February 22, 2012

State Roundup, February 22, 2012

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SAME-SEX MARRIAGE TO THE SENATE: After brief debate, a Senate committee voted just as they did last year to send same-sex marriage legislation to the Senate floor for debate, Megan Poinski reports in MarylandReporter.com.

Here’s a video report from Dave Collins at WBAL TV.  Supporters remain optimistic of its passage, reports John Rydell at Fox 45.

The Daily Record has a podcast on the same-sex marriage bill with Fraser Smith and Danny Jacobs.

SUPPORTING LOCAL BANKS: Lawmakers considered legislation that would share more of the state’s banking business with community banks, reports Gary Haber of the Baltimore Business Journal.

UNDERSTANDING FOOD ALLERGIES: A new bill hopes to help teachers and school administrators understand the complexity of food allergies, the symptoms of anaphylactic shock, and how to administer an EpiPen, reports Jennifer Shutt of The Daily Times.

GUN DAY: Wednesday was “Gun Day” in Annapolis as the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on a variety of gun bills, including one that means to change the standard for issuing a handgun permit, reports Andrew Schotz of The Herald-Mail.

LAND BATTLE: A neighborhood fight in Montgomery County over a fence has sparked state legislation that would eliminate covenants that prohibit farming in the county’s Agriculture Reserve, reports Nesa Nourmohammadi of The Gazette.

MANDATING ENGLISH: Frederick County’s Board of County Commissioners voted to make English the county’s official language to the ire of some local residents, reports Pete McCarthy of the Frederick News-Post.

GUBERNATORIAL SPARRING: Gov. Martin O’Malley is set to square off with Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell at a Politico event on Friday to mark the beginning of the National Governors Association’s winter meeting, reports John Wagner of The Washington Post.

TRANSGENDER BIAS: Bryan Sears of Patch.com reports on the Baltimore County Council’s bill to prohibit discrimination against transgender persons.

Jeff Abell has video on the council vote at Fox 45.  Kai Jackson reports on the discrimination bill for WJZ.

People protested the bill outside the Catonsville office of its sponsor, Councilman Tom Quirk, according to Brian Conlin of Patuxent Publishing.

The Baltimore County Council became the fourth local government in the state to extend protections to transgender people after passing a discrimination ban, reports Alison Knezevich of The Baltimore Sun.

POOH IS POOH: Agricultural and environmental advocates hope to restrict the use of manure on farmer’s fields during winter when it is more likely to wash into waterways, reports Bethany Rodgers of the Frederick News-Post.

RESTRICTING SPEED CAMERAS: Sen. James Brochin, D-Baltimore County, seeks to restrict the use of highway speed cameras in work zones to only when workers are present.

AVOIDING ARMAGEDDON: Senate President Mike Miller said Senate leaders are trying to find $500 million in tax hikes as alternatives to those proposed by Gov. Martin O’Malley to avoid a “doomsday” budget with $1 billion in spending cuts, Len Lazarick writes in MarylandReporter.com

UNAUTHORIZED BENEFITS: Republicans are again trying to curb public benefits to illegal immigrants despite opposition from various social services groups, according to MarylandReporter.com’s Justin Snow.

SCHOOL FUNDING: Andrea Mansfield on MACo’s Conduit Street blog has more details on maintenance of effort and the pension shift to the counties.

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners plans to ask all local entities that receive county funding to lobby at the state level against the shifting teacher pension costs onto local jurisdictions, Meghan Russell reports in the Calvert Recorder.

GAS TAX: Howard County residents don’t like the proposal to raise the gasoline tax, Lindsey McPherson reports in the Columbia Flier.