Afzali looks to expedite voter roll purges

Removing deceased individuals from voter rolls isn't as simple as checking newspaper obituaries. When election officials suspect someone on their lists has died, they sometimes have to wait two election cycles before they can remove the person's name. Delegate Kathy Afzali says this process needs some streamlining. On Thursday, she presented a bill that would allow boards of elections to use U.S. Social Security Administration records to purge names from their records more quickly. (News-Post)

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Jan. 30 // Hogan names Boyd Rutherford as running mate

Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan introduced Boyd Rutherford, a former Ehrlich administration Cabinet secretary, as his running mate Wednesday night at a rally at an Annapolis-area crab house. Hogan, the Anne Arundel County resident who was appointments secretary for GOP Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., became a late entry in the governor's race last week. He joined a field that includes Harford County Executive David R. Craig, Del. Ron George of Anne Arundel County and Charles County business executive Charles Lollar. (Balt. Sun)

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After online health-exchange glitches, Md. Senate approves retroactive coverage

The Maryland Senate gave final approval Wednesday to a plan for the state to offer temporary, retroactive health insurance to residents unable to sign up through the state’s troubled online marketplace. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) sponsored the legislation and is scheduled to sign it into law Thursday morning. The legislation will expand enrollment in a decade-old, state-run plan that was created to help people who had problems finding coverage because of preexisting conditions. This insurance will be offered as a last-resort option to Marylanders who tried to get coverage through the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, encountered problems and were left uncovered when 2014 began. (Wash. Post)

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Maryland lawmakers asked to revisit vote for slavery

The Civil War casts a long shadow. In the first year of that wrenching conflict, Maryland's lawmakers voted unanimously for a constitutional amendment to bar the federal government from abolishing slavery. Now, more than 150 years later, some legislators in Annapolis are looking to put the state on the right side of history. A Senate committee is scheduled Thursday to consider rescinding the state's 1862 ratification of the so-called "shadow" 13th Amendment, which would have locked slavery into the U.S. Constitution. (Balt. Sun)

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Is Leggett pushing the envelope on Montgomery County borrowing?

When he tells the story of his two terms in office, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett’s narrative often focuses on his prudent, tough-minded management of the county’s finances. Last Sept. 24, for example, he wrote a letter to then-County Council President Nancy Navarro (D-Midcounty) that warned against taking on additional debt to finance capital improvements. (Wash. Post)

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Affordable Care Act ‘success story’ at State of the Union needed extra help to sign up

A few weeks ago, Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.) invited a guest to President Obama’s State of the Union address: Lorita Katherine Waltz, a 49-year-old nurse from Prince George’s County who the congresswoman considers an Affordable Care Act “success story.” But Waltz’s family did not become enrolled in a new insurance plan until Tuesday — the day of the president’s address — after weeks of trying and only with help from state leaders. (Wash. Post)

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Kittleman to file bill intended to clarify referendum process

In response to a group of Howard County citizens attempting to bring a referendum of more than a dozen comprehensive zoning decisions to the ballot this November, state Sen. Allan Kittleman said he plans to introduce a bill that would require local elections boards to certify, upon request, the language of a petition before petitioners begin to collect signatures. (Balt. Sun)

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Brinkley still calling for independent investigation

A final vote Wednesday on an emergency bill providing insurance to people who could not get it through the state health benefits exchange provided another opportunity for Senate Minority Leader David R. Brinkley to call for an investigation of the failures of the site. “We still want to press for it,” Brinkley said outside the Senate chambers following the 34-7 vote. (Daily Record)

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