Feb. 18 // Most Marylanders back raising minimum wage

By a wide margin, Maryland voters want to raise the state's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, a poll conducted for The Baltimore Sun shows. A majority of voters in every region of the state supports that wage increase, and the proposal has near-unanimous support from African-Americans, according to the poll. On another issue in Annapolis, the poll found that a majority of voters, 58 percent, supports changing marijuana laws to either decriminalize small amounts of the drug or legalize it completely, as Colorado and Washington have done. (Balt. Sun)

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Cummings joins call for minimum wage hike

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings urged state lawmakers Monday to raise Maryland's minimum wage to $10.10, arguing that lower wages will continue to strain government programs that help the poor. The Baltimore Democrat added his voice to a chorus of Democratic leaders backing Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposal, which would increase the minimum hourly rate from $7.25 and tie future wage hikes to the rate of inflation. (Balt. Sun)

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Governor steadfast on $10.10 minimum wage

Gov. Martin O'Malley is in no mood for compromise and he's sticking to his commitment to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2016. Despite resistance from lawmakers and many in the business community, the governor said $10.10 is the way to go and he believes he has the votes to pull it off. O'Malley is also not moving on tying minimum wage increases to the consumer price index. (WBAL-TV)

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Montgomery Republican candidates propose campaign finance alternative

Two Republican candidates in Montgomery County have proposed a plan to provide money for candidates to mail information to voters. The plan, proposed by county executive candidate Jim Shalleck and at-large County Council candidate Shelly Skolnick, would provide county funds for postage for candidates to mail campaign literature to registered voters. The money would be available to county executive candidates who agree to limit their campaign spending to $300,000, at-large council candidates who agree to a $200,000 spending limit and district council candidates who agree to a $100,000 limit. (Gazette)

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Proposed public information oversight board called 'important reform'

Government watchdog group Common Cause Maryland and other transparency advocates say they're enthusiastic about proposed legislation in the General Assembly that would create a panel to oversee public information. Baltimore Del. Jill P. Carter's bill would create an oversight board to which citizens and members of the media could appeal heavily redacted or denied public information requests. (Balt. Sun)

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Henson, convicted of robocalls, to run for office

Julius Henson, who was convicted in a case involving robocalls on Election Day in 2010, says he is running for the General Assembly. Henson said in an email Monday that he will run as a Democrat for senator in Baltimore's 45th District. Henson is running against Sen. Nathaniel McFadden, who has represented that district since 1995. (AP)

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Bill could legalize sale of popular 'high-risk' raw milk

A bill that would make the sale of raw milk legal in Maryland is being considered in the state legislature. The raw milk wouldn't be sold in stores. Instead, a consumer would need to make an arrangement with a farmer and have some kind of financial investment in a cow or herd to obtain the raw milk, according to the bill. (WTOP)

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For Montgomery leaders, voting changes echo civil rights movement

Civil rights-conscious leaders warned the public about barriers to voting at a forum in Boyds Monday. Forum moderator U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-Dist. 6) of Potomac led a panel discussion at the historically black Boyds School about a potential change to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 proposes changes to the post-civil rights movement law. The amendment’s provisions include a requirement that voters be informed of pending changes to the voting process and allow federal observers to monitor elections to protect Americans who speak limited English. (Gazette)

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