January 5, 2010

State Roundup, January 5, 2010

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Zoning for Arundel slots could appear on the November ballot, lawmakers will decide if they’ll see a pay-raise and Sen. Harris is set to kick off his second-consecutive run for Congress.

Although the county and the developer have approved the building of a casino near Arundel Mills Mall, some Anne Arundel County residents hope to put the issue on the ballot. Andrea Fujii of WJZ reports 19,000 signatures need to be collected on a petition to put the Arundel Mills decision on the ballot in November. John Wagner at The Washington Post says that the company that runs Laurel Park horse track will use paid petition workers in the attempt to overturn the zoning. Here’s The Baltimore Sun’s take.

Andy Harris formally launches his candidacy today for Maryland’s 1st District Congressman. Paul West of The Sun reports Harris is making a no-new-earmarks pledge in hopes of unseating Democratic freshman Frank Kratovil.

Northrop Grumman plans to move its corporate headquarters from Los Angeles to the D.C. area by 2011. the Post reports the organization is looking for a site in Virginia, Maryland or the District. The company’s biggest customer is the Pentagon.

An anonymous somebody is not happy with the $5.2 million Mountain Road stimulus project. Allison Bourg of The (Annapolis) Capital writes that a underneath a State Highway Administration sign that reads “Putting America to Work – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” another sign was put up: “Stealing Our Children’s Tomorrow, For a Smoother Ride Today.” The second sign has been taken down.

The University of Maryland, College Park has earned the number eight ranking in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s list of Best Values in Public Colleges for 2009-2010. Julekha Dash of the Baltimore Business Journal reports that’s a one-step improvement from last year’s ranking.

The Environmental Protection Agency released a draft strategy for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay in November and it doesn’t seem like many people are satisfied with it. Today, WYPR’s Joel McCord begins a three-part series “Restoration Redux: Why Nobody’s Happy with the EPA’s New Chesapeake Bay Strategy,” beginning with reaction from environmentalists. Starting today, the head of the EPA will take over the government council that oversees bay cleanup, according to The Associated Press.

Starting tomorrow at 7 a.m., Washington County 911 calls will be answered from a new center. The upgrade has been in the works since 2001 and will hold dispatchers for the Hagerstown Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, and fire and emergency medical services reports Heather Keels of The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail.

Public safety unions say Montgomery County failed to follow contracts that provide the guidelines to administer the tuition assistance program and the fight is headed to arbitration, writes Alan Suderman of the Washington Examiner. The program awards employees funds to take courses to help them with county jobs. The program has been suspended since September.