August 23, 2011

State Roundup, August 23, 2011

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ON TAX INCREASES ETC.: The Sun’s Annie Linskey blogs that Gov. Martin O’Malley, responding to repeated questions about tax increases on WTOP radio yesterday, said: “We need to be open to a balanced approach, including, if necessary, looking at revenues. … It will not be up to me. It will take a group effort.”

You can listen to the Mark Seagraves’ interview with O’Malley on WTOP here. They speak about a variety of topics.

An AP story in the Hagerstown Herald Mail reports that state paid teacher pensions and tolls were also addressed.

The editorial board for the Sun says Maryland should put tax increases on the table.

LEGGETT ON BOARD: Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett says he and Gov. O’Malley are on the same page when it comes to exploring tax increases and Plan Maryland, the state’s attempt to control costs and unify development plans, reports Sarah Breitenbach for the Gazette.

JOB GROWTH: Just a month ago, Maryland’s job creation numbers looked bleak, but that has turned around in almost the blink of an eye, with July seeing a net gain of 8,100 jobs, reports Kevin Shay James for the Gazette.

BUILDING GREEN: Barbara Pash of MarylandReporter.com writes that beginning next year, jurisdictions in the state can choose to adopt an internationally accepted green building code for private and public construction, making it “easier and cheaper to build green,” according to Stuart Kaplow, president of the U.S. Green Building Council of Maryland.

MEET MARTIN: You can get to know a little bit more about the personal side O’Malley, writes the Post’s John Wagner, through this interview he had with CNN’s Candy Crowley. The video interview is embedded in the text.

MCDONNELL ATTACKS: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, head of the Republican Governors Association, went after O’Malley, head of the Democratic Governors Association, over Maryland’s budget shortfall, blogs John Wagner of the Post. But the assessment, Wagner adds, wasn’t necessarily fair.

TAX HOLIDAY SUCCESS: Josh Shannon of the Cecil Whig reports that to gauge the success of the state’s sales tax holiday last week, Carol Brown needed to look no further than the parking lot of the Perryville Outlet Center she manages.

RACE FOR COMPTROLLER: While the Frederick News-Post does not endorse candidates in political contests, it writes that even though Del. Galen Clagett is not currently a candidate for public office, should he decide to run for Maryland comptroller in 2014, he would make a very credible candidate.

Meanwhile, Maryland Juice follows up on the Clagett situation and throws in a bit about state Sen. Jim Rosapepe’s possible run for comptroller as well.

FEW MEET IN AUGUST: Sixty percent of U.S. House lawmakers across the country are forgoing town hall-style meetings with constituents during the August recess period, according to a review released by the nonpartisan group No Labels, reports the Sun’s John Frtize. The only lawmaker in Maryland to continue them this month is U.S. Rep. Andy Harris.

ROSECROFT: Thirty-six ministers and other members of the Collective Empowerment Group say they will fight against adding slot machines or table games at Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George’s County, blogs the Post’s John Wagner.

The Gazette’s Lindsey Robbing reports that Rosecroft Raceway is set to reopen Thursday for simulcast betting on harness and quarterhorse racing from as many as 20 harness and quarterhorse tracks around the country, seven days per week from noon to midnight.

Owner Penn National Gaming, which bought the Fort Washington track out of bankruptcy in February, plans to bring back live racing on Oct. 21, writes Liz Farmer for the Washington Examiner.

DEMS ENCOURAGED: Maryland Democratic Party Chairman Yvette Lewis encouraged Democrats to stay engaged during a fundraising crab feast held by the Dorchester Democratic Club, reports Gail Dean for the Easton Star Democrat.

BUSTED, FOR GOOD: In an op-ed for the Sun, two Marylanders describe why it was important for them to get arrested outside the White House this weekend.

FREDERICK RETIREMENTS UP: The number of Frederick County employee retirements eight months into 2011 are already triple that of some previous years, a rise possibly propelled by frozen salaries and concerns over the prospect of outsourcing government jobs, Bethany Rodgers reports for the Frederick News Post.