April 17, 2012

State Roundup, April 17, 2012

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BIOTECH BIZ BASHES BUDGET: Kevin James Shay of the Gazette reports that Maryland business officials are saying that if legislators allow the so-called doomsday budget to take effect July 1, cuts to important life sciences programs and others will be devastating, with 20 to 25 biotechs around the state struggling to raise capital.

TALK ON SPECIAL SESSION: Maryland legislative leaders have started talking to Gov. Martin O’Malley about a possible special session — but reported little progress as of yesterday afternoon, blogs John Wagner in the Post.

The Maryland Budget & Tax Policy Institute is urging legislators to return for a special session. It then offers a nifty calendar of events it deems are important for the upcoming week.

An AP story on WMAR-TV says that the Maryland House Republican Caucus has scheduled a news conference for today to discuss the possibility of taxes being considered in a special session.

TOO LONG AT THE HELM: Some people, including Sun columnist Dan Rodricks, believe Senate President Mike Miller has been in that job too long, that he has become a Democrat who shows less devotion to progressivism than to the sort of tired, two-bit realism we get from pols who’ve lost their idealism and enthusiasm – except when it comes to gambling.

PORTRAIT OF BUSCH: MarylandReporter.com’s Len Lazarick offers an insightful portrait of the Maryland House Speaker: Annapolis resident Michael Busch is a graduate of St. Mary’s High School, a former history teacher and football coach there. He works a full-time job as assistant to the director of recreation and parks and coaches his daughters’ basketball and lacrosse teams. At home, he is not “Mr. Speaker” as he is addressed dozens of times each day. “Sometimes they think I’m just the ATM in the corner,” he says. Here’s a few other photos.

JOBS DATA FACT CHECK: Red Maryland writes that its “friends over at Conservative Victory Maryland have a nice video skewering Governor O’Malley for cherry picking jobs data to make misleading claims.” It posts the video.

PANHANDLING LAW SIGNED: A bill that should help Allegany County law enforcement impose tighter controls on panhandlers was signed into law by Gov. O’Malley last week, writes Matthew Bieniek for the Cumberland Times-News. The law becomes effective June 1.

SPORTS EXCHANGE BILL DIES: Chris Knauss of the Easton Star-Democrat writes that a bill to allow St. Michaels High School students to play sports at Easton High, if that sport is not offered at St. Michaels, died in a House of Delegates committee during this year’s General Assembly.

COUNCIL CLAIMS KAMENETZ RETALIATION: Four members of the Baltimore County Council say County Executive Kevin Kamenetz is retaliating against them by delaying projects in their districts and denying them access to department chiefs after they voted to table the administration’s pension bill last month, Bryan Sears reports for Patch.com.

ARUNDEL’S $1.2M BUDGET: Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold’s $1.2 billion budget for fiscal year 2013, which he unveiled yesterday morning, is about $57.3 million more than this year’s spending plan and includes a 3.1-cent increase in the property tax rate, writes Allison Bourg of the Annapolis Capital.

NO CONFIDENCE IN CHIEF: Anne Arundel County Council members voted 4-3 last night to adopt a resolution expressing no confidence in Police Chief Col. James Teare, the latest example of increasing pressure on the chief in the aftermath of the indictment of County Executive John Leopold, reports Alison Knezevich of the Sun.

CARROLL BUDGET: Christian Alexandersen of the Carroll County Times reports that teacher and county employee raises may be included in the tight fiscal 2013 budget as the Carroll County Board of Commissioners took a big step to end the stalemate on the issue yesterday.

SENTENCE IN JOHNSON CASE: A former Prince George’s County housing director has been sentenced to three years and one month in prison for his role in a corruption scheme involving former County Exec Jack Johnson, according to an AP story in the Daily Record.

FUTURE OF NEWS: In Nieman Reports, from the journalism foundation at Harvard, former Baltimore Sun editor Tim Franklin tells what he would do about newspapers. Instead of printing the paper every day, “we would provide to our subscribers an e-reader such as a Kindle or a Nook. This serves the dual purpose of strengthening our print editions on key days and building an e-reading habit.”

  • Now the BS propaganda begins. If those biotechs had something to offer that was beneficial they would be able to get private funding instead of mooching off my tax money.