July 1, 2013

State Roundup, July 1, 2013

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STORMWATER FEES: Starting Monday, Anne Arundel County property owners will pay one of the highest stormwater fees in the state to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay, writes Allison Bourg of the Capital-Gazette. Those fees and the others that will take effect are as diverse as the 10 municipalities that decided on them.

GAS TAX HIKE: With the passage of the Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2013, the state’s gas tax will rise over several years to pay for transportation projects, writes Shantee Woodards for the Capital-Gazette. This week, motorists will see their fuel tax rise by 3.5 cents — 1% of the annual average retail price of gasoline — to a total of 27 cents per gallon.

Marylanders will see a 3.5 cent rise in the state’s gas tax — the first such increase in two decades — as well as toll rates that jump as much as 50%, reports the Sun’s Michael Dresser.

The AP’s Brian Witte, writing in the Cumberland Times-News, reports that the sales tax is set to rise again by another 1% on Jan. 1, 2015, and another 1% on July 1, 2015. If federal legislation allowing states to collect a sales tax on Internet sales does not pass, the sales tax is scheduled to rise another 1% in January 2016.

A sign outside Joe Parsley’s Shell station in Frederick criticizes Del. Galen Clagett and state Sen. Ron Young for supporting the bill, writes Kelsi Loos for the Frederick News-Post.

WBFF-TV speaks with drivers about the toll and gas tax hikes.

GOP TAX PROTESTS: Maryland Republicans will be holding two news conferences to denounce tax, toll and fee increases today, according to an AP report at WTOP-AM.

And Baltimore County Republican Del. Pat McDonough, has formed a group called Stop the Rain Tax to convince lawmakers to repeal the tax or scale it back, reports Robert Lang of WBAL-AM. Click on the audio file to the right of the story to hear McDonough.

CPR RULES CHANGE: Rachel Roubein of the Carroll County Times reports that if 15 minutes of CPR hasn’t worked, if the cause is futile, an emergency medical services provider can now stop resuscitating a patient suffering a medical cardiac arrest without a medical consult. Beforehand, to stop attempting to resuscitate the individual, the EMS provider had to call a physician on the radio, according to an assistant medical director for Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems.

GROWLERS: Under a new law, the Anne Arundel County Board of License Commissioners will be able to issue licenses to allow refillable “growler” containers, Shantee Woodards reports in the Capital-Gazette.

DEATH PENALTY: Former death row prisoner Kirk Bloodsworth joined the crowd of people outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday who would like to see the death penalty abolished, writes Jamie Smith Hopkins in the Sun. The mood was largely upbeat since Maryland is the sixth state in six years to abolish the death penalty.

DWYER CITED FOR CRABBING: Del. Don Dwyer, the state lawmaker convicted in a boating crash, has been cited for illegal crabbing, according to an AP report at WBFF-TV.

Sgt. Brian Albert said Dwyer was crabbing in Sillery Bay, the same area where he and another boater collided last summer. Dwyer was convicted of drunken boating last month in connection with the accident and sentenced to 30 days in jail, which he has appealed, reports Zoe Read for the Capital-Gazette.

TAKING A JAB AT CHRISTIE: Gov. Martin O’Malley returned Saturday to Montgomery County, where he grew up, to play a benefit concert with his Celtic rock band, writes John Wagner for the Post. He also managed to work in a few stories about his just-completed trip to Ireland and take a colorful jab at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another potential candidate for the White House in 2016.

GOV. FOR A DAY: Eight-year-old Genea Harrison, a student at Rosa L. Parks Elementary School in Prince George’s County, has been picked by O’Malley to be “governor for a day” on Tuesday based on an essay she wrote, writes John Wagner for the Post.

DISTRICT 1C RACE: Michael McKay, president of the Board of County Commissioners in Allegany County, is going to run for the House of Delegates from District 1C, an area that encompasses parts of Allegany and Washington County, according to the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.

CARROLL COMMISSIONER FILES: Carroll County Commissioner Haven Shoemaker filed to run for a Maryland House of Delegates seat in the 5th District, reports Christian Alexandersen for the Carroll County Times.

HOGAN FOR GOV? Larry Hogan was kicking himself after his brief speech to some 250 guests at his waterfront home in Edgewater Thursday night. He blew a major applause line by forgetting to mention a top accomplishment of his anti-O’Malley policy group, Change Maryland, which had just surpassed Gov. Martin O’Malley on Facebook with 46,790 “likes” compared to O’Malley’s 46,135, blogs Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

RAWLINGS-BLAKE BACKS BROWN: Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will endorse Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s candidacy for governor, blogs Michael Dresser in the Sun.

John Wagner of the Post writes that Rawlings-Blake has signaled her support for Brown previously, but Monday will mark the first time she has offered a formal endorsement in the 2014 contest.

TILGHMAN MAY BE RUNNING: It appears another candidate has emerged in the 1st Congressional District’s primary — well, sort of – blogs Jennifer Shutt for the Salisbury Daily Times. Retired lawyer Bill Tilghman is doing a bit of exploring. And while he’s not officially registered with the Maryland Board of Elections, he does have a picturesque website and a treasurer.