By Alex DeMetrick

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ/AP) — It was a busy day in Annapolis Tuesday.  Governor Martin O’Malley signed more than 100 bills passed by the General Assembly.

Alex DeMetrick has more on how the new laws will affect you.

O’Malley joined state Senate and House of Delegate leaders for the bill signing ceremony following the closure of the legislature. Lawmakers worked right up to the end on two of the most controversial bills before finally approving an extension of in-state tuition for some children of illegal immigrants and an increase in the state’s alcohol tax.

In the end, lawmakers approved a 50 percent increase in the state sales tax on alcohol, now nine cents per dollar. It will take effect in July and in its first year, it’s expected to generate $85 million. The money generated will help schools and the developmentally disabled.  It’s the first such increase in a generation.

The other bill gives in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants, as long as they complete two years at a community college and can show their parents paid state taxes for at least three years.

The governor says this is just a first step.

“Whenever Congress figures out how to fix a broken immigration and naturalization system in our country, all of these children will be citizens of our country one day,” said O’Malley.

The most far-reaching bill signed brings Maryland in compliance with the new federal health care law.

O’Malley signed a bill to create a framework for the state’s health exchange. That’s a marketplace where individuals and small businesses will have access to competitive prices for health insurance. Recommendations made by the exchange’s board of trustees will need the legislature’s approval.

Another bill aligns Maryland law with consumer protections in the federal law, including provisions that bar exclusions from insurance because of pre-existing conditions.

This session also saw changes to the state employee pension fund, as well as job eliminations.

“We knew it was going to be a tough session when we started,” said House Speaker Michael Busch.

The session also managed to bring state costs and a deficit down.

“There are not many states in these times that would be able to pull off what this General Assembly was able to accomplish in InvestMaryland,” said O’Malley. “[They’re] betting on that better future that comes from innovation, science, healing and discovery, if we have the guts to harness its potential.” 

With little time to spare, lawmakers also voted to set aside about $8 million to fund horse racing.

A bill decriminalizing medical marijuana also passed, preventing the conviction of anyone with less than an ounce, as long as a doctor signs off.

Two laws O’Malley will not sign are two he strongly backed: offshore wind power along Maryland’s coast and a massive upgrade to the state’s septic system. Both of those failed to make it through the legislature.

“These are items that are going to be put on the table, discussed and studied and they’re going to happen,” said Senate President Mike Miller.

But not this time around.

Not all the bills that passed were signed into law Tuesday.  That process frequently takes months.

The first laws will go into effect July 1.

Comments (95)




    1. Graham B. Henry Jr. says:

      Why don t you tell us how you really feel.

      1. Robert Long says:

        I did. i called and left him a nice nasty voice mail. telling him what i thought of him and his bs

    2. Debbie says:

      I couldnt agree more- college is expensive and only a handful of scholarships are merit based. The majority are need based and this adds to the pot to those who have rarely put into the pot. I really wonder where the brains are in our government. Lisa

      PS. I am an immigrant of a WWII soldier- Ipaid my way for college and have paid into the system all of my life(45 years) My children fight for our freedoms. If they want coolege they need to earn it- put a uniform on.

  3. ken says:

    a fee is a tax in case you forgot omally

  4. peter higgs says:

    if they are illegal why are they still here i dont understand this and why give them anything but a ticket out of the country

    1. Graham B. Henry Jr. says:

      They were born here

      1. Robert Long says:

        so what? there parents broke the law. so lets give there kid’s a free ride. that will show them. i dont think after hearing what maryland has in store for them and there families they will ever do it again……… not!

      2. SMH says:

        NO Not all of them were

      3. j. kramer says:

        no they were not born here graham. educate yourself before making such inane comments

      4. Ryan Smyth says:

        Lest we not forget that this country was founded by immigrants. Unless you are an American Indian complaining about immigrants, you haven’t a leg to stand on.

      5. overtaxed says:

        The difference is LEGAL immigration. People came here, legally, learned the language, and did not look for special treatment. Huge difference.

