Published on June 18th, 2012 | by Cynthia Prairie1
State Roundup, June 18, 2012
Brian Hughes of the Washington Examiner writes that the unemployment rate dipped in the District and held steady in Virginia.
MGM SAYS YES, WITH CONDITIONS: Annie Linskey reports for the Sun that MGM Resorts International says it would build a resort and casino at National Harbor near Washington if the state authorizes a site there — but only if Maryland lowers the tax rate on gambling revenue and allows table games.
MGM said it has reached an agreement with Peterson Cos., developer of National Harbor in Prince George’s County, to spend $600 million building a world-class casino, Earl Kelly reports for the Capital-Gazette.
“If we’re wanted, we’re all in,” James Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM, told reporters outside the State House in Annapolis, following Friday morning meetings with Gov. Martin O’Malley and Senate President Mike Miller. John Wagner blogs the story for the Post.
Daniel Leaderman of the Gazette reports that Murren has said that a tax plan similar to one approved by the Senate earlier this year, which reduced the tax rate from 67% to 52% and placed a 10% tax on table games, was sufficient.
The project was criticized by Joe Weinberg, managing partner of the Cordish Cos., which operates the Maryland Live Casino at Arundel Mills, reports Robert Lang for WBAL-AM.
EFFECT ON OTHER STATES: Ben Giles of the Washington Examiner writes that officials in neighboring gambling states have already begun to take into account how one more casino will alter their takes.
PITBULLS: On WYPR, Dan Rodricks, who already created a stir with a Sun column blasting pitbulls, addresses the issues surrounding the dogs, the recent court ruling and the future of the dogs in Maryland with a cadre of experts on housing laws and the dogs in a two-part discussion.
ARCHIVES BURSTS AT SEAMS: Maryland State Archives officials say that the lack of space and “substandard” conditions at the warehouses have damaged some of the older items, and that employees are trying to avoid losing their grip on history, David Hill reports for the Washington Times.
OBAMA ACTION A RALLYING CRY: President Obama’s decision to stop deporting young illegal immigrants has become a rallying cry for supporters of a controversial Maryland law that would allow undocumented students to pay lower, in-state tuition rates at community colleges, writes Hayley Peterson for the Washington Examiner.
Several Maryland Democrats backed President Barack Obama’s decision to allow certain young illegal immigrants to remain in the country, a policy that advocates say will affect as many as 800,000 people nationwide, John Fritze reports in the Sun.
BUT NOT FOR EHRLICH: WMAR-TV’s Christian Schaffer interviews former Gov. Bob Ehrlich who says, “What type of signal is the government sending me: that we will recognize a particular law but tend to ignore another law? We’re either a nation of laws or we’re not. That’s my problem here.”
HOW SAME-SEX MARRIAGE PASSED: Danny Jacobs of the Daily Record writes that he found it interesting to hear Del. Kathleen Dumais’ first-hand account on how same-sex marriage passed the General Assembly. She gave the account Friday during a family law session at the Maryland State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in Ocean City.
PRIDE FEST RALLIES FOR GAY MARRIAGE: Yesterday’s Baltimore Pride Festival was as much political rally as it was party, with supporters of same-sex marriage galvanizing a base of thousands to attempt to win a looming ballot fight, Luke Broadwater reports in the Sun.
SEXUAL CONTACT WITH STUDENTS: The Post’s Mary Pat Flaherty reports that state law offers a huge loophole for part-time teachers to walk through when it comes to sexual contact with their charges.
2nd TIME FOR MUSE: For the second time during his career as a minister, a church led by Maryland Sen. Anthony Muse has fallen into financial peril, reports John Wagner in the Post. In 1999, he resigned as pastor of a church in Brandywine, taking much of his flock with him and leaving an unfinished building on which Methodist leaders said there was about $6 million in debt and bond payments that were “seriously in arrears.”
CLOSING LOOPHOLES: The editorial board for the Sun writes that state Del. Tiffany Alston, convicted last week of stealing $800 from the General Assembly to pay an aide in her private law firm, has no intention of resigning. But the voters should force her to.
PUSH TO SAVE BAY: Former state Sens. Gerald Winegrad and Bernie Fowler, former Gov. Parris Glendening and ecologists and environmentalists Walter Boynton, Thomas Fisher and Tom Horton team up to write an op-ed in the Sun saying that it is time for Maryland to drop the half-measures to save the Chesapeake Bay and go all out to stop pollutions from agriculture and new development.
TALBOT DEMS OPEN HQ: It was wall-to-wall Democrats Saturday in Easton for the grand opening of the Talbot County Democratic Forum Headquarters. The building is located just a few steps from the Avalon Theatre in the heart of Easton’s historic district.
NO JAIL FOR JULIUS: Saying that he does not agree with Julius Henson’s politics and some of his tactics, Larry Gibson writes in an op-ed in the Sun that he is compelled to defend his right to operate in the robust political arena.
CUMMINGS ON OBAMA HECKLER: Responding to questions about a reporter who interrupted President Barack Obama’s immigration address in the Rose Garden on Friday, Rep. Elijah Cummings said he expected racism “probably had something to do with it,” writes John Fritze of the Sun.
FUTURE OF DARYL JONES: When former Anne Arundel County Councilman Daryl Jones gets out of prison Thursday, his political future will be up in the air, writes Allison Bourg for the Capital-Gazette. Will he end up back in his old seat, running to reclaim it or campaigning for the House of Delegates?
WA CO BUDGET: The Washington County Board of Commissioners has settled on a fiscal 2013 budget that’s about 2% lower than this year’s budget, Andrew Schotz reports for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.