Aaron Tomarchio: How Kevin Kamenetz Steered Sparrows Point Toward The Future

In 2010, during his first campaign for Baltimore County Executive, Kevin Kamenetz said something about Sparrows Point that seemed politically risky at the time: Maybe it’s time to think about a future beyond steel production. His words seemed prescient two years later when, after cycling through five owners in a decade, the steel mill closed, putting 2,200 men and women out of work. At that time, most of Maryland’s political leaders promised that they would work to find a new steel company to take over production – although, in retrospect, that outcome was not possible. County Executive Kamenetz had the foresight and courage to say something different. He said, the steel mill isn’t coming back, but let’s figure out how to bring new jobs to Sparrows Point. This wasn’t an easy leap for many people to make. For generations, Sparrows Point represented the power of American industry. But by 2012, much... Continue reading
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Delegate Sandy Rosenberg: A Vision to Keep the Preakness in Baltimore

Legendary horse trainer Bob Baffert wants the Preakness to stay in Baltimore. He told the Baltimore Sun, “To me, it’s magical in here. There’s something about it. I’ve been watching it since I was 10, 11 years old…There’s so much history here.” It’s true. I’ve been watching horses run around the track at Pimlico for a long time – since I was in elementary school – and I’ve been serving in the House of Delegates representing Old Hilltop, the surrounding neighborhoods, and all of District 41 for 36 years. We’ve seen a lot of changes at Pimlico during that time – good and bad. And we’ve seen a lot of changes in Park Heights, but the more recent debate about whether to keep the Preakness in Baltimore promises to be a turning point for the Park Heights community and the future of Pimlico. The race track may be magical, but the... Continue reading
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Joseph (Jay) A. Schwartz, III: Senate Bill 30 ‒ The Pundits and Perhaps the Most Extraordinary Vote In General Assembly History

The just concluded General Assembly Session was one that none of the pundits saw coming. So they said: It is an election year; there will be a lot of bills filed but nothing of substance will be enacted; partisan wrangling will be the order of the day; blah, blah, blah. But here’s what happened. It was a remarkably bipartisan 90 days where the Governor and President Miller and Speaker Busch found a way (1) to shore up the Maryland Health Insurance Exchange in spite of efforts to undo Obamacare in Washington, (2) secured an agreement with Virginia and the District of Columbia for dedicated Metro funding which had been argued about for years, (3) agreed on an historic package of tax incentives for the potential Amazon headquarters in Montgomery County, (4) compromised on an omnibus crime package designed to assist law enforcement in Baltimore, (5) changed the school funding/tax formula to... Continue reading
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Tami Howie: Protecting Innovation Protects Patients and Our Economy

Innovation is at the heart of Maryland’s economy and the wellbeing of patients in our state. New, groundbreaking cures and treatments save and extend the lives of patients, pushing the bounds of modern medicine, for the benefit of all. Innovative companies are able to leverage Maryland’s combination of technology know-how, business-friendly climate, and highly-educated, highly-skilled workforce to produce these cures and provide hundreds of thousands of Marylanders with well-paying jobs. However, despite all this, the Maryland General Assembly is currently debating drug pricing legislation that would threaten the innovative potential that makes these benefits possible. New regulations, SB 1023/HB 1194, would create a government-controlled commission with broad leeway to influence drug prices and increase burdensome reporting requirements adding yet another layer of complexity to drug manufacturing. In so doing, it creates new hoops to jump through for manufacturers to simply go about their business. It risks innovation by undercutting the incentive... Continue reading
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ERIC DEAN: Promote Policies that Nurture Innovation and Jobs to Produce Cures

The Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association (PILMA), a coalition of companies in the biopharmaceutical industry and building construction trades unions, is committed to dual goals of fostering innovation of life-saving cures and securing high-quality union construction jobs. As Chairman of PILMA, I’m invested in the issues that are of importance to our biopharmaceutical industry partners and customers, to the extent that they are of importance and have a connection to the livelihoods of our members and their families. As our industry partners remain healthy, their investment in research and manufacturing facilities – to a very large extent built by our members – grows as well.  Last month, the Washington Post wrote about proposed legislation in the Maryland legislature that would “create a commission to decide the maximum amount that health plans, pharmacies and state programs could shell out for the most expensive brand-name and patented medications.” This so-called transparency legislation is being... Continue reading
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