        Take your head out of your rear end.

      6. Mike says:

        American Indians were immigrants to.



  6. Graham B. Henry Jr. says:

    Thank you WJZ for having this forum for people to vent.

    1. Billiam says:

      Thank you, Graham, for wasting the air we breathe

  7. Kim says:

    The difinition of illegal is: in violation of statute, regulation or ordinance, which may be criminal or merely not in conformity. So can anyone tell me why we are doing this. I like to know everyone who voted for this and make sure they do not get reelected.

    1. Bernie says:

      Kim. WJZ. the Sunpaper don’t have the balls to publish a list of the lawmakers who voted yea or nay. I tried on the internet & just a lot of *&^%$#.

    2. Terry says:

      According to the Maryland General Assembly’s website, in the Senate, the following people voted YEA for this bill (SB 167):
      Voting Yea – 27
      Mr. President Forehand Kelley Montgomery Robey
      Astle Frosh King Peters Rosapepe
      Benson Garagiola Madaleno Pinsky Young
      Conway Gladden Manno Pugh
      Currie Jones-Rodwell McFadden Ramirez
      Ferguson Kasemeyer Middleton Raskin

      And in the House:
      Voting Yea – 74
      Speaker Busch Cullison Hixson Mitchell Stukes
      Alston Davis Holmes Mizeur Summers
      Anderson Dumais Howard Murphy Tarrant
      Arora Feldman Hubbard Nathan-Pulliam Turner, F.
      Barkley Frick Hucker Niemann Turner, V.
      Barnes Frush Ivey Oaks Valderrama
      Barve Gaines Jones Pena-Melnyk Valentino-Smith
      Bobo Gilchrist Kaiser Pendergrass Vallario
      Branch Glenn Kelly, A. Proctor Vaughn
      Braveboy Griffith Kramer Reznik Waldstreicher
      Cane Gutierrez Lee Robinson, B. Walker
      Carr Guzzone Love Robinson, S. Washington
      Carter Harrison Luedtke Rosenberg Wilson
      Clippinger Haynes McIntosh Ross Zucker
      Conaway Healey Miller, A. Simmons

      go to
      scroll down the page and look under the heading “Roll Call Votes”.

  8. Patty Burr says:

    O’mallley keep up the good job .. Not a easy time with all the Stuff the rep. Are doing … You Dem. Love you .. Great Job …

    1. SMH says:

      Patty, I’m guessing you don’t have a problem with people running red lights, or robbing stores, or stealing from companies, or cheating on their taxes. These actions fall under the catagory of illegal also….

  9. bernie says:

    OMalley thinks he’s on the “Left Coast” & in Cali. with his thinking. Meanwhile the people who pay for all these luxuries shrinks while the rolls of those illegals & just plain lazy grows. There will come a breaking point & eventually someone or bodies will snap. Then watch out with all the pundits. I told you so.

  10. Dale says:

    Just another example of how our government helps themselves and anyone
    else that isnt one of their constituants. Money for illegal immigrants can
    easily be found while true citizens of MD cannot find work and are losing their
    homes and families?? There is no doubt that our government needs a total
    elected official overhaul , locally and federal. How much is enough?
    EVERYONE, go to the polls and make the changes we really need!!!!

    1. Voter says:

      I did not vote for any of these people who are ruining our country/state. I check to see how my local representatives vote…

      It’s not just here in Maryland. I noticed a downward trend once Obama was put into office… Our society is becoming more socialist because of our leader. Not that Hillary would have done any better.

  11. bmoregyrl says:

    I knew sooner or later the supporters of Owe Malley will come out. Wow really you support the illegals taking away from our children. He is not doing a good job and neither is the house or senit I want to know how voted yes for the illegal children to get a better education than my daughter because I will remind everyone who voted yes and then they can answer why they did. The children are not born here they are after they are born and now they get help where as our children does not…. I am so happy Pam Burr that you voted for the slim ball. You are as much as a slim ball as Owe Malley why don’t you keep voting for him and have our taxes keep going up. We appauled you Owe Malley supports I hope in two years someone comes along and knocks Owe Malley out of office….

