Jan. 22 // Maryland senator’s bid for reelection opposed by both O’Malley and Ehrlich

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. never agreed on much, but the two adversaries have come to the same conclusion about one thing: Someone other than James Brochin should be elected to the state Senate from District 42. (Wash. Post)

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Gansler campaign attacks Brown on contributions from donors with ties to health exchange

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler opened a new line of attack Tuesday against fellow Democrat Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown: campaign contributions from donors with links to the flubbed Maryland health exchange. Gansler's gubernatorial campaign said Tuesday that it had identified more than $33,000 in donations from companies, lobbyists and executives with ties to the exchange in recent campaign finance reports that Brown has filed in the race for governor. (Balt. Sun)

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Rep. Delaney voices frustration over Md. health exchange

Six weeks ago, Rep. John K. Delaney began to push this idea: What if Maryland just abandoned its troubled online health insurance marketplace and used the federal version instead? Or maybe used some combination of the two? “I have asked the state, repeatedly, to provide a basic assessment of the costs and benefits of switching to the federal exchange,” Delaney wrote in the letter, which is posted on his Web site. (Wash. Post)

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Sharfstein: Risks outweigh benefits of exchange switch

The secretary of the state health department responded Tuesday to a Democratic congressman's request for an analysis of the pros and cons of switching to the federal insurance exchange, arguing in a letter that the risk of switching before the current enrollment period ends outweighs the potential benefits. (Balt. Sun) 

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'Draft' billboards aimed at Ben Carson, voters

A group trying to draft Ben Carson to run for president in 2016 has bought seven billboards in the Baltimore region aimed partly at voters but also at the Hopkins neurosurgeon himself. "We wanted Dr. Carson to be able to see the billboards on the way into work," said Vernon Robinson, treasurer of the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee. (Balt. Sun)

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O'Malley budget sends $23 million more Montgomery's way

After years of slashed highway user revenues and a pension shift, Maryland’s local governments could see a bit more state aid headed their way in fiscal 2015. Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed $39.2 billion fiscal 2015 budget increases aid to local governments by $183 million, most of that heading to education. For Montgomery County, the governor has proposed $885.3 million, an increase of $23.38 million over the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. The bulk of that increase, or $20 million, will go to educating the county’s students. (Gazette)

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Estate tax relief bills gain momentum

Maryland lawmakers are thinking of easing estate taxes this legislative session, a change proponents say would prevent many retirees from decamping to warmer, and less taxed, parts of the country. While the federal government begins taxing estates after the first $5.25 million, Maryland spares only the first $1 million from its tax, which ranges between 8 and 16 percent. (News-Post-AP)

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Montgomery councilman issues package of environmental, energy bills

The chairman of the Montgomery County Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee has introduced a package of bills and zoning changes that he believes will help cement the county’s standing as one of the country’s leaders in clean and sustainable energy. The legislation would make the county a “community that embraces sustainability at our core,” Councilman Roger Berliner wrote in a Jan. 14 letter to his council colleagues. (Gazette)

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