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Published on December 29th, 2011 | by Cynthia Prairie

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State Roundup, December 29, 2011

STENT OVERSIGHT: The Maryland Health Care Commission sent recommendations yesterday to the General Assembly on stepping up oversight of coronary stent placements amid accusations that three doctors were performing unnecessary procedures, writes Meredith Cohn of the Sun. But the recommendations were meant to deal more generally with the state’s outdated review process for hospitals offering angioplasty and cardiac surgery.

GERRYMANDERED: Maryland officials constantly tout the state’s top schools and most educated workforce, but it may have a more dubious distinction – the least compact and most gerrymandered congressional districts in the nation, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

UPHOLDING REDISTRICTING: The editorial board for the Annapolis Capital writes that it doubts anyone was shocked when a panel of three federal judges rejected a challenge to Maryland’s congressional redistricting last week. Legally, this wasn’t a close call.

MISSING CHILD BILL: Allegany County Del. Kevin Kelly has pre-filed a bill that would require parents or guardians of a missing or deceased child to notify law enforcement officials within limited periods of time based on the child’s age, writes Matthew Bieniek of the Cumberland Times-News.

SOCIAL SERVICES: The Frederick News-Post’s Cara Anthony reports that child support collection tactics in Maryland are changing as government officials prepare to clean up social services departments statewide.

KIDS HEALTH BOOST: An Associated Press story in the Carroll County Times says that the U.S. Health Department announced that Maryland is getting $28.3 million to help provide more children with health coverage.

MarylandReporter.com writes that Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said in a prepared statement, “Since 2007, we have expanded coverage to more than 300,000 Marylanders, almost half of them children, and this bonus is a great recognition of those efforts.”

FAMILY PLANNING: An AP story in the Daily Record reports that more low-income women will be eligible for Medicaid family planning services in Maryland next week when a new law takes effect.

CHICKEN POO: Maryland’s poultry industry is worth more than $600 million annually – and produces enough waste to pile up to the top of nearly two football stadiums and create about 40% of the phosphorus that pollutes the Chesapeake Bay, writes Megan Poinski for MarylandReporter.com

BROWN RETURNS BUCKS: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has returned $5,750 in campaign funds donated by Richard Stewart, a politically connected businessman who sat on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s redistricting panel and who pleaded guilty this month to tax evasion, Annie Linskey of the Sun reports.

BLACK COLLEGES: In an op-ed for the Sun, Michael Jones and Jon Greenbaum write that Maryland needs to keeps its promise that historically black colleges will be brought on par with historically white ones.

NOT BARTLETT’S YEAR? In any other year, opines the Frederick News-Post editorial board, Roscoe Bartlett would be a compelling candidate. His views are consistent, he knows his constituency and he conveys the requisite amount of distaste for what Congress — the House of Representatives in particular — has become. But this is not like those previous 10 elections.

JUDGE KRATOVIL: Gov. Martin O’Malley announced yesterday the appointment of former U.S. Rep. Frank Kratovil, who was defeated by Andy Harris in his re-election bid in 2010, to a District Court judgeship in Queen Anne’s County, Michael Dresser writes for the Sun.

Kratovil said he was “humbled by the opportunity to serve on the bench,” M.J. Neuberger reports for the Easton Star-Democrat.

EX-UM STUDENT RUNS: Miranda Spivack of the Post writes about one former University of Maryland student government vice president and Maryland law school graduate who is a city council member. The 31-year-old is now seeking national office in California.

MLK DOLLARS PULLED: The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast will go on next month without $5,000 in money from Anne Arundel County, a loss of funding that surprised its organizers, Allison Bourg reports for the Annapolis Capital.

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