April 13, 2012

State Roundup, April 13, 2012

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O’MALLEY ON THE AIR: Gov. Martin O’Malley spent the day Thursday giving interviews to different media outlets and saying that he’d be willing to call the General Assembly back to a special session if he knew that they had reached consensus. However, report John Wagner and Aaron Davis for The Post, Senate President Mike Miller and Speaker of the House Mike Busch say they haven’t heard from O’Malley since Tuesday’s awkward bill-signing ceremony.

Listen to O’Malley with WTOP’s Mark Segraves here, and on WAMU’s “Kojo Nnamdi Show” here.

On Friday morning, O’Malley told WBAL’s Bill Vanko that he’d be meeting with leaders in both chambers about the possibility of a special session in the next several days.

The Washington Times’ David Hill reports that leaders of both chambers say they are not far from that consensus.

O’Malley did admit the blame is partially his for failing to replace $512 million in spending cuts with a package including tax hikes and alternate savings, and he expressed uncertainty about when — or even if — he would call a special session to try again, according to an Associated Press story in The Daily Record.

O’MALLEY AMBITIONS: Washington Post columnist Bob McCartney slammed the governor in a column headlined “O’Malley: So eager for presidency, he ‘forgot’ to be governor.” In it, McCartney says: “Gov. Martin O’Malley’s embarrassing setback this week suggests he’s not ready for the White House.”

O’Malley was asked about the column in an appearance on WTOP radio’s “Ask the Governor” program. “I was a little disappointed,” O’Malley said. “Bob usually has a higher level in his journalism and articles.”

Gazette columnist Barry Rascovar says O’Malley was “missing in action” and not engaged enough in efforts to resolve the budget stalemate.

DEMOCRATIC TURMOIL: The “forgot” quote in McCartney column came from St. Mary’s College professor Todd Eberly, who wrote an interesting analysis of “the turmoil in the Democratic Party” on his Freestater blog.

THE SOONER, THE BETTER: Given the fiscal uncertainty that counties and school boards are now dealing with because of the state budget, MACo’s Andrea Mansfield tells Alexander Pyles for his blog in The Daily Record that the sooner a special session is called, the better.

FAILED LEADERSHIP: The Daily Record’s editorial board casts blame on O’Malley, Miller and Busch for poor leadership and allowing personal agendas to take center stage.

MILLER SPEAKS UP, TOO: Senate President Miller was on WEAA’s Marc Steiner show on Wednesday. Listen to him here.

POST MORTEM ON SESSION: The Maryland Association of Counties’ Conduit Street blog has several entries posted on Thursday looking back at the legislative session and what was accomplished.

WINNERS AND LOSERS: In its annual assessment of the session, the Gazette list among the winners: Sens. Jamie Raskin and Ed Kasemeyer, Dels. Neil Parrott and Tom Hucker, and same-sex marriage supporters. Losers included Sen. Ulysses Currie, Gov. Martin O’Malley, Del. Sam Arora, Comptroller Peter Franchot and wind power.

PRINCE GEORGE’S CASINO SUPPORT: Those who support a sixth slots casino in Prince George’s County – the issue most commonly blamed for the legislative session’s cataclysmic end – are now trying to win over O’Malley a second time, reports Ben Giles of The Examiner.

GAMBLING: “Ya gotta win to play,” says Gazette columnist Blair Lee. Legislators are demanding sweeteners for their home counties in order to approve expanded gambling.

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES: In the waning moments of the legislative session, a bill requiring state officials and candidates to put their ethics disclosures online passed, reports MarylandReporter.com’s Daniel Menefee.

STRANGE ADJOURNMENT: At Senate President Miller’s insistence, both Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola and Sen. David Brinkley – both of whom lost primary bids for the 6th Congressional District’s – made the motion on Monday to adjourn sine die, reports Bethany Rodgers of the Frederick News-Post.

