March 18, 2010

State Roundup March 18, 2010

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SEX OFFENDERS: The House of Delegates gave preliminary approval to two major bills concerning sex offenders, writes Annie Linskey for The Sun’s Maryland Politics blog. While bills passing through both the House and Senate are in place to strengthen sex offender laws, some are questioning if they are “tough enough,” writes the Annapolis Capital’s Liam Farrell.

David Collins has video report for WBAL-TV News. The House Judiciary Committee will vote on a bill Thursday that would impose a mandatory 20-year sentence on sex offenders, reports WBAL’s Robert Lang.

TAX BRACKET: Maryland Chamber Action Network blogger Will burns opposes the extension of a tax surcharge on incomes above $1 million.

TAX CREDIT: Archbishop Edwin O’Brien is urging lawmakers to support a bill that would help financially strapped private schools with tax credit given toward contributions. The Sun’s Arthur Hirsch has the story. The bill now awaits an uncertain fate in the House, according to Andy Rosen and Nick DiMarco for MarylandReporter.com

DROPOUT: According to this Associated Press story, posted by WMAR, the Senate voted to increase the age students are required to attend school to 18 years old.

STALLED: The Environmental Protection Agency may have slowed construction on a security facility to be built on the Eastern Shore because it may “adversely affect the aquatic and terrestrial environment,” according to Annie Linskey for The Sun’s Maryland Politics blog.

GAMBLING: Annapolis Capital staff writer Allison Bourg says more trouble looms in Anne Arundel county were the fight continues over possible slots in Arundel Mills mall.

GAS TAX: A bill supporting a limit to increases in gas tax seems unlikely following a hearing in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, writes Nick DiMarco for MarylandReporter.com

HEALTH CARE: Del. John Donoghue has a bill in to allow doctors to coordinate health care, Erin Julius reports in the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.

EHRLICH: According to this Associated Press story, posted by the Annapolis Capital, former Gov. Bob Ehrlich is considering a run at the Senate.

COURT DATES: Baltimore City police officials criticized a bill that would allow people who received traffic citations the option to select their own court date, writes Michael Dresser for The Sun’s Getting There blog.

SETTING LIMITS: Senators want to limit the amount of a taxes levied to property owners, writes Daniel Valentine for the Gazette of Politics and Business.

AMAZON TAX: Local retailers and national corporate giants are going at it again on a bill that would increase sales tax for out-of-state business, writes Nick Sohr for the Daily Record.

COURT JUDGES: Attorney General Doug Gansler is being criticized for a bill that would enable circuit court judges to run unopposed in retention elections, Steve Lash writes for The Daily Record.

SICK DAYS: In a Frederick News-Post column, Marta Mossburg writes about abuse of sick days and personal leave by state employees.

HIGHWAYS: Gov. O’Malley believes digital highway signs informing drivers of commute times may be having some unintentional consequences along Maryland roads, Kai Jackson reporters for WJZ. According to WTOP’s Adam Tuss, commuters are complaining that the signs slow traffic.

DATE VIOLENCE: Local families testified in favor of a bill that would add education on date violence to school curriculums, according to Kate Ryan for WTOP.

NOTEBOOK: Post blog Maryland Politics touches on the ups and downs from yesterday’s State House meetings, written by John Wagner.

PG TAXES: Prince George’s County senators are seeking limits on three taxes that could save county property owners several hundred dollars each year,  Daniel Valentine reports in the Gazette.