May 6, 2011

State Roundup, May 6, 2011

Print More

ANTHONY BROWN: In the Gazette, Sarah Breitenbach profiles Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and his role in the O’Malley administration.

CONVENTION DELEGATES: With the move of next year’s primary to April, Maryland will pick up more delegates to the Democratic National Convention, Alan Brody writes in the Gazette.

ARUNDEL SLOTS DELAY: The Sun’s Nicole Fuller writes that Cordish Cos. decision not to open a temporary slots casino while the permanent one is built near Arundel Mills will cost $179 million in lost revenues, much of which was slated to go to schools and horse racing.

Gov. Martin O’Malley said he is very disappointed that Cordish and developers broke their commitment to open a temporary facility while construction on the permanent one was ongoing, reports The Post’s Ann Marimow.

IMMIGRANT TUITION: Maryland GOP Chair Alex Mooney sent GOP supporters an e-mail endorsing the petition drive to get a repeal of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants on the ballot – even though he voted for similar legislation in the General Assembly in 2003, reports The Post’s Ann Marimow. Mooney replied that he had voted on a different version of the bill to get a temporary compromise on the issue.

TRANSPORTATION TAX: Alan Brody in the Gazette examines why the Maryland Chamber of Commerce doesn’t want a gas tax increase or other revenue proposals dealt with during a fall special session.

Opinionators at The Daily Record urge Gov. Martin O’Malley to stop being so political about the possibility of an increase in the gas tax. After all, they write, he was overwhelmingly elected last year, and has many large business interests behind him.

CAMP COST INCREASES: The state is hiking the cost of children’s camps as much as 1,900% in order to cover inspection costs, reports Andrew Schotz of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. The cost is set by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

SCHAEFER EXPLOITED FOR POLITICS: The Daily Record’s Melody Simmons writes about several Baltimore politicians and public figures writing editorials touting the legacy of former mayor and state governor William Donald Schaefer. Current Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, plus challengers Otis Rolley and Joseph Landers III, have all written theirs.

And so has developer Peter Angelos. In a letter appearing in The Sun on Thursday, the developer involved in the lawsuit over the State Center project in downtown Baltimore, writes that Rawlings-Blake insults Schaefer’s memory by urging the questioned project forward.

HUCKABEE IN MD: Former Arkansas governor and potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee hosted a fundraiser for the Maryland Republican party at a Montgomery County home, reports MarylandReporter.com’s Glynis Kazanjian.

And how did he get there? Under the protection of Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold’s county-paid security detail, reports The Sun’s Nicole Fuller. Leopold is currently under investigation over whether his security detail was used to work on his re-election campaign last year.

LESS FOR SCHOOLS: The Sun’s Julie Bykowicz reports that local school districts are asking for more than $100 million less in school construction aid this year than they did last year because of tight budgets.

In a story appearing in The Capital, the AP’s Brian Witte writes that local officials don’t want brand new schools sitting vacant for years before they can afford to operate them.

GAMBLING ADDICTION: The state unveiled two programs to help people facing gambling addictions through the new Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling, reported The Sun’s Annie Linskey. These are paid for through slots revenues.

The program is completely voluntary, according to an Associated Press story in the Carroll County Times, but participants who are seen in casinos can be cited for trespass and have their winnings confiscated.

CASINO REVENUES: The Dagger published the state’s revenues from casinos so far this fiscal year. Maryland has brought in more than $77 million so far.

BALTIMORE CASINO: WBAL’s David Collins takes viewers to many of the 13 potential slots locations in Baltimore, and looks at the city’s recent incentives to bring in developers.

GOP BYLAWS: At this weekend’s state Republican convention in Ocean City, central committee members will consider a bunch of bylaw changes, some of them controversial, Alan Brody writes in the Gazette. One would create a committee that could discipline or remove elected central committee members for misconduct.

TREATING RUNOFF: U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin proposed a bill to treat the water running off federal highways, reports the Sun’s John Fritze. Cardin proposed similar legislation last year.

HOWARD BUDGET: Members of he Howard County Council spent their time Thursday hearing about small money-saving details from county agencies – despite a $1.56 billion budget, reports The Sun’s Larry Carson.

BALTO COUNTY BUDGET: Fire Chief John Hohman told the Baltimore County Council that he can’t even afford a $7 budget cut, let alone the $700,000 reduction that has been recommended for his agency in fiscal year 2012, reports The Sun’s Raven Hill.

NO OC BENEFIT CUTS: Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan vetoed ordinances that would have cut retirement and health benefits for some new employees, reports the Salisbury Daily Times’ Scott Muska.

BAG TAX: Erin Cunningham writes in the Gazette that Montgomery County’s adoption of a tax on shopping bags could provide the impetus to pass a statewide tax next year, according to Del. Al Carr, who sponsored a similar bill in the recent General Assembly session.

FRESHMEN LEGISLATORS: Some first-year lawmakers found themselves playing more visible roles in legislative action than they had planned, Sarah Breitenbach reports in the Gazette.

NOTEBOOK: The Gazette Reporters Notebook has items on Rep. Donna Edwards; Public Employee Appreciation Day; Montgomery County Council President Valerie Ervin; Ken Ulman and nerdy Columbia; online horse racing; and Al Gore’s responsibility for the petition drive.

SMART GROWTH: The Maryland Department of Planning is proposing a new draft document on Smart Growth, Margie Hylsop reports in the Gazette.

CONSTELLATION MERGER: In his Gazette column, Barry Rascovar says the proposed merger of Constellation Energy and Exelon will give the governor and General Assembly another chance to play “electric extortion.”

MORE SCHAEFER: Former Sen. Larry Levitan shares some more memories of William Donald Schaefer in the Gazette.