May 10, 2012

State Roundup, May 10, 2012

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O’MALLEY LAYS OUT SPECIAL SESSION: In a news conference Wednesday, Gov. Martin O’Malley laid out the details of next week’s special session, which will  increase income taxes for individual earners with adjusted incomes of $100,000 or more, and for families earning $150,000 or more, reports Earl Kelly in the Capital Gazette.

WMAR’s video of the special session announcement.

WBAL radio’s Rob Lang has audio and video on the news conference.

Senate President Mike Miller says votes for the tax hikes will be more difficult to get in the House, Alex Pyles writes in his Daily Record blog.

O’Malley touted some of Maryland’s low tax rates, using figures from the same sources opponents cite to berate the state for high taxes and bad business climate, Len Lazarick writes in MarylandReporter.com

OBAMA ENDORSES GAY MARRIAGE: President Barack Obama declared unequivocal support for gay marriage on Wednesday, becoming the first president to endorse the politically explosive idea and injecting a polarizing issue into the 2012 race for the White House, reports the Associated Press in the Capital.

Openly gay Montgomery County Senator Richard Madaleno told the AP Obama’s support could be a “game changer” in the Maryland referendum.

However, what impact Obama’s endorsement has in Maryland remains to be seen with some experts believing it could galvanize the opposition, writes Justin Snow for MarylandReporter.com.

DELIBERATIONS BEGIN IN ROBOCALL CASE: Political consultant Julius Henson’s attorney used a stack of fake oversized money, invoked slavery and called prosecutors’ election fraud case against his client a “bunch of bull-honky” during his closing argument Wednesday afternoon, reports Luke Broadwater in the Baltimore Sun.

COMMISSIONER IGNORES ETHICS ADVICE: Frederick County Commissioner Kirby Delauter is raising eyebrows after ignoring an advisory ruling that he not pursue construction jobs in which country inspectors would have to examine his work, reports Katherine Heerbrandt of The Gazette.

GAMBLING COMMISSION COMING: Gov. Martin O’Malley indicated he will move this week to setup a commission to explore gambling issues before an expected second special session this summer, reports Ben Giles in the Washington Examiner.

POST OFFICE HOURS REDUCED: Six Cecil County post offices will have reduced hours in a move by Congress to save rural post offices and the national agency $500 million, reports Jane Bellmyer in the Cecil Whig.

BOTCHED BID: Montgomery County lawmakers have accused County Executive Ike Leggett’s administration of botching a costly recent labor bid with the county police union, reports Rachel Baye in the Washington Examiner.

SCHOOL SUSPENSION: WBAL TV’s Dave Collins examines school suspensions of children as young as kindergarteners.

CHILD SUPPORT SCAM: Fox 45 has tape of a state employee taking a cash payment to resolve a large amount of child support due. The contract worker has since been fired.