June 9, 2010

State Roundup June 9, 2010

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Baltimore County cupmaker Solo will cut hundreds of jobs. Local officials react, but how much job creation power do county leaders really have? Plus, GOP underdog Brian Murphy wants to scrap the corporate income tax.

SOLO GOING: Solo Cup Co. is closing its Baltimore County plant in two years, eliminating 540 jobs. Danielle Ulman and Ben Mook write for The Daily Record that local economic development officials are “rankled,” because the company didn’t heed efforts to keep the facility from closing. Here’s the take from Daniel Sernovitz at the Baltimore Business Journal. Kai Jackson with WJZ TV has a video with worker reaction.

Jamie Smith Hopkins and Lorraine Mirabella quote Gov. Martin O’Malley’s spokesman as saying the advance notice will give the state time to brace for the economic effect of the closure, but shows the recession is still affecting Maryland.

LOCAL JOBS: Local government candidates are talking about employment growth as their campaigns heat up, Jonathan Mummolo writes for The Washington Post, but experts say local officials have little ability to spur job creation.

RECESSION GOVERNOR: O’Malley embraced his role as a recession-era governor at a campaign stop in Walkersville, Meg Tully writes for the Frederick News-Post.

CORPORATE CUT: GOP gubernatorial underdog Brian Murphy wants to scrap the state’s 8.25 percent corporate income tax, John Wagner writes for The Washington Post. Julie Bykowicz writes for The Sun’s politics blog that Murphy sees the move as a first step toward scaling back Maryland’s personal income tax.

EHRLICH PLAN: Republican frontrunner Bob Ehrlich needs to be more specific about what he would do to grow business in the state, The Sun’s editorial page says in reaction to his recently-released platform.

BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS: The state is poised to chip in its share for the Baltimore roadway improvement needed to make way for the city’s recently-announced Indy Racing League Event, and will also consider the handoff of the Baltimore Inner Harbor’s famous clipper ship. Andy Rosen has the story for MarylandReporter.com.

BALTIMORE TAXES: The Baltimore City Council signed off on $20 million in new taxes, including hikes in the income, parking and telecommunications levies, according to Julie Scharper at The Sun. The cash will help Baltimore avoid public safety cuts, officials say.

ENERGY DEBATE: The money that Maryland brings in from a regional tax on greenhouse gas emissions continues to be a hot issue, as advocates debate whether it’s better to send help directly to consumers or help ratepayers reduce their bills through home improvements. Erich Wagner has a piece for MarylandReporter.com

PRISON CUTS: Baltimore City can reduce its high incarceration rate by scaling back prison time for non-violent crimes, according to a report noted by Steve Lash in The Daily Record.