The Feds, the States, and the Controlled Substances Act

The Feds, the States and the Controlled Substances Act How exactly is Colorado undermining federal law? Nothing requires a state to make marijuana illegal. Wall Street Journal January 12, 2015   To the Editor: Maryland, under Gov. Albert Ritchie, steadfastly refused to prohibit alcohol sales throughout Prohibition, and Al Smith’s New York repealed its prohibition […]

Time for ‘Bottom Up’ Education Reform

Time for ‘Bottom-Up’ Education Reform by George W. Liebmann The renewed clamor for postponement of ‘common core’ testing provides further evidence of the failure of ‘top-down’ reform in Maryland public schools. Who can forget MSPAP, the State Board’s high stakes tests for graduation, and the procrastination in fulfilling the ‘Race to the Top’ promise that […]

Property Tax Incentives for Business–Another Folly

A Worthy Report on Property Tax Incentives for Business The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy has issued an exceptionally valuable report on state and local misuse of property tax incentives for economic development. Its authors are Daphne A. Kenyon, Adam H. Langley, and Bethany P. Paquin. Ms Kenyon is well known as the principal author […]

More Pension Follies

More Pension Follies With great fanfare, Governor O’Malley announced his 2014-15 budget. Three thick budget volumes were released. Nowhere in these volumes (with one minor exception) are any of the pertinent data concerning Maryland’s pension and employee health obligations disclosed. The re-design of Maryland’s budget documents carried out by the present budget secretary, Eloise Foster, […]

Maryland’s Pension System has Performed Poorly for Decades

  www.baltimoresun.com/ Maryland’s pension system has performed poorly for decades under two separate treasurers By George W. Liebmann 2:09 PM EST, February 19, 2014 Advertisement   The state pension system is Maryland’s financial Achilles heel and has been for decades. All bond rating services have noted that rising pension debt endangers the state’s AAA bond […]

Foreclosures: The Chickens Come Home to Roost

The O’Malley administration’s response to the real estate crash in 2008 was a characteristic one: kicking the can down the road. Lenders were blamed; foreclosure attorneys were blamed; everything was done to obscure the fact that many if not most of inner-city loans should not have been made in the first place, were frequently made […]

Pension Follies, Resumed

      Maryland has, just, preserved its AAA bond rating, though with a negative outlook from Moody’s. Moody’s has issued a publication reporting that Maryland is one of the ten worst states in terms of the burden of pension debt, Maryland’s pension obligations being almost exactly equal to one year’s gross revenues, 99.5% of […]

Mismanaged Maryland

    Mismanaged Maryland Despite talk of reforms and budget cuts, Annapolis dabbles in excessive borrowing, noncompetitive projects and risky investments   By George Liebmann6:00 a.m. EDT, March 11, 2013   There is a sharp disconnect between the image and reality of the O’Malley administration’s fiscal policies. The image features pension reforms, reduced structural deficits, […]

Role of the Attorney General

Captain of the Black Sox   One of the more curious and notable decisions rendered by the Maryland Court of Appeals in recent years is its short opinion in Ports v. Cowan, 426 Md.435 (2012) holding that Maryland, notwithstanding that it had an as yet unrepealed statute and public policy declaring marriage to be between […]

Licensing in Maryland

Free Enterprise, Maryland Style   Nearly fifty years ago, the present writer served as counsel to the Maryland Home Improvement Commission, an administrative agency which had just been immortalized in Barry Levinson’s The Tin Men. The agency then functioned under a statute that was more a self-certification than licensing statute. To obtain a license required […]