January 12, 2010

State Roundup, January 12, 2010

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In today’s roundup: officials say Maryland should be a leader in cyber security. Nonprofits are a growth industry. But an increase in alcohol taxes is a no-go, the Senate president and House speaker say.

The congressional delegation and Gov. Martin O’Malley have launched a campaign to make Maryland a national center for cyber security, Aaron Davis reports in The Washington Post. Kevin James Shay reports on the development in the Gazette, as does Nick Sohr in The Daily Record and Daniel Sernovitz in the Baltimore Business Journal.

Nonprofit organizations grew in 2008 despite the start of the recession, according to a new Johns Hopkins study reported in the Post.

Despite Tuesday’s news conference pushing an increase in alcohol taxes to pay for health and addiction programs, Assembly leaders again turn thumbs down on the proposal, Rob Lang reports on WBAL Radio, with audio of Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch.

The head of the Montgomery County teachers’ union says any hand-off of pensions to the counties is “unacceptable,” according to Maryland Politics Watch.

Del. Don Dwyer, R-Anne Arundel, wants to take away Mayor Sheila Dixon’s pension despite her plea bargain, saying that’s what the state constitution provides, according to Margie Hyslop in The Gazette.

The state budget O’Malley proposes next week will include some reorganization of state government, Doug Tallman reports in the Gazette.

The Gazette team details below-the-radar issues that this year’s session will take up.

A new study finds spending on transit projects produces more jobs than spending on highways, Sean Sedam reports in the Gazette.

University regents are asking the state higher education commission to revisit its decision preventing the University of Maryland University College from offering an online doctorate in community college leadership. UMUC would competes with a face-to-face program at Morgan State, Childs Walker reports in the Baltimore Sun.

The petition drive to prevent the slots casino at Arundel Mills mall is heating up, with the Maryland Jockey Club hiring a professional organizer, Marc Shapiro reports in The (Annapolis) Capital.

The Frederick News-Post reports senior citizens will be in Annapolis next week to lobby legislators. (MarylandReporter.com’s Len Lazarick will be moderating the questioning of Assembly leaders and Gov. O’Malley. For more info, contact United Seniors.)

“Hey, Deval, send down the lobsta,” says O’Malley in a YouTube message to the governor of Massachusetts on their friendly bet on Sunday’s Ravens-Patriots football game.  The entry in the Post politics blog also includes a legislative preview from House Speaker Michael Busch.

Martin Watcher at O’Malley Watch takes a typically jaundiced view of the departure of Michael Enright as O’Malley’s top adviser.