December 16, 2009

State Roundup, December 16, 2009

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Today’s roundup features questions about the Seagirt and slots computer deals before the Board of Public Works today, a plan for table games at Rosecroft Raceway, and a look ahead at the state revenue projection scheduled this afternoon.

The state needs to take a closer look at the deal to give up control of Seagirt Marine Terminal to a private firm, Jay Hancock writes in his column for The Baltimore Sun. He interviews an expert that believes the consideration for the plan, which could get approval Wednesday, is inadequate.

The state will learn how much revenue it can expect for the next year in at a Wednesday meeting of the Board of Revenue Estimates, and Rob Lang at WBAL writes that officials are “cautiously optimistic” that further spending cuts won’t be necessary.

The company that the state is considering on Wednesday for a contract to operate the central computer system for Maryland’s slot machine program has a few issues in its past, according to Laura Smitherman at The Sun.

The developer who is trying to buy Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George’s County plans a “full-court press” to try to get lawmakers to approve table games such as poker there, Liz Farmer reports in The Daily Record. Senate President Mike Miller says the project would need local legislative support, but he doesn’t oppose it.

The Washington Post’s editorial page says Maryland lawmakers should approve a measure that would record General Assembly committee votes online. It’s too difficult to get voting records now, the piece argues.

Orioles owner and prominent Baltimore attorney Peter Angelos is not bidding on Laurel Park and Pimlico race tracks, which are being sold out of Bankruptcy.  John Wagner has the story at the Post’s Maryland political blog.

Montgomery County wants the General Assembly to approve an exception from the law that requires it to spend as much on education as it did last year or face state funding penalties. County Executive Isiah Leggett calls the maintenance of effort requirement a “stupid law,” according to Marcus Moore at The Gazette.

Tim Wheeler at The Sun takes a look at the state’s greenhouse gas “cap and trade” program in the context of national and global climate change efforts, and says Maryland’s program costs the average Baltimore Gas & Electric customer about $1.25 per month while providing environmental benefit.

Danielle Ulman at The Daily Record writes about a University of Maryland study that says state energy efficiency spending could save customers money and help Maryland further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Maryland and Virginia have asked for $365 million from the federal government to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay, Sean Sedam reports in The Gazette.

Mark Newgent at Red Maryland has some details that he feels call into question the state’s climate change studies, and he discusses who is paying for the research.

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown announced $865,000 in grants for colleges and universities around the state. The money is intended to spur training for new jobs coming with the U.S. military base realignment and closure process.

On the Eastern Shore, about 4,000 people have gotten health care coverage under an expansion program passed by the state in 2007, Laura D’Alessandro writes in The (Salisbury) Daily Times.

Carroll County officials will meet with local lawmakers today to discuss their legislative agenda,  Adam Bednar writes in the Carroll County Times. Among the local bills they are looking for is legislation that would allow a tax credit for green development, new laws to allow casino nights for nonprofits, and a pay raise for the county sheriff.

BMW is going to start shipping about 50,000 vehicles annually through the Port of Baltimore next year, Scott Dance reports in the Baltimore Business Journal.