Here's how much the shutdown has cost Virginia, Maryland in income tax (so far)

Virginia and Maryland have taken a combined $82 million tax hit as a result of the longest shutdown in the federal government’s history. In Virginia, the lost income tax revenue so far is $22 million, according to Virginia Tax and Secretary of Finance Aubrey Lane Jr., who briefed state lawmakers Monday.  The shutdown — now in its 25th day, a record and one that shows little sign of ending soon — has cost more than 64,000 impacted employees in Virginia more than $381 million in wages over three weeks. And that works out to $21.9 million in income taxes not being withheld, according to state officials. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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City releases water rate study six days after rate hike is approved

Well, Councilman Zeke Cohen finally got a response to his request. Last month, he asked for Baltimore to conduct an independent, comprehensive rate study to justify imposing another 30% water rate increase on citizens. Yesterday the city released a summary of a consultant’s report – 25 days after Cohen made his request and six days after the Board of Estimates approved the increase. (Balt. Brew)

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Shutdown hasn't created 'abnormal' passenger wait times, BWI officials say

As a partial shutdown of the federal government drags on, security operations at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport are still proceeding per "routine," according to airport officials. "To this point, we continue to see routine [Transportation Security Administration] security checkpoint operations," Jonathan Dean, a spokesman for BWI, said Tuesday. While the airport is keeping an eye on the situation, "we have not experienced abnormal passenger wait times at the TSA checkpoints," he said. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

 

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New Maryland gun law used in 5 cases involving schools

A new Maryland law that allows courts to temporarily restrict firearms access for people at risk to themselves or others resulted in more than 300 protective orders, five of which were related to schools, the sheriff of the state’s most populous county told lawmakers Tuesday. Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin told a panel of state lawmakers that 302 orders were sought under the state’s “red flag” law in the first three months since the law took effect Oct. 1. He said five of them related to schools, and four of those five “were significant threats.” (WTOP)

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Jeb Bush to speak at Larry Hogan's inaugural, as Maryland governor's star rises among anti-Trump Republicans

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will travel to Annapolis to serve as the featured speaker at Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s inauguration Wednesday — a move that will put two favorites of anti-Trump Republicans on stage together. As so-called “Never Trump” Republicans search for a candidate to challenge the president in 2020, some have been urging Hogan to run. The governor has largely demurred, saying he’s focused on running the state, while not definitively ruling it out. But the announcement of Bush — the son and brother of presidents who has battled Trump publicly — as a featured speaker underscored the belief among political observers that Hogan is becoming a rising figure in the wing of party that does not embrace the president. (Balt. Sun)

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'My mission is clear': Maryland Rep. Cummings talks Trump on '60 Minutes'

Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings sat down for an interview with “60 Minutes” on Sunday night’s show, telling anchor Steve Kroft that he is undeterred by recent health problems and prepared to move forward in investigating misdeeds of President Donald Trump. Now chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Cummings, 67, was elevated to that position after Democrats won majority control of the House of Representatives in November. The committee has already begun sending letters to the White House, Treasury Department and Trump Organization to investigate matters such as the use of government aircraft for private business. (Balt. Sun)

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Advocates, Maryland lawmakers seek to raise minimum hourly wage to $15 by 2023

Advocates for increasing Maryland’s minimum wage will push legislation to gradually raise the hourly rate to $15 by 2023, a starting point for negotiations on what’s expected to be one of the hottest topics of this year’s General Assembly session. The state’s minimum wage is currently $10.10 per hour. Members of the “Fight for $15” coalition talked about the plans for a gradual increase in a statement that said they would discuss other details Monday night at an event in Annapolis. They estimate that about a quarter of Maryland’s workforce would be affected by an increase. House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, both Democrats, have offered support for the wage increase. (Balt. Sun)

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Md. Tech Council's legislative priorities include drug pricing issues, expanding tax credits

The Maryland Tech Council is ready to stand behind bills that support the innovation economy this legislative session, and oppose those that might make it harder for drug companies to do business. The organization, which represents over 450 life sciences and technology companies in the state, closely monitors the activities of the Maryland General Assembly each year and advocates on behalf of its members' interests. This year, CEO Marty Rosendale said his chief priority is to make sure he does everything he can at the state level to help tech companies succeed in Maryland. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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