    1. bernie says:

      Bmoregyrl, OMalley can not succeed himself, he will have served two terms & that is the limit set by law thank god. You get your next chance when he either runs for the Senate or if he gets a cushy appointee position in the OBama administration.

  12. nationalrealist says:

    Apparently the state government just de-legitamized itself by breaking its own laws, since illegal is obviously legal now. Hmmm, I wonder if a certain someone is playing the part of political opportunist and trying to win favor with a specific group…

    Here is a crazy idea. Let’s all start voting for people who care about the state more than their future careers. Say no to Democrats and Republicans.

  13. janet..Baltimore Native says:

    If an person is here illegally, an employer cannot legally hire them. I keep hearing that the bill to educate illegals is “good” so we can enjoy a higher educated workforce. This doesn’t make sense to me. In addition, an education stills costs $$$. Who is footing the rest of an illegal immigrants education expense? the answer: Maryland Employers. If this is the case, then the employers are hiring illegally. One cannot continue to enforce the prosecution of employers for hiring an illegal while still touting the need to educate illegals to better our workforce.

    1. T says:

      Ironically, even with a degree, if they remain illegal immigrants, no one will hire them in the field for which they received the degree. Landscaping, carpet laying, etc, sure maybe. Computer Science, teacher, business, advertiising – forget it. Nothing about this bill makes sense.

      Once they’re college age, they can apply for a student visa and start their citizenship process WHILE going to college.

      1. College Dream says:

        Okay, so then perhaps the illegal immigrants should pay full tuition amount until they complete the citizenship process… Those that serve in the military, live just over state boundaries, etc. will not receive in-state tuition, so why should those who are in our country illegally?

        No one has denied these people the right to an education. It’s just that the taxpayers should not have to foot the bill.

        How does an illegal immigrant get to pay taxes for three years legally? I still don’t understand this…

  14. TAZ says:

    Is O’Malley also signing a bill changing the definition of ‘ILLEGAL’?? Anybody up to challenging this law in court? I hope so!

    1. Fed Up says:

      I would love to find out how to get involved in that! This is an issue that should have been voted on by TAX PAYING, LEGAL, REGISTERED VOTERS in this State and not jumped over the Boarder fence. My only relief in this “law” passing is that most illegals are too stupid or too lazy to get a job anywhere else other then cutting grass and working at McDonalds.

  15. Corey says:

    Hold up you uneducated clowns!!!! I am a white student attending college at UMBC! To all the people here hating on Mexicans you need to stop, because there are more illegal canadians in this country that hispanics, you just dont think about it because they are white and you arent educated!

    1. Robert Long says:

      I dont see Canadian’s taking our job’s and using tape and glue to fix stuff at 1/3rd the price. and not speaking english expecting me to learn spanish so i can get my order right at a fast food joint. or to tell them to get out of my way when i am trying to park and they are standing everywhere in the parking lot with 20 kid’s per family and they dont move and just keep standing there.

      they have no respect for this county. they come here expecting handout’s and dont even have the respect to learn english or even slow down with having kid’s. they are trying to over populate our county and slowly turning it into mexico. because they all work job’s that pay under the table so they dont pay tax’s like everyone else. so all the tax’s we pay. goes to them for there welfare and schooling now. it makes me sick!

    2. tylerjake says:

      Note to Corey: You’re a young dumb virgin who needs to occasionally step out into the real world. I’m sure your mommy and daddy have spoon feed you, your entire life!

    3. Fed Up says:

      Well Corey, if you were so educated you would have seen the latest Cenus stating that the Hispantic races is higher then the black, white and mixed. I don’t have to think about it, I see it EVERY DAY! And, for your information, I am educated.

