Frederick News-Post: After tense session, comptroller and lawmakers say they'll push on with bre

ANNAPOLIS — As legislators passed a bill to scrutinize the comptroller’s role in alcohol regulation, the proponent of sweeping brewing reforms said he would be back for another round. In light of Comptroller Peter Franchot’s unsuccessful Reform on Tap push, an attempt to do away with beer production and consumption limits at brewpubs such as Flying Dog and Attaboy Beer, lawmakers passed a bill to study the comptroller’s role in alcohol regulation. House Bill 1316 came back from the Senate without any changes on Thursday. While bill sponsor Delegate Benjamin Kramer (D-Montgomery) has said it was inappropriate for the alcohol regulator to support measures to increase the availability of alcoh

Baltimore Sun: Maryland Comptroller Franchot slams Senate President Miller, 'corrupt' Democr

Comptroller Peter Franchot, who has taken repeated political hits during this year's General Assembly session, slammed Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller in a radio interview Friday and accused the Democratic “machine” in Annapolis of corruption. “Corruption is alive and well in Annapolis and it comes from this absolute control without any checks and balances that we’ve got down there,” Franchot, also a Democrat, said on WAMU-FM’s Kojo Nnamdi Show. “Hopefully elections will sort some of that out.” The assembly voted this week to strip Gov. Larry Hogan and Franchot of their power over school construction decisions as members of the state’s Board of Public Works, a move the Republican gove

Baltimore Sun: EDITORIAL: What's behind the Hogan-Miller-Busch-Franchot school construction cage

Gov. Larry Hogan is sending out breathless screeds about Democrats’ backroom dealing. Comptroller Peter Franchot’s chief of staff is lighting his hair on fire on Facebook. House Speaker Michael E. Busch’s leadership team is tacking amendments onto legislation with the express intention of getting Governor Hogan to veto it — and to make it politically costly for him to do so. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller is pulling out all the procedural stops to ram that bill through in time so the legislature can override the governor before it adjourns next month. All this over two acronyms — BPW and IAC — that, unless you really pay attention to state government, probably mean nothing to you. S

Baltimore Sun: Maryland Senate set to revamp school construction funding process, angering Gov. Larr

The Maryland Senate gave preliminary approval Wednesday night to a plan to strip the state’s spending panel of its traditional oversight of hundreds of millions of dollars in school construction projects — a legislative action that Gov. Larry Hogan called a “personal vendetta” and promised to veto. The Republican governor — who sits on the three-member spending board with Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, both Democrats — said the General Assembly’s expedited actions on a measure to strip the board of one of its “most important functions” were “simply outrageous.” At Wednesday morning’s Board of Public Works meeting, Hogan said legislation passed by the House of Delegates

Daily Record: Md. bill to strip BPW of role in school construction projects on fast track

ANNAPOLIS — A bill that would strip the three-person panel led by Gov. Larry Hogan of oversight on school construction funding appears to be on a fast track for passage after a Senate Committee approved the bill without a hearing. The push to pass House Bill 1783 comes as lawmakers consider which bills to deliver to the governor by the end of the day Friday. Hogan would be forced to make a decision on vetoing the legislation and allowing lawmakers to override him before session ends at midnight April 9. The Senate is expected to come back in for a Wednesday evening session and to give preliminary approval to the bill — a move that could set up a final vote as soon as Thursday. Republican law

The Capital: Our say: Dislike of Franchot no reason to rush big change to school funding

You can argue that sessions of the Maryland Board of Public Works too often devolve into the Larry and Pete Show, with Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot ripping into local officials and school administrators who have inexcusably failed to install air conditioning or take mold problems seriously enough. But it doesn’t follow that it’s a good idea for the General Assembly, with virtually no hearings and in the waning days of an election-year session, to rush through a huge change in the way state government has operated for decades. And that change is likely to diminish visibility and accountability. All this started in the House of Delegates as an amendment to a popular bill to

Frederick News-Post: Letter to the Editor: Time to think about November

Tucked away on page B4 of the March 18 edition was an article about a Maryland House committee vote on the proposed Maryland Reform on Tap bill. The committee rejected the proposal in overwhelming fashion — primarily, it appears, because they were upset that the proposal (championed by Comptroller Peter Franchot) “excluded them from the policy-making process” and “insulted them along the way.” Then, in an apparent retaliatory action, a bill was introduced to roll back gains craft brewers had made during last year’s session. But alas, that bill was subsequently withdrawn, and lawmakers “privately conceded that the bill ... was a message rather than a serious proposal.” So as I read this, the

