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Published on January 18th, 2011 | by Cynthia Prairie

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State Roundup, January 18, 2011

CPR FOR DEATH PENALTY: Following yesterday’s stories on the state possibly reviving the death penalty, WBAL-TV is reporting this morning that state Sen. Paul Pinsky, D-Prince George’s, thinks his General Assembly committee on regulations could hold a hearing and vote on the state’s execution protocols within a month.

CLASH OVER ILLEGALS: The Sun’s Julie Bykowicz reports on the coming clash in the General Assembly over the immigration issue, with those seeking in-state college tuition for undocumented students on one side and those opposing anything that makes Maryland a “sanctuary state” on the other.

CAUCUS AGENDA: Eliminating gaps in health coverage and economic prosperity will be among the top priorities of the 43-member Legislative Black Caucus in this year’s General Assembly session, Alan Brody reports for the Gazette.

MINIMUM WAGE: Progressive Maryland will be launching its a campaign today to gradually increase the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10 an hour by 2013, according to WJZ-TV.

SLOTS PURCHASED: Maryland is on its way to becoming the proud owner of $41.5 million worth of video slot machines for the Ocean Downs and Perryville slots casinos through the sale of taxable certificate of participation bonds, reports Megan Poinski for MarylandReporter.com

VETERAN SLOTS: Not all war veterans agree with legislation that would allow slot machines in their legion halls and veterans clubs, writes Dan Dearth of the Hagerstown Herald Mail.

HAPPY BRRRR-THDAYS: Birthday greetings to Sen. Jim Robey, U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings and Gov. Martin O’Malley. Robey turns 70, Cummings is 60, and youngster O’Malley is just 48. Robey will take the plunge again, and the gov stacks up for MLK day, blogs Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

CROWNSVILLE SALE: Daniel Sernovitz of the Baltimore Business Journal follows up a MarylandReporter story about the state selling its Crownsville office complex in Anne Arundel County as part of a previously announced plan to shift several hundred state workers to new offices in Prince George’s County.

ELECTING JUDGES: The Annapolis Capital editorial board writes that in light of the election to the Circuit Court of Alison Asti, the state attorney general should recommend changes in a system that allows would-be impartial judges to emulate poor political tactics.

MEDICAID CUTS PROTESTED: Disabled Maryland residents are calling on Gov. O’Malley to avoid budget cuts to Medicaid that they fear could damage community-based support services and force them into nursing homes, according to an Associated Press story in the Daily Record.

COVERING ANNAPOLIS: Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland offers some insight into who and what are really important when reporters cover the General Assembly.

SCALED PLANS: When the Prince George’s County Council opens its 2011 session today, it will be facing a $2.7 billion budget with a gap of $77 million, meaning that, despite campaign promises, members might have to scale back expectations – their own and voters’ – before the budget is approved in the spring, reports Miranda Spivack for the Post.

HANNA DIES: Long time Montgomery County politician William Hanna Jr., of Rockville, is being remembered for spurring the county’s focus on biotechnology, the arts and moderately priced housing. He died Saturday at the age of 89, Erin Cunningham and Sean Patrick Norris write for the Gazette.

SHRIVER CRITICAL: Former Peace Corps director Sargent Shriver is in critical condition at a Maryland hospital, WBAL-TV reports. What it — and most stories — fails to mention is that Shriver — husband of the late Eunice Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics, and father and father-in-law of former newswoman Maria and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzengger — is also the father of Mark Shriver, who served two terms in Maryland’s House of Delegates in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

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