State Roundup, December 7, 2009

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Coverage of today’s planned decisions on Slots at Arundel Mills mall is all over the place. The state commission on casino locations is expected to approve the 4,750 parlor this afternoon, but a later vote by the county council is less certain. The Baltimore Sun has a breakdown of how things might shake out, and WBAL has a brief, comprehensive account.

The Washington Post has some interesting analysis about the involvement of Orioles owner and prominent Baltimore lawyer Peter Angelos, who might want to build slots at Laurel Park.

Erin Cox at The Capital has some strong words from County Executive John Leopold, who says “the stakes are too high not to continue the efforts to secure four votes.”

The Post has other commentary, from a mall manager who favors the plan and an opposition leader. Plus some questions about the timing of the evening vote, which can’t happen after midnight.

WMAR has some slots video, too.

On Saturday, the voters of Jefferson County, W. Va. signed off on table games at Charles Town Races and Slots, which some have predicted will draw business from Maryland’s planned slots-only casinos. Edward Belisle reports in The Herald-Mail that the proposal won with 59 percent support. The Frederick News-Post has coverage as well.

The state and federal governments are toughening their stances on environmental cleanup of buried waste at Sparrows Point, Mark Reutter reports in Baltimore Brew.

Brent Jones writes in The Sun about a lawsuit against the state for failing to issue food stamps quickly enough. The state ranks 41st in the country for eligible families receiving food stamps.

Clifford Cumber in the Frederick News-Post writes a column about public access to meetings between business groups and area lawmakers. He says some organizations, including Frederick Memorial Hospital and the area teachers association, won’t let reporters in.

A group of environmental advocates is set to ask federal regulators to crack down on the Maryland Department of the Environment for not doing enough to help Chesapeake Bay water quality, Tim Wheeler reports in The Sun.

Michael Dresser reports in his “Getting There” blog for The Sun that he’s been hearing good reviews for the new Maryland Transportation Administration director, Ralign Wells.

Mark Newgent at Red Maryland has a rebuttal to Sun Columnist Jay Hancock’s column last week on state-level greenhouse gas reduction programs.