Dec. 20 // Md. elections board: Brown’s running mate can raise money during legislative session

The Maryland State Board of Elections ruled Thursday that the running mate of Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Anthony G. Brown can continue raising money during the coming legislative session even though Brown himself is prohibited by law from doing so. Maryland law prohibits statewide officeholders — including Gansler and Brown, the state’s lieutenant governor — from raising money during the 90-day session, which starts Jan. 8. Members of the state legislature also may not raise money during the session, which means that Gansler’s running mate, Del. Jolene Ivey (Prince George’s), is subject to the ban as well. (Wash. Post)

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Gansler: Maryland’s health exchange reminds him of ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) on Thursday compared the state’s troubled rollout of its online health insurance exchange to “a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit.” “It’s comical that it’s not working,” Gansler told reporters. “ It’s tragic for folks who don’t have access to health care.”  Gansler, a Democratic candidate for governor, has been highly critical of the role played by his rival, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D), in overseeing the implementation of the federal health care law in Maryland. (Wash. Post)

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Upper Marlboro raises leaders' pay to boost political interest

Upper Marlboro’s elected leaders will get a raise effective July 1 — doubling the annual salary for commissioners and quadrupling the commission president’s salary — in hopes of increasing residents’ interest in running for office. The town’s three commissioners voted unanimously Monday to increase the base commissioner salary to $1,200 per year, up from $600 per year, and the commission president’s salary to $15,000 per year, up from $3,600 per year. (Gazette)

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Outgoing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorses Frosh for Md. attorney general

In his bid for Maryland attorney general, Sen. Brian E. Frosh has picked up the endorsement of outgoing New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a noted national gun-control proponent. Frosh (D-Montgomery), chairman of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, shepherded legislation introduced by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) through the Senate this year that subjects handgun purchasers to new fingerprinting and training requirements. (Wash. Post)

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Delaney donates portion of congressional salary to Gaithersburg clinic

After pledging to donate the portion of his salary earned during the government shutdown in October to a Gaithersburg clinic, Rep. John Delaney (D-Dist. 6) of Potomac followed through on his promise Nov. 26 when he stopped by the center to present the check. Delaney, who was reported in July to be worth at least $51 million, donated some of his $174,000 annual congressional salary to Mercy Health Clinic. Executive Director John P. Kleiderer said it was just more than $7,600. (Gazette)

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Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce names new vice president of public affairs

The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce named Ilaya Hopkins of Bethesda vice president of public affairs, overseeing the chamber’s communications and its government affairs at the federal, state and local levels. Hopkins most recently was executive director of Maryland Leadership Workshops, running the statewide nonprofit and its core summer programs for three years. She served on the Western Montgomery Citizens Advisory Board, the county executive’s Base Realignment and Closure Implementation Committee and numerous civic, education and community organizations. (Gazette)

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Panel: Cap budget growth to 4 percent

The General Assembly’s Spending Affordability Committee recommended Wednesday that next year’s state budget be allowed to grow by 4% and Maryland’s debt limit be allowed to increase $75 million to $1.16 billion next year. The recommendations, which are not binding on the governor but are often followed, were approved by the joint committee of legislative and fiscal leaders on straight party-line votes. Republicans backed no increase in spending and no hike in the debt limit. (Md. Reporter)

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McDonough calls for training wage 

Entry-level workers could find their checks a little lighter under a bill proposed by one Maryland lawmaker. Del. Pat McDonough, R-Baltimore County, said he plans to introduce a bill creating a training wage for new employees at companies of 100 workers or less. “The idea is to stimulate employment and ensure there is an option for small businesses,” McDonough said in an interview this week. (Daily Record)

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