May 6, 2010

State Roundup May 6, 2010

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RATINGS: Longtime political columnist Frank DeFilippo takes a critical look at the role the bond rating agencies have played in the state’s “golden” triple A bond rating. Frank writes a weekly column in SpliceToday. From last week, here’s Flip’s typically partisan analysis of the “misguided populism” of Republicans Bob Ehrlich and Brian Murphy.

METRO: Washington Post metro columnist Robert McCartney says Maryland is a “deadbeat” for shortchanging Metro by $28 million in capital funds, while struggling Virginia and D.C. are paying what they owe.

COMPTROLLER RACE: William Campbell, a former chief financial officer of Amtrak, wants to run against state comptroller Peter Franchot, according to John Wagner for The Post’s Maryland Politics blog. And is state Sen. E.J. Pipkin in the mix as well?

STORMWATER: Frederick County is adopting a new stormwater compromise much earlier than expected, notes Meg Tully for the Frederick News-Post.

GENERATORS: New laws on the books will make it easier for Marylander homeowners to sell power back to the electricity grid, if they own small generators like solar panels or wind turbines. Erich Wagner has the story for MarylandReporter.com.

HEALTH CARE REFORM: The Health Care Reform Coordinating Council, created by Gov. O’Malley, will meet for the first time Thursday. The panel’s purpose is to implement new federal health care standards in Maryland, according to the Associated Press.

TOWSON CENTER: State fiscal leaders balked Wednesday at the price tag for a new arena at Towson University, Andy Rosen writes for MarylandReporter.com, after a design change intended to quell community opposition increased the expected cost by more than two thirds.

GANSLER ENDORSES: Attorney General Doug Gansler is endorsing Kevin Kamenetz for Baltimore County executive, writes Mary Gail Hare for The Baltimore Sun. Bryan Sears had the story early Wednesday for Patuxent.

BAY RESTORATION: Federal lawmakers will be given an update for how to implement a new strategy for protecting the Chesapeake Bay, according to the Associated Press.

BOND BILLS: House Appropriations Committee Chairman Norm Conway used an appearance before the Board of Public Works as an opportunity to score a few points for bond bills, the legislative set-asides for nonprofits that became a bone of contention during budget talks this year. Andy Rosen has the story for MarylandReporter.com.

JOB CREATION: Gov. Martin O’Malley swung through Anne Arundel County recently touting his administration’s initiatives on job creation, in an attempt to prove the state is handling the recession proactively. Liam Farrell has the story for The (Annapolis) CapitalBIOTECH: Gov. O’Malley was awarded Bio Governor of the Year for his support of the biotechnology industry in Maryland. Mary Bubala has the story for WJZ, including video.

BRONROTT: Maryland Politics Watch Blogger Marc Korman recounts a District 16 Town Hall Meeting, where colleagues and constituents gave an emotional sendoff for Del. Bill Bronrott.

HECHT: State Del. Sue Hecht is taking up an old position as CEO of Heartly House Inc., writes Pam Rigaux for the Frederick News-Post.

MANDEL ROASTED: Former Gov. Marvin Mandel escaped his roast with minimal burns, reports Liam Farrell for The (Annapolis) Capital.

GOP SUPPORT: In what has become a series for the conservative blog, Red Maryland editors are continuing to voice their support of local Republican candidates. Yesterday, the staff voiced their approval for Vic Bernson for Delegate.

FEDERAL IMMIGRATION: Prince George’s lawmakers are defending the national initiative to check nonviolent offenders against federal databases for immigration violations, writes Daniel Valentine for The Gazette.

WASHINGTON COUNTY ROUNDUP: For The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail, Andrew Schotz lists 10 bills signed into law Tuesday that affect Washington County.

RNC DEPARTURE: Three of former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele’s staffers in the Republican National Convention communications office have left, or are in the process of doing so, writes Paul West for The Sun’s Maryland Politics blog.

MONTGOMERY BUDGET: Rifts in Montgomery’s planned budget have forced the county to suspend its candidate endorsement process, writes Michael Laris for The Post’s Maryland Politics blog.