Published on April 22nd, 2011 | by Len Lazarick0
State Roundup, April 22, 2011
SCHAEFER’S LAST ROAD TRIP: The Baltimore Sun’s Jean Marbella details the two-hour motorcade journey on Monday that will take the body of former Baltimore Mayor and Gov. William Donald Schaefer through the city that he loved one last time. Residents can say their last goodbyes to Schaefer along the motorcade or as he lies in state in Annapolis or Baltimore’s City Hall. The Sun’s Michael Dresser writes which streets will be closed for Schaefer’s motorcade, and when. WBAL TV has a video report.
SCHAEFER’S LEGACY: Opinionators from The Daily Record hail the accomplishments of Donald William Schaefer – especially in the revitalization of Baltimore – and say the best way to honor Schaefer’s life and accomplishments is for the public and private sectors to get behind a plan for a new Baltimore renaissance.
SCHAEFER’S MISSTEPS: While William Donald Schaefer is being remembered as a great champion of Baltimore, Mark Reutter writes in Baltimore Brew that the former mayor and governor wasn’t perfect, and made some poor policy decisions.
MFUME’S MEMORIES: Kweisi Mfume, scheduled to speak at Schaefer’s funeral, shares his memories of the iconic leader with WJZ’s Jessica Kartalija.
SCHAEFER & THE PRESS: The Gazette’s Alan Brody talks to reporters who covered William Donald Schaefer, with its ups and downs.
Blair Lee reminisces on Schaefer with old memories in his Gazette column.
ASIAN TRADE MISSION: Gov. Martin O’Malley announced that he will lead business leaders, educators and state officials on a 10-day trade mission to Asia – specifically to China, South Korea and Vietnam – to bolster trade and ties between the state and those fast-growing economies, reports The Sun’s Andrea Walker.
The Baltimore Business Journal’s Ryan Sharrow writes that Maryland’s Department of Business and Economic Development has engaged more than 250 Asian companies, and convinced six firms from China and Korea to come to Maryland.
AGREEMENT WITH SEOUL: O’Malley signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday morning with Oh Se-hoon, the mayor of Seoul, South Korea, for the state and the city to work together in biotech industries, reports The Sun’s Annie Linskey.
PENSION RETURN: In the Gazette, Alan Brody examines whether the state’s estimated return on investment for its pensions systems is realistic at 7.75%, quoting from some experts who say it is not. The pension board is considering lowering the rate, but probably not this year.
TAX HIKE LIKELY: Senate Budget and Tax Committee Chair Edward Kasemeyer said that increases in taxes are the way to go to fix the state’s structural deficit, and they are likely to come up during a special session on redistricting later this year, reports MarylandReporter.com’s Len Lazarick.
VAN HOLLEN SUES: U.S. Rep. Christopher Van Hollen sued the Federal Election Commission, hoping to get more disclosure of who is paying for “electioneering ads,” often sponsored by different groups before an election. In his suit, Van Hollen claims there was more than $135 million in undisclosed “secret contributions” in the 2010 election, reports The Sun’s John Fritze.
O’MALLEY SPOKESMAN LEAVING: Shaun Adamec, O’Malley’s spokesman for the last three years, is resigning at the end of the month to take a job in Boston, working as vice president of communications for the nonprofit City Year, reports The Sun’s Annie Linskey. John Wagner of The Post reports that Adamec decided to make the move to be closer to extended family members.
MORE O’MALLEY TRAVEL: The Post’s John Wagner reports O’Malley will also be the keynote speaker at en event for Kentucky Democrats on May 14.
IMMIGRANT TUITION PETITION: The petition to bring in-state tuition for illegal immigrants to referendum in 2012 was just ruled sufficient on Thursday, according to a TV report on WBFF. Del. Pat McDonough tells Jeff Abell that the petitioners lost 10 days of gathering signatures, and may sue to get them back.
ALCOHOL INDUSTRY: The alcohol industry took three hits this year in Annapolis – on taxes, wine shipping and ignition interlock for drunk drivers – but Andrew Ujifusa looks at whether it has permanently lost the influence in the legislature it once had.
GAS PRICES: Rising gasoline prices are hitting the state and county governments at a time when money is already tight, local officials tell Benjamin Ford in the Gazette.
NOTEBOOK: The Gazette’s Reporters Notebook includes items on Del. Herb McMillan legislative flight plans; Speaker Busch’s municipal honor; Sheila McDonald on WDS; Schaefer and the mansion renovations; PG mulch giveaway; the new Democratic Party director; and an oak tree for the governor.
ENERGY OPTIONS: In his Gazette column, Barry Rascovar says Maryland environmentalists are myopic on energy options.
LEOPOLD PREPARING FOR LAYOFFS: Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold introduced a bill that changes the procedure used to lay off non-union employees, a change he said came to his attention in the current “difficult times,” reports The Capital’s Erin Cox.
AA SCHOOL BOARD CRITICIZES: Members of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education were critical of Leopold’s budget plan, which uses debt service repayments as the county’s required maintenance of effort increase, reports The Capital’s Tina Reed.
EXCHANGE BOARD MEMBERS NEEDED: The new Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Board is looking for employer membership, and Ronald Wineholt, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s vice president of government affairs, blogs about how to apply.