    4. T says:

      Cory, illegal immigrants are illegal immigrants regardless of their country of origin or skin color. Unfortunately, your data is wrong – the majority of illegal immigrants in the US are in fact Mexican.

      Take YOUR education and do some research before calling people racists. And also learn to use periods and apostrophes.

  16. Derf says:

    Recent polls show that 96% of Marylanders were against tuition aid for illegal immigrants. Can anyone explain, logically, how our elected legislators ignored the people & voted for this bill?

    1. tylerjake says:

      I know the one’s in Anne Arundel County that voted for this mess, (ie: Mary Ann Love) won’t be getting much “love” during the next election!

    2. Fed Up says:

      Sure, that’s easy! It’s because our State government could care less about what we want or think. They do what they want and just raise our taxes to pay for it. People need to smarten up and get rid of those who are responsible for these silly bills. We need to start with Victor Ramirez and his co-hort Anna (whatever her name is). If they want all these benefits for their Countrymen then they can move back to where ever they came from and run for office there. I can’t understand who voted them in to begin with, unless the illegals are allowed to vote.

      An earlier post made comment about some kind of legal action. I would love to know if that can actually be done.

  17. Doug says:

    Wake up Cory.
    We don’t see Canadians choking our hospitals and schools,
    at our expense.

  18. AMANDA says:

    Mann he don’t give a good rats behind about us. I don’t want to pay for them to go to school here. R u serious??!!! I think I pay for more then enough. He is Rewarding Criminal Behavior and making Maryland pay for it. When’s the last time he gave us A TAX CUT!!! Huh???? Breaking the backs of hard working ppl and not giving them Anything back in return but a hard way to go. Thanks A Lot.

  19. Charlie says:

    Corey, gdet a clue!! There are not more illegal Canadians here than Hispanics. There are an estimated 12 million illegal aliens (nearly all hispanic). How many Canadians are here? Not12 million. Just because you are against ILLEGAL immigrants living of off the taxpayers dole doesn’t nake you antiHisoanic.There are millions of Hispanics here legally. No one is complaining about them, just the ILLEGALS. You see, illegal means that they are here ILLEGALLY, just in case you needed a reminder.

    1. Robert Long says:

      yea. i was always told a lie is a lie. a crime is a crime. when did it become ok to lie all the time and commit crimes? i guess because O’Malley and the rest of his bag chock full limitless supply of idiots lie and steal our hard earned money. he figured he would pull a robin hood on us. Steal from the poor and give to the prisoners.

  20. Robert Long says:

    Im telling you guys. Here are the new bill’s he will be working on to pass.

    1. Free apartment’s for child molesters within a quarter mile of school’s.
    2. Free handgun’s for drug dealer’s.
    3. 8 Grand per kid no social security number required tax pay back’s for illegal immigrants.
    4. One time per year each illegal immigrant family will choose a house of there liking that a legal tax payer and his or her family reside in and move them out to the street and sign the house over to them.
    5. For every family you sneak across the boarder into maryland you get a free mini van and a 20 grand signing bonus at tax payers expense of course.
    6. change the maryland flag to a picture of a taco
    7. Force all marylanders to speak spanish. Each offense you are caught speaking english you will have to live in mexico for a week. 10th offense you will live there for ever.

    Nice things to look forward too huh?

  21. Shannon says:

    It’s not just O’Malley that is a complete idiot it’s every person who VOTED FOR HIM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. charles says:

    Corey…….you freeloader. Mommy and daddy takes care of you. Get a job, then work your way through college like most of us. How much have you paid in taxes? Probably zero. Move into the real world where honest people work, pay taxes, raise their kids and contribute to this society.

  23. sheriff willie says:

    Corey, Well lad today was a first lesson for you in going to the woodshed to get your ass ripped & did you ever deserve that spanking pimples.

  24. marian says:

    you all could start impeachment hearings for unlawful signings of illegal bills. the people of md put them in office we can take them out

  25. Raoul says:

    Thanks to the action of the MD Assembly and the incompetent Governor this state is well on its way to Third World status. Under MD law we will now punish those who work for a living and obey the law and reward those who break it.

