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Legislative Review 2016

April 12, 2016; Blog Post, Status Update

With the 2016 legislative session finished, we are disappointed that more progress was not made on good government reforms in the past 90 days. While the legislature made some advances this session, particularly on expanding access to voting, overall we saw no meaningful progress on key reforms. At a time when the public is clamoring for open and honest government and is sick and tired of political duplicity, the lack of action on these issues sends the wrong message.

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Press Releases

Maryland Moves toward Modernization

April 11, 2016

We applaud the General Assembly for passing legislation to improve upon Maryland's voter registration system. With the Freedom to Vote Act, our state expands voter registration opportunities to nearly every state agency. The move towards modernized, online or electronic voter registration systems – and away from outdated paper-based models – will save the state both time and money, making this a win for both voters and administrators alike.

Maryland Legislature Considers Landmark Automatic Voter Registration Legislation

February 18, 2016

Today, the Maryland State Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee will hear testimony on automatic voter registration, a reform that would register eligible citizens to vote when they interact with the Motor Vehicle Administration and other state agencies. With almost half a million eligible but unregistered citizens, Maryland could dramatically boost its registration rate while reducing costs and making registration more convenient for government officials and voters alike.

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Research & Reports

Common Cause Maryland Report: The Power of Special Interests Campaign Finance and Electricity Deregulation in Maryland

March 13, 2008

A Common Cause Maryland report on deregulation in the power industry which reads, in part, 'Marylanders are facing the extra burden of a sharp increase in the cost of electricity spurred by legislation passed in 1999 that deregulated and privatized the electric utility industry. Baltimore Gas & Electric (BG&E), which serves more than half of Maryland's 2.08 million households, received a windfall of $1.15 billion as its customers saw their annual utility rates rise by an average of $743 per household.'

Common Cause Maryland Report: How Money Moves in Maryland Campaigns Through Limited Liability Companies

February 27, 2006

This report out of Common Cause Maryland reads, in part, 'In Maryland, an easy way to concentrate the power of campaign giving is to use the limited liability company/limited liability partnership (LLC/LLP) loophole. This Common Cause Maryland study looks at the ways the LLC/LLP loophole has been used to funnel over $6,000,000 into campaigns during the 2003-2006 election cycle. (See Appendix A for data on the recipients of this largess.)'

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Staff

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