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2015 Annapolis Report

A Review of the 2015 Legislative Session

Criminal Justice, Economic & Fiscal Policy, Education, Environment, Health Care, Transportation, Gas Tax/Infrastructure, Property Taxes, Public Pensions, Charter Schools, Taxes

by John J. Walters

SPECIAL REPORT

JUNE 17, 2015 pdf PDF VERSION Bookmark and Share

The 2015 legislative session was the first headed by a Republican governor after two terms of Governor Martin O’Malley. Although Governor Larry Hogan’s plans to “Change Maryland” were based on a number of issues, the primary focus of these first 90 days was always the state budget and taxes.

Still, hundreds of bills went before the House and the Senate, just like they do every year. And, on April 14, 2015, Governor Hogan signed 121 of them into law.[1] Some of these will be of almost no consequence to anyone save small groups that are directly affected. Others will help determine which direction the state moves in the next year and beyond.

The primary source for this report is The 90 Day Report,[2] a 428-page document published by the Department of Legislative Services each year shortly after the close of the legislative session. The Annapolis Report makes no attempt to be a complete chronicle of every law debated, rejected, or passed by state legislators. Rather, its focus is on identifying those pieces of legislation that will influence the lives of Maryland residents and explaining them in as plain language as possible.

Methodology

Although assigning grades is a subjective process, efforts were made to consider the positives as well as the negatives and to take an honest look at the collection of new laws in each general category and their implication for the well-being and prosperity of the state as a whole. Victories as well as failures and missed opportunities are noted. This endeavor is based on the philosophy that only by paying careful attention and holding our government to a higher standard is progress made.



[1] Governor’s Press Release: “Bills to be Signed by the Governor on April 14, 2015,” http://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/MDGOV/2015/04/14/file_attachments/381259/Bill%2BSignings%2B4.14.2015.pdf

[2] The 90-Day Report: A Review of the 2015 Legislative Session, Department of Legislative Services, Maryland General Assembly, April 17, 2015, http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/Pubs/LegisLegal/2015rs-90-day-report.pdf

To read the full report, click here pdf

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