September 18, 2013

State Roundup, September 18, 2013

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GAS TERMINAL OPPOSED: A broad coalition of environmental and other groups urged Gov. Martin O’Malley Tuesday to oppose development of a natural gas export terminal on the Chesapeake Bay, calling it an unacceptable environmental and safety threat, writes Tim Wheeler in the Sun.

PERRY TO VISIT BERETTA: Texas Gov. Rick Perry will visit a gun manufacturer Wednesday as part of his foray into Maryland to try to lure businesses to the Lone Star State, writes John Wagner in the Post. Perry, who has been on similar poaching missions to several other states, plans a stop at a Beretta USA facility in Accokeek, just south of Washington, where a gunman went on a rampage at the Navy Yard on Monday, an aide confirmed Tuesday.

Later in the day, Perry will square off on television with Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, whose state he came to criticize, reports Erin Cox for the Sun.

Center Maryland hosts a video segment with Maryland State Education Association Vice President Cheryl Bost and Maryland businessman Martin Knott to discuss Perry’s actions. Further, they discuss the Frederick News-Post’s recent editorial, “Rick Perry’s below-the-belt cheap shot,” and how two terms of Gov. O’Malley’s integrated policy achievements led to better schools and better jobs.

BUSINESS CLIMATE STUDY: The new chairman of Maryland Business for Responsive Government is calling on Gov. Martin O’Malley to create a blue ribbon commission to improve Maryland’s negative business climate, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

NON POLICE CHECKERS OK: Zac Croce, writing in the Cecil Whig, reports that the state attorney general’s office has ruled that the use of non-Maryland State Police personnel to enter gun permit application data is in fact legal. “It is my view that the relatively minor reallocation of tasks required by the data-entry arrangement described above falls comfortably within the Governor’s authority over the Branch,” wrote Chief Counsel Adam Snyder in an official statement from the Maryland Attorney General’s office.

RESPONSE TRAINING COMMISSION: On Jan. 9 — what would have been Robert Ethan Saylor’s 27th birthday — a state commission will issue its first report on possible changes to first-responder training. In response to the Jan. 12 death of Saylor, who had Down syndrome and died while in the custody of sheriff’s deputies, Gov. Martin O’Malley issued an executive order Tuesday creating the Maryland Commission for Effective Community Inclusion of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, report Danielle Gaines and Bethany Rodgers

Gov. O’Malley appointed the national head of the Special Olympics, Timothy Shriver, as chairman of a new committee that will determine how well law enforcement officers are trained to handle encounters with people with disabilities.

BRIDGE PROBLEMS: Of Maryland’s 5,294 bridges, 204 — including tiny bridges, such as ones at Catchpenny Road and over Windsor Creek — are considered structurally deficient, report the AP’s Joan Lowy and Mike Baker in the Salisbury Daily Times.

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BAY CLEANUP: The head of a regional Riverkeeper group said a judge’s ruling allowing the EPA to establish pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay means cleanup efforts won’t be “derailed,” reports Josh Bollinger for the Easton Star Democrat. The president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, one of two groups to initially challenge the Total Maximum Daily Load developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, said the EPA’s actions circumvented state and local land use decisions.

GISRIEL IN DISTRICT 12: Michael Gisriel may have only served one term in the House of Delegates, but, by his own reckoning, he’s “literally worked every session in Annapolis since 1979,” counseling politicians and lobbying for various industries. In 2015, he wants to return as a delegate for the newly redrawn District 12, which represents parts of Howard and Baltimore counties, writes Amanda Yeager for the Howard County Times.

McDERMOTT FOR SENATE: Del. Mike McDermott on the Lower Shore, as expected, has filed to run for state Senate, challenging Democrat Sen. Jim Mathias, reports Jennifer Shutt in the Salisbury Daily Times.

CRAIG ON ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS: Harford County Executive David Craig, a leading Republican candidate for governor, called Tuesday for a sweeping rollback of Maryland’s environmental laws, saying measures passed by the state’s leaders have failed to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun.

MIKULSKI TO BACK BROWN: Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s gubernatorial campaign plans to unveil Sen. Barbara Mikulski as its latest supporter at an event Sunday, according to several people familiar with the planned endorsement, writes John Wagner for the Post.

NEW LOBBYIST: Kerry Watson, a former Prince George’s police officer who has worked as a top adviser to Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker has left Upper Marlboro to join Alexander & Cleaver, a law firm that does extensive lobbying in Annapolis, Miranda Spivack reports in the Post. Former state Sen. Rob Garagiola, the former Senate majority leader, has also joined the firm.

MO CO COUNCIL PAY HIKE? A citizens panel has recommended a 17% pay raise for members of the next Montgomery County Council, raising the annual salary to $125,000 for members taking office after the 2014 elections, Bill Turque is reporting in the Post.

MUSLIM HOLIDAYS: A coalition of Montgomery County Muslims and others are urging Montgomery County Public Schools to close on two holidays, which the coalition’s co-chair, Saqib Ali, framed as a civil rights issue, Lindsay Powers reports in the Gazette.

JONES EYES RAIN TAX: Daryl Jones said repealing Anne Arundel’s stormwater fee will be one of his priorities now that he’s back on the County Council, reports Allison Bourg for the Capital-Gazette.

COHEN WINS DEM PRIMARY: Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen earned a victory over a political newcomer in the capital city’s Democratic primary Tuesday, writes Pamela Wood for the Sun. With 12 of 16 precincts reporting, Cohen appeared to beat Bevin Buchheister, a downtown civic activist, to win the Democratic nomination 1,256 to 963. Here’s a final breakdown of the vote in all the races from the Capital-Gazette.

COHEN VS. PANTELIDES: An incumbent and a political neophyte will face off in the Annapolis Nov. 5 general election, with Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen winning the Democratic primary and Michael Pantelides winning the city’s Republican mayoral primary election, reports Jack Lambert in the Capital-Gazette.