State Roundup, November 16, 2011

November 16, 2011 at 7:49 am

BROWN CONFIDENT ON GAY MARRIAGE: Saying that “the momentum is in the right direction,” Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, appearing yesterday on Maryland Gay Radio, predicted the legislature will pass a bill legalizing same-sex marriage during its upcoming session, John Wagner blogs for the Post.

PG SLOTS BAN TABLED: Three years after voters statewide approved a referendum allowing slot machines at limited sites in Maryland, the Prince George’s County Council voted 5-4 yesterday to table a bill that would prohibit slots in the county, writes Dan Schwind for the Laurel Leader.

The Post’s Miranda Spivack reports that the council also approved a resolution, added at the last minute by council Chairman Ingrid Turner, that urges the General Assembly to set a statewide referendum on Prince George’s slots then use only the county’s results to determine whether to allow slots there.

ABUSE REPORTING: As Maryland lawmakers begin to decide how to strengthen child-abuse reporting laws, which requires educators, health practitioners, social service workers and police officers to report suspected abuse to local authorities but has no penalties for failing to do so, some are cautioning against making the law too broad, writes Childs Walker for the Sun.

FILM BUCKS: Elizabeth Heubeck writes for bmore magazine that after slashing its film incentive budget last year to $1 million, Maryland set aside $7.5 million this year for filmmakers who shoot in the Free State, opening up opportunities for production assistants, costume designers and actors.

ELKRIDGE RR SITE: A new cost analysis from the CSX Corp. and the Maryland Department of Transportation shows building an intermodal railroad facility on a proposed site in Elkridge would be far cheaper than doing so at any of the three alternative locations being proposed, reports Kevin Rector for the Howard County Times.

PlanMaryland: How the state’s draft land-use guidelines would work isn’t clear, Megan Poinski reports in the third of a four part series at MarylandReporter.com.

O’M’S INDIA ENTOURAGE: Gary Haber of the Baltimore Business Journal writes that University of Maryland President Wallace Loh and Jim Seay, president of Baltimore’s Premier Rides, will be among 100 business execs, educators and elected officials joining Gov. Martin O’Malley on a 6-day state trade mission to India later this month.

According to an assistant secretary of business and economic development, Maryland’s Indian community has been pressuring O’Malley and the department for some time for an economic development trip, blogs Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com. There are now 3,070 businesses owned by Indian-Americans in Maryland with 26,000 employees, the 7th highest in the nation.

MD GOP WILL MOVE: Maryland’s cash-strapped Republican Party plans to move its headquarters from 15 West St. in Annapolis to a yet-to-be-decided location, Earl Kelly reports for the Annapolis Capital. The current office is just a few yards from Church Circle and a short walk from the State House.

HENSON TRIAL DELAYED: The trial of election day robocall trial of Julius Henson was postponed yesterday after the only judge available to hear the case recused himself, Justin Fenton writes for the Sun.

ROVE PROTESTED: An appearance at Johns Hopkins University by Republican operative Karl Rove was disrupted by members of Occupy Baltimore last night, some of whom had to be forcibly removed, Steve Kilar reports for the Sun. Occupy Baltimore provided the video at the top of the story.

INSIDER TRADING IN CONGRESS: Columnist Marta Mossburg writes in the Frederick News Post that most members of Congress are in the .01%, having seen their fortunes grow while the rest of the country suffers– and you can thank the fact that they can trade legally on their “insider knowledge.”

PERRY BLASTS HOYER: Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry took a shot at Rep. Steny Hoyer yesterday, arguing that the Maryland Democrat is part of a culture in Washington that is “making a great living up there…at our expense.”

DUNCAN WON’T RUN: Former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan has decided against making a run for the redrawn 6th Congressional District seat, and he is leaning toward backing financier John Delaney for the post instead, Ben Pershing reports for the Post.

POLICING ETHICS: The editorial board for the Annapolis Capital opines that you don’t have to be an ethics purist to think that it looks dreadful when the two people in charge of the department’s gambling investigations are being paid by the company building the state’s largest casino here.

BA CO LIQUOR LICENSING: Baltimore County could move to county-wide liquor licenses in as little as five years under a set of recommendations from a task force appointed to look at overhauling the current system, Bryan Sears reports for Patch.com.

GOP ASKS GIVE BACK: Steve Kolbe of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee, is calling on Councilman Ken Oliver to repay Baltimore County for his council salary and cost of related benefits during the nine months he held a state job in violation of a County Charter rule prohibiting such employment Bryan Sears reports for Patch.com.

Alison Knezevich of the Sun quotes Oliver as saying, “I’ll return mine when Wayne Skinner returns his for the four years he was on the council.” Skinner also worked for the state while on the council.

CUMBERLAND BAY PLAN: Matthew Bieniek of the Cumberland Times-News reports that Allegany County, in an attempt to control its own destiny, will submit its own plan to help put the Chesapeake Bay on a pollution diet to the state on Friday.

GREEN LAWSUIT IN FREDERICK: Environmental groups and Frederick County residents are going to court in an effort to block county officials from changing the recently adopted comprehensive land-use plan, Pete McCarthy writes for the Frederick News-Post.

WICOMICO SEAT FILLED: The Wicomico County Council has voted in a new council member to fill the seat of Bob Caldwell, who died in October, Jennifer Shutt reports for the Salisbury Daily Times.

TOURISM OFFICE UPGRADE: Cecil County’s tourism coordinator told commissioners she thinks her office needs its own identity and should be a county department, Cheryl Mattix writes for the Cecil Whig.

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