April 11, 2012

State Roundup, April 11, 2012

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WHAT HAPPENED: Around 10:30 p.m. Monday, House Speaker Michael Busch walked across the State House and delivered a grim message to Senate President Mike Miller: There weren’t enough votes in the House to pass the gambling bill, Annie Linskey of the Sun dissects what happened on the last day of the General Assembly session. Everything was unraveling. Click on the video to view Gov. Martin O’Malley shortly after the session ended.

The governor and members of the House pointed the blame of failure at the Senate, accusing its members of delaying budget negotiations in an attempt to coerce the House into passing a bill to expand gambling in the state to include table games and a casino in Prince George’s County, David Hill of the Washington Times reports.

Earl Kelly and Pamela Wood of the Annapolis Capital wrap up the session.

WHAT’S NEXT: The usual celebratory atmosphere after the 90-day session was muted during yesterday’s bill signing ceremony by the failure to enact the tax hikes the night before, forcing the implementation of a budget with another $500 million in cuts, writes Len Lazarick in an analysis for MarylandReporter.com. Here’s some video of O’Malley and Miller during the bill-signing in which they outline accomplishments and talk about failures.

The Sun’s Michael Dresser addresses what happens now: House and Senate leaders want a special session, but Gov. O’Malley is noncommittal.

Aaron Davis and John Wagner, reporting the the Post, quote Senate Pres Mike Miller as saying: “This is a minor bump in the road. We’ll deal with it in a one- or two-day session, and everything will be fine.”

Yesterday, O’Malley did not heed appeals to call a special session that would allow the legislature to finish its work, blogs John Wagner in the Post.

PENSION SHIFT DELAYED: Andrew Schotz of the Hagerstown Herald Mail reports that the breakdown in the legislative budget-approval process has frozen — if only temporarily — plans to shift teacher-pension costs from the state to Maryland’s counties.

ISSUES IN PIX: The Sun outlines issues in the General Assembly in a gallery of photos.

WHAT PASSED: The Annapolis Capital runs an AP story that offers a quick rundown of the issues that passed during the 90-day session.

GREEN ISSUES PASS: Pamela Wood of the Annapolis Capital reports that environmentalists had reason to cheer this year’s session.

PASSWORD PROTECTION: Stephanie Mlot of the Frederick News Post writes about the password privacy act that passed the General Assembly. That law prohibits employers from asking employees or applicants for social networking access codes.

FREDERICK SCHOOLS LOSE: Bethany Rodgers of the Frederick News Post reports that the state doomsday budget could slash more than $9.8 million in aid to Frederick County schools and libraries.

WICOMICO SCHOOLS: Uncertainty still surrounds the effect legislation coming out of the latest Maryland General Assembly session will have on public education in Wicomico County, Calum McKinney writes in the Salisbury Daily Times.

PG’S DOOMSDAY BUDGET: Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker spent much of yesterday working out a “doomsday” budget that he says the county will put in place if the General Assembly doesn’t move quickly to resolve an impasse that has ensnared his proposal for statewide referendum in November to allow a $1 billion casino at National Harbor.

MO CO BILLS FAIL: Montgomery County had a series of bills tied to the state budget package that died with it on Monday night, writes Victor Zapana for the Post.

CARROLL BILLS: Christian Alexandersen of the Carroll County Times lists the bills exclusive to Carroll County and what happened to them.

HO CO BILLS PASS: Starting July 1, writes Lindsey McPheron in the Howard County Times, some Howard restaurants will be able to sell draft beer in refillable containers and local golf courses will be able to serve alcohol at 6:30 a.m., thanks to bills passed unanimously during this year’s Maryland General Assembly session.

LAUREL BILLS FAIL: The Laurel Leader’s Lindsey McPherson writes that Laurel’s state lawmakers saw the 2012 General Assembly session come to a close with most of their initiatives having fallen short of passage.

DELEGATE’S BILL KILLED: Amid the many things that failed in the frantic final hours of Maryland’s legislative session on Monday, there was one no lawmaker protested: A last-minute change that could have helped Del. Tony McConkey reinstate his real estate license was killed by a committee and affirmed unanimously by the General Assembly, blogs Aaron Davis in the Sun.