  26. Here for How Long? says:

    Are there any provisions in place that once these illegals who get (subsidized by MD taxpayers) in-state tuition graduate that they must serve/stay in Maryland for a certain period of time? Or will they just flock here for their educations and then leave once they have received their diplomas?

    1. Robert Long says:

      no. they can flock here get into college now and within 3 year’s the state will start paying for the ones who just moved here today. but they will start paying for the ones who have been here already today. so get ready for a huge boom in our area. i did a check on alot of the Dream act sites the illegals run. And lets just say the word is out. And about 80% of the board’s members… and i lost count how many.. ohh man… but they are all saying they are putting the word out that they are going to be making there way to maryland.. ugh…

      1. This Bill Sucks says:

        Good. I just moved to Delaware, and there are too many HIspanics here. Maybe they will cross the border into Maryland now? You can take the Haitians with you too Mexicans.

  27. Subsidized Tuition says:

    How long do the illegal immigrants who receive this subsidized tuition have to stay/serve the state of Maryland? I can foresee many illegal immigrants flocking here for an education subsidized by Maryland taxpayers, get their diplomas, and say, Adios. Ah, yes… The Dream Act!

  28. Tripweavear says:

    In the end, lawmakers approved a 50 percent increase in the state sales tax on alcohol, now nine cents per dollar…It’s the first such increase in a generation.

    Oh, really? Isn’t 9 cents per dollar the same thing as 9 percent? Didn’t the increase in the price of alcohol over the span of the “generation” necessarily result in an increase in tax revenue? Are we supposed to believe that because Annapolis hasn’t raised the percentage rate in a generation that we are some how due for an increase? Is this the natural course of taxation? So in another generation we should expect 14 percent? An in another generation, they should expect 21 percent, and the next should expect 30 percent just because that’s the natural course? Here’s my take on the natural course: Cut programs, pay off debt, cut taxes. We must end the rampant fiscal irresponsibility and punch drunk spending.

    1. Robert Long says:

      I am pretty sure it will increase over the next few months until it hit’s 50% total. so yea it’s going to cost alot to drink. and its all going to the illegal immigrants. such bs.

  29. Not My Dream says:

    Wow, this is my third attempt at posting…

    How long do those illegals receiving this in-state tuition have to remain in Maryland? Did the lawmakers come up with a plan for that? Illegals will flock to our state, get educations partially payed for by our tax payers, and then flee? Yeah, that’s the Dream Act alright!

  30. JR says:

    Just another reason to leave this liberal leech infested state, wonder how long their utopia will last when all the productive taxpayers move out.

  31. Great Job!!! says:

    So pleased you signed the bills, “I hope one day you run for president.” You have my vote!!! Awesome job.

  32. C.S. Picken says:

    Every lawmaker who voted for the tuition benefit for illegals should be voted out of office at the first opportunity. Our tax dollars should not go for this and this act should be repealed.

  33. George M Hopkins says:


  34. OWE'Mally-SUCKS!!! says:

    First, we have an illegal allien president and now we are giving our tax money to more illegals. Our state government sucks!!!! We are ranking up there with San Fransico’s Nancy Polosi on the idiots scale!

  35. RavenLude says:

    wow good job raising 85 million from an alcohol tax. im sure its all going to education and disabled subjects too. Im sure none of it will go to the ridiculous liberal social programs that the dems love to spend money on.

    also love how illegal immigrants are entitled to in-state tuition now….this coming right after he cut state employee’s children from having tuition waived to having tuition slightly reduced. it must be great being a state employee, u were just told in the passed few months that the children of illegal immigrants are more important then ur own…..and u work for the government he runs and probably paid Maryland taxes ur whole life.
    congrats marylanders…..u re-elected this pathetic crook that holds his own personal and future political interests ahead of everything and everyone. all modern day politicians are crooks in some way, but this clown takes first place day in and day out.

    all those future hispanic votes when he runs for us senate and/or prez will be coming in very handy.

