June 24, 2013

State Roundup, June 24, 2013

Print More

WOOING GUN MAKERS SOUTH: Connecticut will lose its first gun manufacturer in the wake of its strict new gun law, and the South Carolina economic development officials who lured them to the Palmetto state may woo disaffected Maryland gun companies next, reports Erin Cox in the Sun. “We’ll be looking at pretty much all of the northeast,” said Brad Lofton, president and chief executive officer of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp.

SCIENCE ED: Students across Maryland would see revamped science classes under curriculum standards the state school board will consider Tuesday — part of a broader effort by educators, researchers and businesses to kindle innovation in children well before they enter the workforce, reports Scott Dance in the Sun.

CHILD WELL-BEING: Eileen Ambose of the Sun reports that the Annie E. Casey Foundation says that Maryland, which has seen improvements in childhood education and health in recent years, ranks No. 10 in the country for overall child well-being. Despite the high ranking for the second year in a row, children in the state have lost ground in some measures, including a growing number of them living in poverty since the recession.

SLEEP LIKE A BABY: Maryland became the first state in the nation to ban crib bumpers, but given the potential danger of the product, educational efforts aimed at new parents should continue to highlight best sleep practices for infants, opines the editorial board for the Carroll County Times.

JOBS & UPEMPLOYMENT: Jamie Smith Hopkins of the Sun reports that the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday that Maryland employers made up most of April’s lost ground with a gain of 4,600 jobs in May, but the state’s unemployment rate still rose to 6.7%.

GEARING FOR THE BIG TEN: As the University of Maryland College Park prepares for its 2014 entry into the Big Ten — a potent conference boasting football stadiums with nearly twice the capacity of Maryland’s — the state’s flagship university needs to build its fan base, its athletic fundraising and its imprint on the region, writes Jeff Barker in a business story for the Sun.

SHA RETIREMENT: George Henry Small, the Maryland State Highway Administration’s senior traffic engineer, will retire at the end of this month, marking the end of a nearly half-century career with the state agency, writes Jeffrey Alderton for the Cumberland Times-News.

GOP PLAN: John Wagner of the Post reports that House Minority leader Nic Kipke said last week that Republican leaders in the Maryland General Assembly are developing a common plan for party members to offer voters in the 2014 elections, including tax relief.

ARUNDEL’S CONGRESSIONAL REPS: In addressing the issue of gerrymandering, the editorial board for the Capital-Gazette writes that it would be bizarre if Dan Bongino of Severna Park were to win the 6th Congressional District seat next year: Anne Arundel County’s representation in Congress would still most likely consist of four legislators, none of whom live here. But another who does live here would represent a district that is nowhere near Anne Arundel.

ELECTION UPHEAVAL: Massive turnover in the legislature is expected in the 2014 election, with at least a third of the 188 Maryland General Assembly seats changing, and as many as 50 members turning over in the House of Delegates alone, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com. Nowhere is the upheaval more dramatic than in Howard County, where two-thirds of its seats are up for grabs: two of three Senate seats and six of nine delegate seats.

Three people have filed with the Maryland State Board of Elections to run in the three House of Delegates districts in Carroll County for the 2014 election. One of those districts is also in Howard County, writes Christian Alexandersen for the Carroll County Times.

NO NEW TAXES: Republican gubernatorial hopeful Del. Ron George pledged Friday not to raise any taxes if elected, blogs the Sun’s Erin Cox. “Our economy will not grow unless our citizens and business can keep more

BONGINO HAS COMPANY: Kaustuv Basu of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail writes in his Political Notebook that Dan Bongino isn’t the only Republican hoping to unseat John Delaney in the 6th Congressional District seat. A 29-year-old former Marine says he will make his announcement on July 4.

EDWARDS PARTY:U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards will be holding a combo birthday and anniversary party open to her constituents Saturday in Upper Marlboro, according to a brief in the Capital-Gazette.

BAKER FUNDRAISER DRAWS: Rushern Baker’s fundraiser Thursday evening drew a virtual Who’s Who of Maryland politics, writes Miranda Spivack in the Post. It was also an opportunity for Prince George’s state’s attorney Angela Alsobrooks to come before a large local audience in what many in the crowd speculated could be a warmup for her very own county exec bid in 2018, assuming Baker gets a second term.

HOWARD REVISES STORMWATER FEES: A little more than a week before Howard County’s stormwater fee was set to take effect, County Executive Ken Ulman introduced a model described as simpler and more efficient, reports Blair Ames for the Howard County Times. Under Ulman’s plan, owners of townhouses and condominiums would be charged $15 annually. Owners of single-family homes on lots up to one-quarter acre in size would pay $45, and residential properties larger than a quarter-acre would be charged $90.

ARUNDEL URGED TO DELAY FEES: Del. Steve Schuh of Gibson Island, who is running for Anne Arundel County executive, and Del. Nic Kipke, the new House minority leader from Pasadena, wrote to County Executive Laura Neuman and County Council chairman Jerry Walker on Friday, urging them to delay collecting the county’s new, state-mandated stormwater fee, Pamela Wood reports in the Sun.

BUT PLANS IN PLACE: Now that a dedicated fund has been established to reduce stormwater pollution, Anne Arundel County is set to proceed with a roughly $400 million plan to address the problem, with half the money targeted for the Patapsco River watershed, writes Pat Furgurson for the Capital Gazette. The stormwater program, funded by a law set to go into effect July 1, would complete 1,134 outfall projects, retrofit 314 ponds, and restore or retrofit more than 23 miles of streambeds by the end of fiscal 2019.

DHCD BUILDING AS POLICE ACADEMY? Anne Arundel County officials should look into acquiring the state Department of Housing and Community Development building in Crownsville for a police academy, at least according to former County Police Chief Larry Tolliver, writes Andrea Siegel of the Sun.

FREDERICK FACILITIES SALE PROTESTED: Opponents of a proposal by Frederick County commissioners to sell the county’s nursing and assisted living centers took to protest Sunday, first in the morning and then in the evening, projecting anti-sale images on Winchester Hall, writes Danielle Gaines for the Frederick News-Post. The commissioners are considering a $30 million sale of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living to Millersville-based Aurora Health Management. A public hearing on the sale is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday.

CECIL EMBRACES COMMON CORE: Staff and administrators at Cecil County public schools are hard at work preparing for the full system curriculum change to the national Common Core next year, when all grades will feature redone math and English curriculum that will move away from the rote learning, or memorization, style to a more thorough understanding of subjects and how they cross each other, reports Jacob Owens for the Cecil Whig.

  • karolh

    I think it is a disgrace that legislature representatives are not required to live in the county they are serving. A representative can not possibly function at peak performance or truly build close ties to the communities and residence, if they do not live in that country.