouldn’t put up with

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Douglas F. Gansler has launched television and radio ads critical of the state’s online health insurance exchange, saying in one that he “wouldn’t put up with this mess.” Gansler, the state’s attorney general, has sought for months to gain leverage in the race by criticizing the glitch-plagued exchange and the role that his Democratic rival, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, has played in overseeing health-care reform in Maryland. (Wash. Post)

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Gov. O’Malley To Sign Bill Decriminalizing Small Amounts Of Marijuana

Monday, Governor Martin O’Malley will sign a bill decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. He released a statement, saying in part: “Such an acknowledgement in law might even lead to a greater focus on far more serious threats to public safety and the lives of our citizens.” Soon, you’ll face civil instead of criminal penalties if caught with a small amount of pot–small meaning 10 grams or less. You’d get a citation or fine instead of an arrest or criminal record. (WJZ-TV)

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Republican hopefuls asked if they agree with Ehrlich that he’ll be last GOP governor of Md.

Will Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. turn out to have been the last Republican governor that Maryland ever has? That question was posed during a debate Thursday night to the three men vying to become the next Republican governor of the heavily Democratic state. And, according to the debate’s moderator, the question was based on an assessment made by Ehrlich himself. (Wash. Post)

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