April 22, 2010

State Roundup April 22, 2010

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INVESTIGATION: The Maryland Board of Elections has asked the state prosecutor to investigate Maryland Sen. Ulysses Currie for spending campaign dollars on personal purchases and other expenses not related to his candidacy, writes Annie Linskey for the Baltimore Sun.

O’MALLEY TRAVEL: Washington Post staff writer Aaron Davis probes Gov. Martin O’Malley’s travel plans that have taken him from one side of the state to the other, attracting tremendous amounts of media attention — more so than his gubernatorial opponent Bob Ehrlich.

EHRLICH VISION: Ehrlich’s campaign lacks vision and new ideas, according to Sun columnist Dan Rodricks, after the Republican ex-governor spent an hour on Rodricks radio show. On the show, Ehrlich said O’Malley’s tuition freeze at state universities had hurt higher education, according to Aaron Davis at the Post. Here’s a link to audio of the whole WYPR program.

PROPERTY TAX : Associated Press writer Kathleen Miller is reporting that the state’s property tax will stay the same. Andy Rosen had the story Tuesday for MarylandReporter.com.

STORMWATER: Howard County is moving forward with new regulations on stormwater management, according to Nick DiMarco for MarylandReporter.com.

MIKULSKI: Sen. Barbara Milkulski (D-Md.) will officially announce her candidacy for re-election Friday, writes John Wagner, for the Washington Post’s Maryland Politics blog.

RACE TO THE TOP: Counties are beginning to get behind the state’s attempt to get hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for schools. WBAL-TV education reporter Tim Tooten has the story.

TEACHERS: School officials are attempting to finalize a grading system for teachers by the June 1 deadline. The system will likely be based on “ineffective, effective and very effective” ratings, according to Kristin Harty Barkley for the Cumberland Times-News.

PUBLIC WORKS: The state approved spending $150,000 on a home without looking inside. The structure will be demolished to make way for a new science and technology center for Coppin State University. Andy Rosen has the story for MarylandReporter.com.

SOLAR PLAN: Gov. O’Malley will announce his decision to triple the amount of solar energy produced in Maryland at an event in honor of Earth Day, writes the Associated Press. The governor plans to visit a Howard County residence to help homeowners install a solar panel.

RECOVERY ACT FUNDING: Maryland will be receiving $20 million in Recovery Act funding to develop energy efficiency building retrofit programs, according to Michele Dinkel for Conduit Street, the MACo blog. Gov. O’Malley says the money will create more than 5,000 jobs and affect 4,000 families who own or rent homes, writes Ryan Sharrow for the Baltimore Business Journal.

HOWARD COUNTY BUDGET: Sun staff writer Larry Carson breaks down Howard County executive Ken Ulman’s proposed budget. His proposal includes no employee raises and no tax rate or fee increases. WBAL-TV reporter David Collins has video for the story.

The proposed budget avoids dipping into the rainy day fund, according to Howard County Times staff writer Sarah Breitenbach.

CARBON TAX: Montgomery County officials are proposing a tax on major carbon emitters, writes Michael Laris for The Post.

SESSION WRAP-UP: Maryland Politics Watch blogger Marc Korman rounds up a few bills that passed but that didn’t receive much attention during the legislative session.