October 30, 2009

State Roundup, October 30, 2009

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verybody’s covering Gov. Martin O’Malley’s announcement yesterday that the federal stimulus package has created somewhere around 4,460 jobs in Maryland. Laura Smitherman at The Sun writes that the state report on the stimulus, as well as another federal report released today, are likely to reignite the debate over the massive spending program. Though the jobs do not come close to the almost 26,000 lost during the recession, officials say they have plenty of money left to spend.

Aaron Davis with The Post says O’Malley believes the stimulus has had a larger indirect effect, creating or saving 14,082 jobs. Luke Broadwater with Patuxent takes a much more critical look at how $8 million in stimulus money to Howard County contractors created just eight new jobs. The Gazette weighs in as well.

Scott Dance in the Baltimore Business Journal reports that Maryland unemployment claims and payouts have slipped to their lowest level of the year.

Liz Bowie with The Sun reports that Maryland’s fourth grade testing standards for reading and math are among the lowest in the country.

Sean Sedam reports in The Gazette that two Baltimore bidders, David Cordish and Carl Verstandig, might be interested in bidding for Magna Entertainment’s Maryland horse tracks out of bankruptcy. However, Magna’s parent company may try to snatch them up as well.

Ed Gunts in The Sun has the aesthetic scoop on the installation of the William Donald Schaefer statue that was installed at the Inner Harbor Thursday. It will be unveiled Monday, the 88th birthday of former City Council president, mayor, governor and comptroller.

Jay Hancock relays an unconfirmed report that Electricite de France’s new boss might want to get out of a deal with Constellation energy. Barry Rascovar in the Gazette takes his typically critical look at O’Malley’s handling of the whole Constellation situation.

In The Gazette, Marcus Moore writes that Montgomery County officials are looking to raise the age when students can drop out of school from 16 to 18, but this might be contrary to against state law.

Bryan Sears reports on his blog for Patuxent that Republican Al Redmer, a former delegate and state insurance commissioner, is holding a campaign kickoff event Nov. 11, as MarylandReporter.com noted Monday in a report on Ehrlich appointees. He won’t confirm what he’s campaigning for, though the state Senate seat now held by Andy Harris appears likely.

The Gazette’s Reporter’s Notebook feature is always a good read. This week’s has a description of a friendly World Series wager between Democratic State Sen. Nancy King and House Republican Leader Tony O’Donnell.