WBAL NewsRadio 1090: Franchot Blocks Electronic Tax Return Acceptance From 20 Preparers

Comptroller Peter Franchot on Tuesday announced that his office has halted electronic tax return acceptance from 20 tax preparers at 24 locations in Maryland, Virginia, Texas and California. The suspensions were set off by a high volume of questionable returns, and follow 34 other suspensions issued since the start of the tax season. A list of the blacklisted tax preparers is available online. "Stopping unscrupulous tax preparers from swindling hardworking Maryland taxpayers out of their money is my agency's top priority each tax season," Comptroller Franchot said. "My Questionable Return Detection Team constantly monitors tax filings looking for corrupt preparers submitting false returns, h

Calvert Recorder: Beer reform dealt a setback, but spirits are still up

Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) hosted a happy hour at Mully’s Brewery in Prince Frederick on March 22 to talk about next steps in the movement to reform laws governing the manufacturing, distribution and sale of craft beer in Maryland. The Reform on Tap Act of 2018, which was born out of recommendations from a 40-member task force of beer industry professionals and local brewers, was defeated by the House Economic Matters Committee last week. “Things in Annapolis often take time and the comptroller is not giving up on this effort,” said Comptroller’s Office Communications Director Joe Shapiro, in an interview with The Calvert Recorder. “The fight is not over.” Thursday’s meet

Maryland Matters: Tensions Explore Between Senate President, State Comptroller

A long-simmering feud between state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and state Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) burst into open view Thursday night. In a conversation with reporters, Miller blistered his fellow Democrat as a “shameful” publicity hound and political “Chameleon” who has infuriated lawmakers and picked unnecessary and irrelevant policy fights. Miller also went after Franchot’s chief of staff and longtime political adviser, Len Foxwell – who, in a conversation with Maryland Matters, returned the fire. Miller’s remarks came as the House considers a bill to study whether to strip the comptroller’s office of its role as the state’s chief alcohol regulator a

Dorchester Star: Burton receives William Donald Schaefer Award

CAMBRIDGE — Brian Burton of Thomas’ Funeral Home was honored with the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award for Dorchester County on Monday, March 19. Comptroller Peter Franchot presented the award at the funeral home, and remarks about Burton were shared by friends Dave Salmon and Kenny Thomas. Burton has worked at Thomas’ since 2003. In 2011, he became the supervising mortician upon the passing of John Thomas. Burton became co-owner of the business with Janet Thomas in 2014. He received his associate’s degree in Mortuary Science in 2001. “Brian really represents the legacy of William Donald Schaefer,” Franchot said. “He was an iconic figure. The four-term Mayor of Baltimore City, tw

Star Democrat: Franchot tours county biz center

EASTON — It was known as the “old Black & Decker building” long after the corporation had left the premises and the county, gathering dust, mice and nesting birds. But now the Talbot County Business Center (TCBC), as it has been known for a year, is a hub of activity for 13 businesses and county agencies. It caught the attention of the state’s chief finance officer and business cheerleader. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot stopped by mid-afternoon on Monday, March 19, for a tour of the business center at Easton Parkway and Glebe Road. “I promise you we can fill this up, but we have to appeal to millennials,” Franchot said. “If we ask ... smart, innovative entrepreneurs from other states

Baltimore Sun: In slap at Franchot, Maryland House passes bill to examine role of comptroller in reg

Dealing a rebuke to Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, the House of Delegates approved legislation Monday to set up a task force to study whether his agency should continue to be Maryland’s chief regulator of alcoholic beverages. The legislation, which passed by a vote of 128-10, now goes to the Senate. The bill, sponsored by Del. Benjamin F. Kramer, comes in response to Franchot’s public campaign for broad changes to the state’s laws governing craft breweries — an effort some legislators saw as an intrusion into their policy-making role. Lawmakers of both parties have criticized Franchot’s advocacy for the brewers as incompatible with his role as regulator. The same House committee that a