NO ENERGY POLICY: With failures of legislation to establish wind power and drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale, Maryland’s energy policy remains in limbo, writes Capital News Service’s Amanda Yeager in MarylandReporter.com.

CARROLL SCHOOL FUNDING: Poring over spreadsheets and projections, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners is at an impasse over education funding as they try to make decisions on next year’s budget, reports The Carroll County Times’ Christian Alexandersen.

FREDERICK LOOKS AT DOOMSDAY: Frederick County Board of Education members Thursday said with the county losing nearly $10 million in education funds under the “doomsday budget” passed by the legislature, everything is back on the table, including increasing class sizes and cutting positions, reports the Frederick News-Post’s Blair Ames.

ALLEGANY CUTS: Allegany County leaders don’t think they’ll be able to avoid eliminating government jobs as they begin the grueling process of balancing a budget for fiscal year 2013 with $3.1 million in cuts, reports Kristin Harty Barkley of the Cumberland Times-News.

NO CHILD ID THEFT: One of the bills passed by the General Assembly allows parents to freeze their children’s credit at any time, according to an AP story in The Daily Record.

COMING BACK IN 2013: The Diamondback’s Jim Bach lists several pieces of unsuccessful legislation – many of particular interest to college students – that are likely to return next year.

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING: State lawmakers failed to make a strong case to voters on why revenue was needed for transportation projects and should push for the funding during a special session, said the chairman of the Blue-Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding.

LAFERLA CONCEDES: The 1st Congressional District Democratic primary battle ended Thursday, when Chestertown physician John LaFerla conceded to Wendy Rosen, saying he didn’t think he would regain the lead following one absentee ballot count and a provisional ballot canvass, reports the Salisbury Daily Times’ Jennifer Shutt.

Absentee ballots put Rosen over the top, writes Simon Kelly of the Queen Anne’s Spy.

LaFerla said that he will support Rosen in her fight for the Congressional seat currently held by Rep. Andy Harris, reports Chris Knauss of the Easton Star-Democrat.

MONTGOMERY AMBULANCE FEE: Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett has proposed legislation to reinstate the ambulance fee, which was defeated at the polls in 2010, reports The Post’s Victor Zapana.

The Examiner’s Rachel Baye reports this version of the bill is identical to the one that was proposed in 2008 that led to the referendum.

BALTIMORE COUNTY BUDGET: Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz proposed a budget that’s essentially flat, reports Patch.com’s Bryan Sears.

The budget has no tax increases and a 2.8% spending increase, but reducing personnel costs by $21 million, reports Gary Haber of the Baltimore Business Journal.

Patuxent Publishing’s Jon Meoli writes that Kamenetz said a commitment to improving public education is a prominent aspect of his $2.69 billion operating budget.

ROCKY GAP SLOTS: Allegany County Commissioners signed a formal revenue-sharing agreement with Evitts Resort, the company hoping to receive the license to operate the casino at Rocky Gap resort, reports the Cumberland Times News’ Kristin Harty Barkley.

ANTI-LEOPOLD ADS: The International Brotherhood of Police Officers has pulled county Deputy Police Chief Emerson Davis’ name from its radio ads targeting County Executive John Leopold and County Police Chief James Teare Sr., reports The Capital’s Allison Bourg. Davis told officers he did not want the notoriety.

NOTEBOOK: The Gazette’s Reporters Notebook has several items on the last day of session involving Senate President Mike Miller; seersucker suits; David Brinkley and Kathy Afzali; and bad bill numbers.

HIGHWAY WORK ZONES: With the pace of projects picking up with warmer weather, Maryland highway and police officials are warning motorists to use caution when traveling through road work construction zones, Benjamin Ford writes in the Gazette.

  • Guest

    Stop spending money on unnecessary project. Replacing sidewalks,
    beautifying bridges, we are spending millions on bridges for bicycle path. I f
    we as s state can’t afford this let’s not do it. This type of activity will not
    bring more business into or state.