May 28, 2013

State Roundup, May 28, 2013

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BERETTA TO STAY: Maryland’s largest gun manufacturer has decided not to leave the state just yet, reports the Sun’s Erin Cox. Beretta USA threatened to abandon its home on the Potomac if Maryland passed a strict new gun-control law, but after the law was signed the company announced that its operations would remain in Prince George’s County for now. However, Beretta added, it would look elsewhere for future expansions.

JAIL PROBE: A month after a federal indictment alleged widespread corruption at the Baltimore City Detention Center, Gov. Martin O’Malley on Monday announced a new task force charged with pushing the inquisition further, reports Erin Cox in the Sun. O’Malley said in a statement “there is much more work to do” and called the new task force “a powerful new weapon in our arsenal.”

Annys Shin and Aaron Davis of the Post report that Antonia Allison could have been fired years ago for allegedly letting gang members stage a brutal attack on an inmate in his cell. Instead the corrections officer was allowed to resign from her job at the Baltimore City Detention Center in 2006 without any mark on her personnel record and then return to the state-run jail nine months later. Last month, Allison became one of 13 corrections officers indicted in a corruption case so widespread and brazen that it astounded law enforcement officials across the country.

SENSIBLE LAWS: You may not have liked all the legislation that came out of Annapolis in the past year, but there were sensible laws that were passed, two of which have ties to Frederick County, opines the editorial board for the Frederick News-Post. One is an agricultural law, the other would protect the assets of a murder victim from the killer.

VOLUNTARY AG PROGRAM: The General Assembly passed several laws that benefit the Old Line State’s $2.1 billion agriculture industry in its last session, but for several local farmers, Senate Bill 1029, which establishes a voluntary program to accelerate the implementation of best management practices to meet the state’s agricultural nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment reduction goals, seems to be most appreciated, reports Ike Wilson for the Frederick News-Post.

BAY BRIDGE EXPANSION: After the bridge collapse in Washington, a lot of people are thinking about bridges. And as thousands crossed the iconic Bay Bridge for Memorial Day Weekend, the Maryland Transportation Authority launched a new study to determine whether a new span should be built, according to a story on WBFF-TV.

This is just the first step in a very long process. If the state decides to build another expansion of the Bay Bridge, the construction alone will take at least a decade, reports Adam May for WJZ-TV.

The Sun’s Candy Thomson analyzes the factors going into a Bay Bridge replacement.

CONCUSSION RULES: Carroll County Public Schools officials said implementing new state requirements on concussion education and prevention won’t be a problem, reports Rachel Roubein for the Carroll County Times.

CARROLL’S GUN STAND: Andy Brownfield of the Washington Examiner writes about the Carroll County Board of Commissioners decision to take a stand against Maryland’s tough new gun law, voting to support law enforcement officials who use discretion in choosing when to enforce it. The board believes Maryland’s new law is unconstitutional.

BURY THE LINES: The D.C. government and Pepco have proposed a surprisingly innovative plan to bury 60 of the city’s most trouble-prone power lines. It should significantly reduce outages caused by wind, snow or ice for more than 70,000 households and businesses. Good for the District, writes Post columnist Robert McCartney, but the move immediately raises the question: What about suburban Maryland?

POWER WEDDING: Mark Reutter of Baltimore Brew takes a closer look at the recent wedding of Lisa Harris Jones and Sean Malone, a lobbying power couple who were married in Las Vegas with several high-powered politicians in attendance. They included Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown – who is running for governor – and Senate President Mike Miller.

O’MALLEY ON OBAMA: The task of introducing President Obama to the 2013 graduating class at the U.S. Naval Academy fell Friday to Gov. O’Malley, who is weighing a bid to succeed him, writes John Wagner in the Post.

In remarks at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, O’Malley praised Obama as “a thoughtful and resolute” leader and said the graduates were well-prepared to serve in both the military and the country’s workforce.

FUTURE OF DEMS: Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland takes a long look at the Democrats’ prospects in Congress, and how that translates for Maryland.

FOOD STAMP USE BOOMS: Across Anne Arundel County, 19,685 households are getting help through food stamps, officially the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. That’s more than 43,000 people — almost 1 in every 13 county residents, and a 162.4% increase in households over five years ago, writes Sara Blumberg in the Capital Gazette.

DUNCAN ON LEGGETT: Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett has yet to announce whether he will seek a third term in 2014, but that hasn’t stopped Doug Duncan from running hard against him to reclaim the office he left seven years ago, reports Bill Turque for the Post.