Somerset County Times: County supports Comptroller’s changes for craft brewers

PRINCESS ANNE — There’s no longer a craft brewer operating in Somerset County but the County Commissioners went on record to support legislative initiatives Comptroller Peter Franchot says will benefit Maryland craft breweries. House Bill 518 titled the Reform on Tap Act of 2018 came about following meetings by a 40-member task force composed of various stakeholders in the state’s beer industry. The bill is to be heard by the House Economic Matters Committee on Friday, Feb. 23 and would support industry innovators and risk-takers entering this field. “Current Maryland laws and regulations impose arbitrary limits and heavy restrictions that make Maryland one of the least friendly states for

Baltimore Sun: Alcohol regulator Peter Franchot, lawmakers clash in heated hearing on beer regulatio

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot took his case for fewer limits on the state’s craft brewers before a panel of lawmakers whose hearing room turned into a lion’s den Friday as delegates accused him of fomenting rancor over the issue. Franchot had promoted the hearing on his Facebook page like a boxing match that he dubbed the “Fight for Maryland Beer” and had recently labeled lawmakers who were opposing him as idiots. “I was hoping we could have a thoughtful, rational and respectful conversation,” said Del. Ben Kramer, a Montgomery County Democrat who has proposed a bill to study stripping Franchot’s office of its alcohol regulating authority. “But as I witness from your Facebook tirade, i

Baltimore Fishbowl: Nine Baltimore City Council members back bill to loosen beer regulations

Nine members of the Baltimore City Council have signed on to a letter supporting the Reform on Tap Act of 2018, Comptroller Peter Franchot’s bill to loosen regulations on craft breweries in the state. Noticeably absent: Mayor Catherine Pugh and City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young. Baltimore Fishbowl has reached out to the offices of both politicians for comment on their respective stances on the bill. Council members John Bullock (District 9), Eric Costello (District 11), Zeke Cohen (District 1), Ryan Dorsey (District 3), Bill Henry (District 4), Vice President Sharon Green Middleton (District 6), Leon Pinkett III (District 7), Brandon Scott (District 2) and Shannon Sneed (Distric

Calvert Recorder: LEAP Forward organization presented prestigious award from comptroller

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) visited the Harriet Elizabeth Brown Community Center on Wednesday to present nonprofit organization LEAP Forward with the prestigious William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award. Unofficially organized in 1998, Launching Educational Assistance Programs Forward is an organization that works to provide educational and financial assistance to economically disadvantaged youth. Rhonda Thomas, founder of the organization, was present at the community center to accept the award on behalf of the organization. School board member Pamela Cousins served as master of ceremonies during the program. She referred to Thomas as a Renaissance woman and noted how many s

Bay Times: Sediment from Four Seasons causes concern

ANNAPOLIS — Comptroller Peter Franchot raised concerns during the Maryland Board of Public Works meeting Wednesday, Feb. 21, over “a massive stormwater runoff” from the Four Seasons development site on Kent Island recently that sent plumes of sediment into Macum Creek and the Chester River. Franchot said he appreciated Maryland Department of Environment’s rapid response to assess the damage, but he remained “concerned about welfare of this ecologically sensitive area.” Gov. Larry Hogan asked MDE Secretary Ben Grumbles to update them on the situation. “As you noted, the bad news is that a significant sediment pollution event occurred – and it’s unacceptable.” Grumbles said. “The good news, if

Star Democrat: Franchot honors Talbot Interfaith Shelter

EASTON — State Comptroller Peter Franchot paid a visit to the Talbot Interfaith Shelter at Easton’s Promise on Thursday, Feb. 15, to honor it with a proclamation for its efforts in ending homelessness in Maryland. “I want to congratulate you all on this project on behalf of the state and to say thank you to the town of Easton,” Franchot said. “I am very pleased with strides you all have made.” Staff and board members of the Talbot Interfaith Shelter, representatives from Andy Harris’s office, Sen. Chris Van Hollen office, Easton Mayor Robert Willey, Easton Town Manager Donald Richardson and Talbot County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Al Silverstein attended the event. During the c

Paste Magazine: Maryland Is Doing its Best to Destroy its Craft Beer Industry For Good This Month

Back in April of 2017, we wrote about how Maryland had just finished attempting to screw the state’s craft brewers via a new piece of legislation known as House Bill 1283. Introduced in secret and hidden from the state’s brewers until it had already passed the House of Delegates, the bill was amended in the state Senate thanks to a last-ditch effort by craft beer activists. These amendments managed to alter its affects from “devastating” to merely “complicated and imbalanced.” On one hand, HB 1283 gave breweries something they wanted—the ability to sell more beer to the public directly from their taprooms. But on the other hand, it introduced a patently unfair “grandfathering” system, in whi

Baltimore Fishbowl: After Years of Pressure From Parents, County Agrees to Replace Dulaney High Scho

Following multiple calls to replace Dulaney High School in Timonium, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz agreed to set aside funding for a new school in 2019, according to several reports. In a letter to Interim Superintendent Verletta White, Kamenetz committed to building a new school that would accommodate 2,300 students in the central corridor. Projections suggest there is a need for 1,000 more seats, he wrote. As far back as 2014, The Sun‘s Liz Bowie detailed stories of burst pipes, rusted sinks and the lack of air conditioning in the majority of classrooms. Most of the $1.1 billion earmarked at the time for repairing and replacing facilities was being used to keep up with growing

Times-Record: Mayors endorse Reform on Tap Act of 2018

ANNAPOLIS — Mayors from across Maryland, including the elected leaders of Annapolis, Frederick, Cambridge and Ocean City, Thursday, Feb. 1, joined Comptroller Peter Franchot at Chesapeake Brewing Company in Annapolis to publicly endorse House Bill 518 — The Reform on Tap Act of 2018. The legislation would overhaul the antiquated laws and burdensome regulations governing the state's craft breweries, chiefly by removing limits on beer production and taproom sales, letting local jurisdictions establish taproom operating hours, eliminating franchise law requirements and removing restrictions on contract brewing by upstart breweries. "No other manufacturing industry in the state is subject to th

ABC 2: Comptroller Franchot halts returns from nine tax preparers

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Comptroller Peter Franchot ordered his office to stop processing electronic tax returns from nine tax preparers from around the state. The preparers were flagged after a the Comptroller's Office noticed a high volume of questionable returns. "My top priority is to protect Maryland taxpayers and detecting fraudulent tax returns," Franchot said. "We want to make sure the tax refunds we issue are legitimate and go to the correct taxpayers." The businesses were sent written notice of the action and will have the opportunity to have their filing privileges restored. Just last year the Comptroller's Office blocked returns at 95 tax preparation businesses. The recent list of blocke

ABC 2: Does this belong to you? More than $1 billion up for grabs in Maryland unclaimed accounts (VI

Video available at BALTIMORE, Md. - The Comptroller of Maryland is seeking the rightful owners of more than $1 billion in unclaimed property. The items come from safe deposit boxes that are unclaimed for three or more years after the lease or rental period expires. The Comptroller's Office also handles stocks, bonds, savings accounts, and other property reported as unclaimed by banks or other financial institutions. "Anything from urns with ashes in them, we got once, and then we get jewelry and then we get coin collections. In order to monetize though, we will s

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