December 13, 2012

State Roundup, December 13, 2012

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DEATH PENALTY: Gov. Martin O’Malley is set to meet with NAACP President Benjamin Jealous this morning to discuss topics including repealing the death penalty, blogs Annie Linskey in the Sun.

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING URGED: About 150 local officials and transportation advocates converged on Annapolis yesterday to underscore what they said is an urgent need for hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding from the Maryland General Assembly in its coming session, John Wagner writes in the Post.

They clamored for an increase in the state’s gas tax, sales tax or tolls to pay for the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to pay for transit and road improvements, Rachel Baye reports for the Washington Examiner.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker said the General Assembly needs to act in the legislative session that begins next month, not “kick the can down the road,” writes Michael Dresser for the Sun.

SECURITY SPENDING: Lower Shore Republicans are echoing calls from their GOP brethren asking Gov. O’Malley to return money spent while traveling out of state, reports Jennifer Shutt for the Salisbury Daily Times.

FACEBOOK ETHICS: The State Ethics Commission has no plan to consider any new laws governing the conduct of elected officials and government employees using Facebook or other social media, but one local state lawmaker believes the issue should be studied. The question arose after a posting by a Frederick County employee on her professional Facebook page promoting the taxicab business of FrederickCommissioners President Blaine Young, reports Sherry Greenfield in the Gazette.

PENSION FUNDING: The General Assembly’s Joint Pensions Committee unanimously recommended yesterday abandoning a pension funding method that has allowed the state to pay hundreds of millions less each year into the state retirement system than actuaries said was needed, writes Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com.

SANDY RELIEF: Maryland’s congressional delegation is supporting an appeal for additional help for individuals on the Lower Shore and elsewhere affected by Superstorm Sandy, according to an AP report in the Salisbury Daily Times.

Early estimates show Superstorm Sandy set back Frederick County and its municipalities by at least $740,000, and the bill is growing, reports Bethany Rodgers in the Frederick News-Post.

SENATOR’S CAR VANDALIZED: State Sen. Bill Ferguson doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence that vandals have targeted his car at his Canton home twice in the last two years, pouring some sort of acid, manure and compost on the vehicle and trying to shove potatoes in the tailpipe, reports WBFF-TV.

OUT OF STEP? David Moon at Maryland Juice posts two items concerning voting patterns in Maryland compared to the views of the state legislators, showing that some lawmakers may be out of step with their constituents.

CARDIN ON HUMAN RIGHTS: In an op-ed for the Sun, Neil Simon of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly writes that the passage of a new U.S.-Russia trade law has done more than showcase U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin’s dedication to international human rights. He has catapulted human rights atop the international agenda and brought new attention to the U.S. Helsinki Commission that he chairs.

RICH COUNTIES: Two of the 10 richest counties in the nation are in Maryland, and four are in Virginia, as median household incomes rise and Washingtonians benefit from a government-driven economy, Ben Giles reports for the Washington Examiner.

DELANEY STAFF: Ben Pershing of the Post is reporting that U.S. Rep.-elect John Delaney is filling out the upper ranks of his staff, announcing a roster of hires that includes a longtime aide to a fellow Maryland Democrat, Rep. Steny Hoyer.

ACLU SUES LEOPOLD: Erin Cox of the Sun reports that 11 people and the state ACLU sued Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold yesterday, contending that the county illegally compiled files about citizens on Leopold’s alleged “enemies list,” then refused to release the information collected.

The lawsuit asks a judge to order the county to turn over all of the files, whose existence came to light when Leopold was indicted by a state grand jury in March. The county executive’s office and the county police department are also named in the lawsuit, reports Allison Bourg of the Capital-Gazette.

WA CO DEVELOPMENT: Washington County is reluctantly moving ahead with a land-category map to comply with a state law limiting development in rural areas, reports Andrew Schotz for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. The map, as proposed, would place about 58% of the county in the most restrictive category.

SNOWDEN PBJ: The probation before judgment given to Annapolis civil rights leader Carl Snowden in his 2010 drunken driving case was illegal according to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, Allison Bourg of the Capital-Gazette writes.

BOGEYMAN IN FREDERICK: Frederick County Commissioners President Blaine Young said that the state bogeyman is holding the Frederick County’s planning authority hostage, reports Patti Borda for the Frederick News-Post.

  • Bruce Robinson

    Maryland Juice leads, and not for the first time, with citation of an annonymous source. i suggest annonymously sourced items dimished this aggregation almost as much as they diminish themselves.