May 27, 2010

State Roundup May 27, 2010

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OIL SPILL: Gov. Martin O’Mallley was given a lesson in oil spill cleanup and the state’s readiness in the the event an accident were to occur near Maryland shores, according to Annie Linskey for The Sun’s Maryland Politics blog. The Associated Press is reporting that if oil from the spill in the Gulf of Mexico reaches Maryland, the impact is likely to be minimal.

WJZ reporter Alex DeMetrick has video of the “what if” briefing from the State House in Annapolis.

“SIGN-GATE”: Ex-Gov. Robert Ehrlich will be making an appearance in Towson today to visit Steve Kolbe, an Ehrlich supporter who has filed a suit against Baltimore County because he believes his constitutional rights were violated when he was asked to remove a rather large “Ehrlich for Governor” sign. Bryan Sears posted the story to his Strange Bedfellows blog. Here is Bryan Sears story from yesterday for Patuxent Publishing.

John Patti and Robert Lang share a byline with Sears for the story on the WBAL Radio website, which includes links to documents surrounding the case.

GANG LAW: In an ironic turn of events Montgomery Democrat Del. Luiz Simmons wound up defending a client in court this week who was charged with violating the state’s anti-gang laws, which Simmons helped get passed during the legislative session, writes Julie Bykowicz for The Baltimore Sun’s Maryland Politics blog.

SLOTS: Continuing coverage of the trial on the anti-slots petition drive in Anne Arundel County from Steve Lash at the Daily Record and Nicole Fuller at the Sun. The judged wouldn’t permit the developer to call witnesses yesterday.

FURLOUGH: Gov. Martin O’Malley signed an executive order last week authorizing furloughs and pay cuts for state employees for the coming fiscal year, but at the request of the largest union of state workers, he added a provision granting furloughed workers paid administrative leave in the following year for the same amounts. Erich Wagner has the story for MarylandReporter.com.

ELECTRONIC BILL REVIEW: A new system for reviewing hundreds of new laws  that replaced a cumbersome and time-consuming paper process saves time and money, according to Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

PURCHASE OF CARE: Child care providers are split over a new Maryland law that gives them the option to join a union if they subscribe to the state Child Care Subsidy Program, writes Nick DiMarco for MarylandReporter.com.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCORECARD: Maryland Politics Watch author Adam Pagnucco posted a link to the the Maryland League of Conservation Voters’ 2010 rankings of legislators on environmental votes and their lifetime records.

BEREANO: Annapolis lobbyist Bruce Bereano will be fighting against a piece of legislation coming out of Baltimore County that he believes is targeted at him, writes Bryan Sears for his Strange Bedfellows blog.

ANNE ARUNDEL BUDGET: Anne Arundel County approved a $1.8 billion budget, which includes some furlough days for employees, writes Andrea Mansfield for Conduit Street, a MACo blog. The budget cuts spending by 5 percent by also barely raising the property tax rate, writes Elisabeth Hulette for The (Annapolis) Capital.

STORMWATER COMPROMISE: Conduit Street blogger Les Knapp posted the opinion of a riverkeepers group which opposed the “compromise” over new stormwater management guidelines.

BAY BRIDGE: The Chesapeake Bay bridge deck replacement project is nearly complete, Michael Dresser reports in a Sun story we missed yesterday.

STATE BUDGET: A new report shows the smoke and mirrors the state employs to hide its true financial standing, Marta Mossburg writes in a Frederick News-Post column.

HORSE RACING: Ryan Sharrow at the Baltimore Business Journal reports that wagering was down this season at Pimlico.