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Senator Paul Pinsky introduces bill to close corporate tax loopholes through combined reporting.

In an op-ed in yesterday's Baltimore Sun state senator Paul Pinsky (D, Prince George's County), detailed the problem of multi-state and multi-national corporations paying zero state corporate taxes. They do this by reporting all their revenues in an out-of-state subsidiary. Senator Pinsky argues that a bill requiring combined reporting would force these corporations (Wal-mart, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, etc.) would put them on equal footing with local/state businesses, as well as generate needed revenue for the State's budget.

Big clashes in Annapolis on the implementation of the Maryland School Assessment standardized test.

Marylandreporter.com details the fight brewing between the Governor's administration (and especially the Maryland State Department of Education) and other state lawmakers and state teachers over the implementation of the Maryland School Assessment standardized test. Those who want the test waived this year argue that it is out of date and is based on curriculum that is being phased out. But the Governor and the MSDE argue that the MSA gives the administration good measurable data about the status of student performance.

Healthcare exchange has persistent, serious IT problems.

The Baltimore Sun reports that technical glitches with the state's roll out of the new Health Care plan. Maryland's Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein reprted to a legislative oversight committee on Monday that "the contractors have not delivered what they said they would deliver," and that when the current contract runs out at the end of March, the state may seek a new IT contractor to perform the service. The Baltimore Sun reports that the additional costs of the sputtering roll out have inflated the overall bill for the new plan to $261 million.

Estate tax cut and the budget.

While the Governor announced his plan to balance the budget by lowering contributions to the state employee and teachers pension plan while not raising any taxes at all, other Annapolis leaders have floated ideas about lowering tax rates on the highest earners. Among these is Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch's plan to lower the estate tax, a move that that, according to the Legislature's budget analyst Warren Dechaneaux, as reported by WYPR, would severely cut into state revenues by $80-90 million per year.

Baltimore Sun Op-Ed on Pension funding

Today's Baltimore Sun has a really good editorial on the Governor's plan to cut $100 million in state contributions to the pension. They aregue against O'Malley's plan, saying the cut amounts to a special tax on employee's and their retirement.

Read more at the Baltimore Sun.

2/5/14 Todd Reynolds, Political Action Coordinator