  36. Toker Joker says:

    Well Now that they passed the medical Marijuana bill it will be easier to get our stuff from the Mexicans !! bwahahaha

  37. Jeff says:

    Let’s be sure to remember how these politicians voted on the Dream Act come re-election time. We can make it a nightmare for them.

  38. chris says:

    owe omally is a a$$ hole thanks for taking my money

  39. Jerry says:

    And they cry “The state has no money so you don’t have a job and you don’t have a job, you came illeagaly you have a home , job , schooling.” To everybody who work’s in Maryland if you lose your job for lack of money or they found somebody to work cheaper, you know who to thank.

  40. Jerry says:

    Thank’s to O’Malley everyone start to learn how to speak Spanish. Cause it’s already on recordings and some can goods. Excuse me but am I living in America or Spain? If you want Maryland back get rid of the Spanish recordings , wrighting on can goods and the guys that hang around on Broadway and Lumbard taking jobs away from us. Let their children learn the hardway like we did when we came here following the rules.

  41. Jerry says:

    If I were Governor these are the bill’s i would sign.
    1, Learn how to speak and read English.
    2. If you are here illegaly say BYE BYE.
    3. State workers that got laid off will get their jobs back.
    4. If we don’t need it don’t spend money on it.
    5. Listen to the people of Maryland if you don’t your fired.
    and last but not least,
    6. Noone gets a raise until the economy gets better and tution for all legal citizens will be reduced one way or another.

  42. George O says:

    In recognition of the fierce urgency of now I am asking patriotic people in Maryland who know of illegal aliens on college campuses post their names, addresses, and pictures on my website

  43. George O says:

    In recognition of the fierce urgency of now I am asking patriotic people in Maryland who know of illegal aliens on college campuses post their names, addresses, and pictures on my website Illegal Alien Report dot com

  44. Marc Bagby says:

    pass the bill to give lifers a second time to come home after the parole board recommends there release after being in prison over 25 years…there old men for Gods stake …learn some forgiveness …something inside so strong….

  45. Harry Quade says:

    Why Marylander’s money going to non-Americans, when in fact it should to to Americans? Please leaders, why give away tax payer’s money to those not Americans?

  46. DUKE says:

    Just remember this clown and his goal –he said this is just the first step—DO NOT VOTE HIM IN AS A SENATOR , put him in the working piblic so he can reap what he has sown

  47. DownWithAnnapolis says:

    we need a revolution!

  48. Steven Cville says:

    What do you get when you live in a one party state run by Democrats ?

    More taxes, more meaningless gun laws, and Illegals getting discounts instead of deportation.

    How do you become Governor of Maryland?

    Win Prince Georges County
    Win Montgomery County
    Win Baltimore City
    The other counties votes meaningless

    1. overregulated says:

      Don’t forget all of the environmental regs that don’t help the environment. Strip away our rights until we can’t do anything at all…unless you live in the Baltimore-Annapolis area, then you can pollute all you want.

      The more liberal a state, the less free

  49. Steven Cville says:

    Graham is that Kool aid paid for with a Independence Card?

    Not knocking the independence card but its supposed to be a stop gap not to those who pay years of taxes not three generation hand down rights.

    And if here illegally a 300. plane ticket back home is cheaper then just one years public school education. already ranked 14th on cost per student.

    And remember Ehrlich got stuck with the ridiculous Thorton Bill passed Glenspending and the Dems with out any funding plans.

  50. prouidbluestater says:

    thank goodness that i live in a BLUE STATE. thanks gov wish we could send those red staters in md, to va, pa or better yet to NJ. we love gov amalley. no my house is not under water and neither are any of my friends. how about not helping rethugs homeowners only dems. sound like a winner to me or next time storm hits red states send them a secede from the union letter rather than fema

    1. overtaxed says:

      When al of the productive, tax paying red staters leave, who will fund your welfare check?

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