Thu February 20, 2014
MD’s Corporate Income Tax, Education Legislation, and A Cyber-Attack At UMD
State Attorney General Doug Gansler is proposing a gradual reduction of MD’s corporate income tax rate. Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown wants to award more state contracts to minority-owned businesses. Plus: education legislation, a cyber-attack at UMD, and much more.
Gansler Proposes Reduction In Corporate Income Tax: State Attorney General Doug Gansler says he wants to reduce Maryland’s corporate income tax rate if he’s elected governor. Gansler released a proposal yesterday that would cut the tax from its current 8.25 percent to 6 percent – the same rate currently in effect in Virginia. He says the move would benefit Maryland’s economy. Gansler tells the Baltimore Sun that he wants to phase in the reduction over the course of 9 years, dropping the corporate income tax one quarter of a percent per year. Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, who’s vying with Gansler for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, is critical of the plan, calling it “out of touch” with Marylanders’ priorities, and saying it would cost the state too much in revenue. Gansler says that he’d offset some of the revenue loss by imposing what’s called “combined reporting” – which would require Maryland companies pay income taxes on revenues they earn out of state. Combined reporting is already law in half the states in the US. Another Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Montgomery County Delegate Heather Mizeur, introduced a bill to implement "combined reporting" during last year’s General Assembly session, but the measure died in a State Senate committee.
Brown Proposal Would Award More Contracts To Minority-Owned Businesses: Lieutenant Governor Brown says that if he’s elected governor, he’ll work to award more state contracts to minority-owned business in Maryland. The goal of Brown’s proposal is to make it easier for those businesses to receive certification to compete for contracts. The Lieutenant Governor tells the Baltimore Sun: "If we're going to make Maryland's business climate the most competitive in the nation, we must give our women and minority-owned businesses every opportunity to succeed."
Delaney Files For Re-Election; Gubernatorial Bid Highly Unlikely: 6th District Congressman John Delaney has filed the paperwork to run for re-election. The first-term Democrat had been rumored to be considering entering the governor’s race. The Washington Post notes that Delaney could still switch races, but says it’s now highly unlikely; the filing deadline is next week.
Wake Up, Poll-Takers: Our Job Is To Decide Recent opinion polling suggests there may be a race for the nomination for governor in both parties this year. WYPR’s Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith comments in his weekly essay.
Changing Education Reform: The State Senate’s Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee took up a bevy of bills yesterday aimed at fine-tuning the big changes happening in Maryland’s schools. WYPR’s Christopher Connelly was at the hearing, and brings us this report.
Cyber Attack On UMD; Hundreds Of Thousands Of Records Potentially Exposed: The University of Maryland has been the victim of a sophisticated cyber-attack. More than 300-thousand personal records of students, faculty and staff at the College Park and Shady Grove campuses were potentially exposed. The data includes names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and university ID numbers, but not financial, academic, health or contact information. UMD President Wallace Loh has apologized for the data breach, says an investigation is underway and that free credit monitoring will be offered to everyone affected for one year. There’s more here from the Baltimore Sun.
Hough Challenges Brinkley In State Senate Race: State Senate minority leader David Brinkley will be facing a challenge in the Republican primary – from first term Delegate Michael Hough. The Washington Post reports that Hough is positioning himself to the right of Brinkley; Hough claims that the veteran senator is not “a true conservative.” Senator Brinkley tells the Frederick News Post that his fellow Republicans seem to trust his party loyalty, since they have twice chosen him to lead their caucus. Delegate Hough has spent much of the past year raising money; his campaign warchest contains around $115-thousand. Senator Brinkley, by comparison, has just over $21-thousand in the bank.
Conti Drops Out Of AA County Executive’s Race: Democrat Joanna Conti is withdrawing from the Anne Arundel County executive's race. The Annapolis Capital reports Conti made the decision to drop out yesterday morning, although she says she’s been considering the move for several weeks, and that she needs to focus on the needs of her family. Conti had run for Anne Arundel’s top job once before, in 2010, and had a campaign warchest of about a quarter-million dollars. She says that she plans to return her unspent funds to individual donors. With Conti out, former Anne Arundel County sheriff George Johnson is set to run unopposed in the Democratic primary. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Sun reports that current Anne Arundel County Executive, Republican Laura Neuman, is making her candidacy official today. She'll be running against Delegate Steve Schuh for the GOP nomination.
Kelly Drops Out Of 1st Congressional District Race: The Democratic primary in the First Congressional District race is getting less crowded. The Daily Times reports that Cecil County resident Bridget Kelly has withdrawn her candidacy for the seat, currently held by Republican Andy Harris. Kelly is the second Democrat to bow out of the contest; earlier this month, Harford County resident Joseph Werner withdrew, opting to run instead for Harford County Executive. Two Democrats remain in the race; retired attorney Bill Tilghman and physician John LaFerla, who mounted an unsuccessful bid for the 1st District seat two years ago. Representative Harris is the only Republican to register so far.
Henson’s State Senate Bid Called Possible Probation Violation: Political consultant Julius Henson’s bid for a seat in the State Senate is being called a potential violation of his probation. Henson was convicted of conspiracy for his role in misleading robocall sent out to more than 100-thousand voters on Election Day of 2010… and a condition of his probation was that he “not work in any political campaign” during the three year period, beginning after he completed his prison sentence in 2012. But the Baltimore Sun reports that Henson claims the judge’s order didn’t specifically forbid him from being a candidate, and argues that it only barred him from working on another candidate’s campaign. A court hearing on the matter is set for next week. Henson plans to file his campaign paperwork today; he’s looking to challenge veteran State Senator Nathaniel McFadden in the June Democratic primary.