November 20, 2009

State Roundup, November 20, 2009

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The jury is out on Mayor Sheila Dixon in her trial for theft or embezzlement. The Sun has a bunch of pieces on this again, including two stories and two columns. Both sides made closing arguments on Thursday, and the jury stayed even later than they were supposed to.

“Have a good night, get rested, don’t dwell on this, and we’ll have you back tomorrow morning,” the judge told jurors as he sent them home, according to Brendan Kearney at The Daily Record.

The Gazette’s Sean Sedam puts a human face on some of the $362 million in state budget cuts, including 24 beds and 21 positions eliminated at a state-run center for children with emotional disabilities.

Barry Rascovar’s column in The Gazette again takes aim at what he thinks is O’Malley slow action in dealing with state budget woes.

The Sun’s editorial board believes that the state’s cuts to the Sellinger program are necessary for now, but should be reversed over time. The program supports helps pay tuition for Maryland students at private colleges in the state.

Blair Lee, the Gazette curmudgeon, talks about his personal role in the history of the “maintenance of effort” law that is the subject of our lead story today.

The Capital names two Republicans running for County Council in its political roundup.

New state Republican chair Audrey Scott is “coming out swinging,” Doug Tallman reports in The Gazette.

Tallman has an update and more detail about the federal stimulus spending on “phantom” congressional districts we initially reported on Wednesday, with comments from Maryland Reps. Roscoe Bartlett and Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader.

Nick Sohr at The Daily Record covered the job fair for people who want to work at the proposed slots parlor at Arundel Mills mall. The facility is expected to bring 4,000 jobs, “from butchers to bartenders,” though the casino hasn’t gotten state or county approval yet.

Scott Dance at the Baltimore Business Journal writes that the firms bidding for slots in the state are not used to dealing with minority contracting rules like those that exist in Maryland.

And another open house: Danielle Ulman at TDR covers a “supplier” day for potential vendors at a new Calvert Cliffs nuclear reaction, which would come as a result of the joint nuclear deal for Constellation Energy and Electricite de France approved this month.

Some women legislators are criticizing the delay in mammogram screening proposed by a federal task force, according to Erin Cunningham in The Gazette.

The Public Service Commission approved a project to place 20 electricity-generating wind turbines on top of Backbone Mountain near Oakland, according to Michael Sawyers at the Cumberland Times-News.

More on wind: Representatives of the military are questioning plans supported by Gov. Martin O’Malley to put wind turbines offshore in the ocean, Alan Brody reports in The Gazette.

Gov Martin O’Malley will be formally recognized tonight as one of Governing Magazine’s public officials of the year. The Sun’s political blog has an analysis that breaks down his campaign manager’s reference to O’Malley as “governor of the year,” something that the magazine’s editor says is “functionally true.” The magazine doesn’t ascribe that title, but there were no other governors named.

Former Gov. Bob Ehrlich says $10 million to $12 million would probably be enough to run for governor again if he decides to do so, according to The Sun’s blog. He raised about $18 million last time.