May 14, 2013

State Roundup, May 14, 2013

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DWYER GETS A PLEA DEAL: Del. Don Dwyer, who was involved in a powerboat crash last August that injured him and several others, will plead guilty today in Annapolis District Court to operating a boat while drunk, reports Andrea Siegel for the Sun.

One day before he was set to go to trial, the Republican from Pasadena apologized for his role in the accident near Cornfield Creek, a crash that injured seven people including himself and several children out for a day of tubing, reports Zoe Read for the Capital-Gazette.

The Post’s John Wagner reports that an attorney for Dwyer said that his client has secured a plea deal with prosecutors that will not result in jail time for a drunken boating charge.

Dave Collins of WBAL-TV reports that Dwyer is hoping to get probation before judgment.

HIGH SALARIED STATE WORKERS: MarylandReporter.com’s third annual report on state salaries found that 5,663 state employees – about 6% of all state employees – pulled in $100,000 or greater in 2012. Three out of four of these six-figure salaries are earned by people working for state colleges and universities — more than 10% of the full-time employees — led by three million-dollar coaches, reports Meg Tully for MarylandReporter.com.

DATA FAILURE? Gov. Martin O’Malley constantly touts his data-driven approach to governing, as embodied in StateStat, writes conservative blogger Mark Newgent and Change Maryland’s Jim Pettit for the National Review Online. However, they write, over the last few years, a series of legislative audits have revealed a raft of problems — a lack of accountability for the state’s speed-camera vendors, violations of procurement laws at the State Highway Administration, failure of the education department to conduct background checks for child-care workers and millions of dollars in lost and overpaid funds at the Developmental Disabilities Administration.

ANTI-GUN CONTROL PETITIONER: Meredith Somers of the Washington Times writes about Sue Payne, the Montgomery County housewife and political activist who has revived a stalled referendum effort against Maryland’s recently passed gun-control bill. She’s breaking from a plan favored by the National Rifle Association and leaving her the daunting task of producing thousands of signatures in about two weeks.

GUN TURN-IN: Nine guns were turned in at the Salisbury Police Department headquarters during Attorney General Doug Gansler’s Statewide Gun Turn-In Day, according to the Salisbury Daily Times.

CASINO BIDDERS: James Karmel, who tracks Maryland’s gaming industry, said none of the three bidders for a casino in Prince George’s County has an unobstructed path to winning the lucrative license, writes Gary Haber for the Baltimore Business Journal.

3,000 SLOTS: Penn National Gaming Inc. intends to install at least 3,000 slot machines at Rosecroft Raceway if it wins the right to operate a casino in Prince George’s County, even though the company paid an initial licensing fee to the state that only covers 500 slots, writes Alexander Pyles of the Daily Record.

ZIRKIN TO SEEK RE-ELECTION: Sen. Bobby Zirkin announced his reelection campaign Monday and said in an interview that he considered not running for a fifth term in the General Assembly after a “very, very hard session” that kept him away from his two young children, writes Erin Cox in the Sun.

Bryan Sears of Patch.com reports that the decision to run for a third term in the Maryland Senate comes a month after an interview in which he said he was considering leaving public office.