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Published on February 7th, 2012 | by Len Lazarick

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State Roundup, February 7, 2012

CURRIE AND ETHICS PANEL: Sen. Ulysses Currie spent a long afternoon in a closed-door session with the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics on Monday, reports The Post’s John Wagner. Neither Currie nor members commented on what happened, but there were signs that the committee is close to a recommendation in his case.

Committee co-chair Del. Brian McHale only said that the committee is scheduled to meet again today, according to an Associated Press story in the Daily Record, carried in many other media.

FREE SPEECH: Attorneys for Julius Henson, the political operative behind Election Day robocalls urging potential O’Malley voters to stay home, have asked a judge to dismiss charges against him, saying the calls are protected free speech, reports The Sun’s Luke Broadwater.

HOYER ENDORSES GARAGIOLA: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer has decided to endorse state Sen. Rob Garagiola in his run to unseat Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, through no public announcement has been made yet, reports Ben Pershing of the Washington Post.

DUNCAN ENDORSES DELANEY: Former Montgomery County Executive Douglas Duncan has endorsed Democrat John Delaney, another candidate fighting to unseat Bartlett in the 6th District, reports C. Benjamin Ford of The Gazette.

KRYSZTOFORSKI HITS CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Another Bartlett opponent, Republican Joseph Krysztoforski, is becoming more organized in his run against the incumbent, reports the Herald-Mail’s Andrew Schotz.

TABLE GAMES REFERENDUM? The Hagerstown Herald-Mail prints an AP story by Brian Witte that talks about a bill sponsored by Sen. J.J. Peters that would allow voters to choose in November whether they want the state to have table games, and whether they want a sixth casino in Prince George’s County.

The Washington Examiner’s Ben Giles reports that the legislation has disappointed some county lawmakers and should pass easily in the Senate, but faces an uphill battle in the House of Delegates.

MORE TRANSPORTATION DOLLARS? Legislative analysts said last week that $870 million more in transportation revenues would not be enough for the state to meet all of its needs, reports Megan Poinski from MarylandReporter.com.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Jennifer Shutt of the Salisbury Daily Times writes about Eastern Shore lawmakers and their bill to define marriage as between one man and one woman, which they say is not likely to get support as same-sex marriage legislation moves through the General Assembly.

MO CO FIGHTS PENSION SHIFT:  Montgomery County is arming itself with data to fight the shift of teacher pensions to the county level, and officials found that O’Malley’s proposal could cost $351 million in its first five years, reports The Gazette’s Kate Alexander.

INCREASES, BUT INFRASTRUCTURE: Jim Bach of The Diamondback takes a close look at O’Malley’s higher education budget, which includes a likely 3% increase in tuition, but more money in financial aid and for university infrastructure projects.

SLOTS PROFIT: The Baltimore Business Journal’s Ryan Sharrow runs down the January figures for the state’s slot casinos, which generated nearly $13 million combined.

(LACK OF) UPDATE: Anne Arundel County Delegation members were upset by the lack of new information in what was billed as an update of the Housing Department’s move from Crownsville to New Carrollton, reports Len Lazarick from MarylandReporter.com.

WEEK IN REVIEW: The Daily Record’s Nick Sohr has a podcast reviewing the last week in the General Assembly posted on his Eye on Annapolis blog.

CONGRESSIONAL EARMARKS: A Washington Post investigation detailed congressional earmarks of projects near property owned by members of Congress that may have personally benefited the members. The article cited Maryland Reps. Roscoe Bartlett, R, and Dutch Ruppersberger; Bartlett for highway projects near his Frederick County farm, and Ruppersberger for beach replenishment funding in Ocean City where he owns two condominiums.

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