Bill would provide more information on Md. government contracts

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee is considering a bill that would pour $1.4 million into the growth of the website that allows the public to view payments made to state contractors. The Maryland Funding Accountability and Transparency website (spending.dbm.maryland.gov) under the Maryland Department of Budget and Management is a listing of all payments greater than $25,000 that state agencies have made to contractors from the years 2008-13. The public can see the amount the agency paid, the year, and the zip code where the vendor is based. (Md. Reporter)

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Schuh, Neuman trade swipes in Anne Arundel executive race

Del. Steve Schuh and Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman traded barbs this week over alleged ethical lapses as the Republican campaign for the county's top job heats up. Schuh fired the first shot Thursday, saying he planned to file an ethics complaint alleging Neuman and some of her staff have been doing campaign work on county time. Schuh made the allegations as Neuman conducted a day-long tour of the county to officially launch her bid to win a full term as county executive. She was appointed last February to replace John R. Leopold. (Balt. Sun)

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Feb. 21 // GOP offers competing plans to cut taxes

Competing plans from Maryland Republicans would cut the state’s income tax in an effort to boost the economy and slash state spending. But economists question if the money that will go back into residents’ pockets under the plans will provide the boon the state’s economy needs. Maryland House Republicans have proposed to cut the state’s income tax rate by 10 percent, phasing in the cuts over three years. (Gazette)

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Poll shows Jon S. Cardin leading rivals in four-way race for Maryland attorney general

Maryland Del. Jon S. Cardin has opened a clear lead over three rivals in the Democratic primary race for state attorney general, according to a new Washington Post poll, boosted at least in part by strong name recognition as the nephew of one of the state’s U.S. senators. But with the June 24 primary still four months away, and most Democrats in the state not yet focused on even the higher-profile contest to succeed Gov. Martin O’Malley, there appears to be significant room for movement in the crowded field. (Wash. Post)

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Redskins or a new team name? Democrats running for governor in Maryland weigh in.

Just about everyone has been talking about whether to change the name of the Washington Redskins. Now, the issue has surfaced in the Maryland governor’s race. Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) said Wednesday night that he is “extremely sympathetic” to calls for a new team name but can see both sides of the argument. On Thursday, Gansler’s rivals for the Democratic nomination issued less equivocal statements about the moniker. (Wash. Post)

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Retirement plan bill wins O'Malley backing

Gov. Martin O'Malley on Thursday said he supports a bill that would give workers whose employers don't provide pension plans or 401ks easy access to retirement accounts. The support came as a Senate committee held a hearing on a bill by Sen. James Rosapepe, a Prince George's Democrat, that would require employers with more than five employees to either provide retirement plans or let workers have contributions to accounts automatically deducted from their paychecks. (Balt. Sun)

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O’Malley booked for Democratic party event in Wisconsin as he ponders his political future

The latest destination on Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s political calendar: the Badger State. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin announced Thursday that it has booked O’Malley (D), who is weighing a 2016 run for the White House, as the keynote speaker for its annual Founders Day Gala in Milwaukee. (Wash. Post)

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Mayor's anti-dumping bill advances in House

A bill supported by Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings Blake that would increase the penalties for illegal dumping passed the House Thursday and moved to the Senate. The House voted 125-8 to increase the maximum jail term for dumping loads of 100 to 500 pounds to three years when it is not done for commercial gain. The current maximum penalty is one year and a $12,500 fine. The maximum for amounts over 500 pounds or any dumping for commercial gain is five years and a $30,000 fine. (Balt. Sun)

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