Star Democrat: Franchot honors Dorchester YMCA, Robbins Foundation

CAMBRIDGE — Comptroller Peter Franchot visited the Dorchester County Family YMCA on Monday, March 19, for a tour of the facility and recognized the Pauline F. and David W. Robbins Foundation for supporting the community. Franchot presented a proclamation to the YMCA’s leadership in appreciation of more than 30 years of service to the Dorchester County community, noting the wide variety of programs offered, its promotion of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. “We know what we’ve done, and we know what we can do,” said Board Chairman Lee Grier. “We’re working on a vision to continue that as best we can. Our partnership now with the Chesapeake YMCA has been great. We ha

Baltimore Sun: Beer reform taps out as Maryland House panel rejects Franchot brewery bill

The hopes of Maryland’s craft brewers for sweeping changes to the state’s beer laws flattened Friday like an open beer left out too long as a legislative committee rejected Comptroller Peter Franchot’s “Reform on Tap” initiative. Unhappy with Franchot’s bold venture into policymaking, a House committee voted 17-4 against a bill the Democratic comptroller had been pushing for months as the best way to fix what he viewed as flawed beer regulations approved last year by the General Assembly. The panel then compounded the repudiation by passing a measure seeking to examine whether the comptroller’s office should retain its role as the state’s alcohol regulator. Franchot’s proposal sought to lift

Times-Record: Saint Martin's receives Helping People Award

RIDGELY — Comptroller Peter Franchot presented the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award to Saint Martin’s Ministries in Ridgely for its service to those in need on the Mid-Shore. For 34 years, St. Martin’s Ministries of Ridgley has helped community members living in poverty by providing them with their most basic needs of food, shelter and clothing. The Saint Martin’s Barn also is a thrift shop, which supports the organization. Each month, Saint Martin’s serves about 300 families in Caroline, Queen Anne’s, Talbot and Kent counties with food supplies and financial assistance for rent and utilities. The Saint Martin’s Barn distributes about 10,000 pounds of food each month, which equal

Baltimore Business Journal Amid 'toxic political environment,' Hogan and Franchot urge bipar

Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot come from different political parties but they both agree on at least one thing — there needs to be more bipartisanship. Hogan, a Republican, and Franchot, a Democrat, have developed a much-publicized friendship over the last four years. They often vote the same way while serving on the Board of Public Works, and Hogan has even sometimes used his political clout to push for legislation desired by Franchot. The two men spoke together at a Goucher College event on Wednesday. Students asked questions on topics like guns, education and transportation, but the issue that both politicians repeatedly came back to was bipartisanship. When asked about

Star Democrat: Franchot presents Peters with Schaefer Helping People Award

EASTON — Matthew Peters’ two decades of service to those in need was honored on Monday, March 12, with the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot presented the award to the director of the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center (ChesMRC) at an afternoon ceremony attended by about 50 local leaders at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center in Easton. “I’m thrilled to be here to present the ... award to Matthew Peters,” Franchot said. “Matt, you exemplify the principles that Schaefer did. “ Schaefer believed in helping everyone who asked for help, and that it was government’s duty to do so, Franchot said. “He cared about people.” “That’s what we’re ho

Times-Record: Franchot tours Greensboro Elementary School

GREENSBORO — Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot visited Greensboro Elementary School on Monday, March 12, to see firsthand how critical a proposed new school is to relieving overcrowding. Caroline County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patricia Saelens and Principal Dawn Swann hosted the tour along with Caroline County commissioners Wilbur Levengood, Dan Franklin and Larry Porter. Design of the new school, to be built near the existing one on land already owned by Caroline County Public Schools, needs to start soon, in order to stay on track for a targeted summer 2021 completion, said Milton Nagel, assistant superintendent of administrative services. However, the Interagency Committee on

Conduit Street: Comptroller: Aging Taxpayers Means Two More Slow Decades

In his ample spare time, Bureau of Revenue Estimates Director Andrew Schaufele of the Comptroller’s Office managed to put together The Impact of Age Demographics on Maryland’s Economic and Tax Revenue Outlook – complete with county-level demographics data. The report examines the age structure of Maryland’s tax paying population in order to attempt to get to the bottom of the cause of the State’s – and counties’ – slowing economic growth. The changing age composition of our labor force has generally been blamed as one of the contributors, and this report evaluates the theory. It not only found it reliable, it also found that the effects are not going away any time soon. This assessment finds

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