BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland utility regulators say the high cost of heating homes and businesses during this long, cold winter may put more customers at risk of being shut off after March 31.
The Public Service Commission is asking utility companies at a legislative-style hearing Friday in Baltimore to explain their policies and procedures for terminating service to customers who haven't paid their bills on time.
The commission says it also wants to know the number of current and projected customers in arrears.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Board of Public Works has approved a contract modification of up to $2 million due to technical problems with the state's health care exchange.
The board approved the emergency modification 3-0 Wednesday. However, Comptroller Peter Franchot criticized the procurement process. Franchot says more than $160 million in contracts should have come before the Board of Public Works for greater scrutiny, instead of a separate health exchange board.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland is already moving toward a "two-tier" minimum wage system, where counties will set their own minimums. But Gov. Martin O'Malley says he wants $10.10 to be the statewide minimum and let counties raise it from there.
O'Malley was arguing for the wage increase Monday before the Senate Finance Committee.
He said $10.10 is "pretty modest," considering the effects of inflation since 1968. The minimum wage that year would be $10.70 in today's economy, according to one measurement of inflation. Another puts it at $9.50.
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley says he will veto the chicken tax.
That’s a 5-cent per bird tax being proposed in the state legislature.
The Democrat made his remarks during the annual Taste of Maryland dinner and were reported on Twitter by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
The Salisbury Daily Times reports that his press secretary Nina Smith issued a statement saying that the governor did not feel the chicken tax would actually strike a balance between the needs of the bay and the needs of the agriculture industry.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley says he is preparing for a possible run for president.
The Maryland Democrat tells The Washington Post that he can't waste time waiting for Hillary Rodham Clinton to decide whether she will run in 2016. He says he needs to get started on the groundwork for a national campaign.
On Friday, O'Malley reported raising nearly $1.7 million last year with his political action committee, O' Say Can You See.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Supporters of a higher minimum wage plan to rally in Annapolis, but business owner Mark Pringle says higher wages would mean higher prices at his ice cream shops.
Pringle owns four Cold Stone Creamery shops. He tells The Capital that most of his 15 to 20 employees are either in high school or starting community college. Most make the state's current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Gov. Martin O'Malley has proposed raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2016.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A measure to help people get health insurance retroactive to Jan. 1, if problems with a state website kept them from doing so will be taking effect.
Gov. Martin O'Malley signed emergency legislation on Thursday in Annapolis to put it into effect immediately.
The measure will enable people who couldn't get through to enroll in Maryland health exchange insurance to be insured by the Maryland Health Insurance Plan. The program is a separate safety net plan that has served as a high-risk pool for state residents without insurance.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has given final approval to a bill to help people who could not enroll in a private health plan on Maryland's health exchange website due to computer problems last year.
The Senate voted 34-7 on Wednesday to agree with changes made by the House.
The change requires the Maryland Health Insurance Plan to report to legislative panels about how enrollment is going for people who sought coverage for Jan. 1 but couldn't get through the website in time.
ANNAPOLIS (AP) - Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley highlighted his administration's successes while noting problems the state has had with its health care exchange.
The Democrat reflected on his time in office as he gave his eithth and last State of the State address.
He talked about a sweeping a gun-control measure the General Assembly approved last year and the state's repeal of the death penalty as notable successes. he also underscored Maryland's passage of same-sex marriage rights and a version of the Dream Act.
The term-limited governor will give his eighth State of the State speech to the Maryland General Assembly early Thursday afternoon.
O'Malley typically outlines his priorities for the legislative session in the speech. This year, the Democratic governor is placing an emphasis on raising the state's minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour by 2016. O'Malley also wants to index the minimum wage in 2017 to keep up with inflation.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A top Maryland budget analyst is encouraging lawmakers to create a greater budget cushion than one included in Gov. Martin O'Malley's budget plan.
Warren Deschenaux said Monday lawmakers should aim to create a fund balance of about $100 million for the next fiscal year. He says the budget submitted by O'Malley last week has about a $30-million cushion.
That's above the state's Rainy Day Fund of about $800 million, but lawmakers and analysts always aim to have that money safely set aside without needing to be tapped.
SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) - Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler says he should have done more to see if there was underage drinking at teen beach party he visited.
Gansler, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, spoke to reporters Thursday about stopping by the June party in Delaware. He said he needed to meet his 19-year-old son to talk to about travel plans.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland State Police are criticizing Attorney General Doug Gansler for calling the commander of the executive protection section a "henchman" of Gov. Martin O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.
Gansler, who is running for governor, said Tuesday on WJLA-TV that reports saying he misused his security detail to get him to events are "100 percent completely untrue." He accused his opponent, Brown, of "running a campaign about dirty politics," and "pulling out some memo that some henchman wrote two or three years ago."
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A spokeswoman for House Speaker Michael Busch says he will be endorsing Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's bid to be the next governor of Maryland.
Alexandra Hughes said the speaker will announce his endorsement on Thursday in Annapolis.
Brown, a Democrat, served in the House of Delegates before Gov. Martin O'Malley chose him to be his running mate in 2005. Brown served two terms representing Prince George's County, and he rose to the position of majority whip in the chamber.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Opponents of a new gun-control measure in Maryland have filed a lawsuit to block the legislation from taking effect.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland on Thursday and seeks to stop the law from taking effect on Oct. 1. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed the new law in May. It gives the state some of the nation's tightest gun laws.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley is announcing $5.5 million in grants to boost digital learning and to help high school students earn college credit.
The governor made the announcement on Wednesday in Annapolis with State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery.
Six Maryland school systems are receiving a total of $3.5 million the Digital Learning Innovation Fund to help pay for initiatives like moving from textbooks to iPads and to use technology to better present content in a more personalized way to benefit students.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is planning trips to Florida, Ohio and Texas next month to boost Democratic candidates.
Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for O'Malley's political action committee, said Thursday O'Malley's primary focus will be on electing more Democratic governors. She says October will kick off an aggressive campaign schedule to do that.
O'Malley is scheduled to travel to Tallahassee, Fla., to campaign around the Florida governor's race on Oct. 8.