O’Malley’s agenda tackles domestic violence

Gov. Martin O’Malley wants to advance measures to help prevent domestic violence as part of a legislative package released Monday. Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown will push for expanded protections for domestic violence victims. The first changes the standard of proof for a final protective order from “clear and convincing evidence” to a “preponderance of the evidence” standard, a lesser standard of proof. Maryland is the only state that has the standard of clear and convincing as a standard for a final protective order. (Daily Record)

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Analyst to Md. lawmakers: find more budget cushion

A top Maryland budget analyst urged lawmakers on Monday to create a greater budget cushion than the one included in Gov. Martin O'Malley's budget plan. Warren Deschenaux, the General Assembly's chief budget analyst, said O'Malley's budget proposed last week would have a balance of about $30 million. Deschenaux told members of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and House Appropriation Committee that the state has had millions of dollars in budget deficiencies in recent years that have had to be made up. (Capital)

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District 16 welcomes its first official Republican candidate in Bethesda businesswoman

Stop complaining and do something about it. That’s the advice that landed Rose Li in the middle of the District 16 delegate race. It’s the advice Li gives her two children, and it’s the advice a friend passed on to her when the Bethesda business owner found herself frustrated during the government shutdown. And so Li is doing something about it — she is running for office for the first time, as a Republican. (Gazette)

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Zamora thinks Montgomery community volunteerism will translate to seat in Maryland House

When George Zamora saw an opportunity to run for the House of Delegates, he grabbed it. Zamora, a 29-year-old Democrat from Gaithersburg, is seeking to represent District 17, which includes Gaithersburg, Rockville and some surrounding areas. If elected, Zamora said he would like to address traffic along the Route 355 corridor. He supports the City of Rockville’s Pike Plan, which is in development and will cover planning and zoning for a segment of Rockville Pike. Zamora would like to see an expansion of Route 355 to provide easier access for commuters from Gaithersburg and Rockville, who will in turn help businesses along the 355 corridor, he said. (Gazette)

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Hogan joining GOP race for governor

Ending months of speculation, conservative activist and real estate executive Larry Hogan is getting into the race for governor, running as a political outsider to "bring fiscal responsibility and common sense to Annapolis." The former appointments secretary for the state's last Republican governor, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., is to formally announce Tuesday evening in Annapolis that he's seeking the GOP nomination. He joins three other Republican contenders who despite launching campaigns months ago have yet to raise much money or garner a lot of attention in a bid to end Democratic dominance of state government. (Balt. Sun)

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Anne Arundel Co. executive race drawing heavy out-of-county donations

The Republican candidates for county executive raised substantial amounts of money outside the county last year, campaign finance reports show. Of the two, Del. Steve Schuh was beating Laura Neuman when it came to raising donor dollars in Anne Arundel County in 2013, the reports show. Schuh, R-Gibson Island, raised roughly $1.50 in the county for every $1 raised outside it, while Neuman raised the biggest part of her individual contributions from outside the county. (Capital)

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Uphill battle for Eastern Shore delegates

With a repeal of the stormwater management program, and an economic impact study for the Phosphorus Management Tool topping its list of priorities, the Eastern Shore delegation has an uphill climb ahead during the Maryland General Assembly. The two highly publicized environmental initiatives are not likely to be removed from the books, but do represent a pattern of the delegation advocating on behalf of its constituency. (Daily Times)

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Last hurrah for the 'LLC loophole'

For decades, well-heeled contributors have been able to dodge Maryland's campaign donation limits through a quirk in state law known to reform advocates as the "LLC loophole." The General Assembly passed legislation in 2013 to close the loophole as of the next four-year election cycle, but campaign finance reports filed last week show it is enjoying a last hurrah in the 2014 governor's race. (Balt. Sun)

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