November 11, 2013

State Roundup, November 11, 2013

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LEGAL POT: A narrow majority of Marylanders support legalizing marijuana, and more than eight in 10 say the consequences for possessing small amounts of the drug should be fines or rehabilitation rather than jail time, according to the latest Goucher Poll, writes John Wagner for the Post.

ANTI-TAX CUTTERS: Sensing an election-year push to cut taxes in Maryland, advocates of environmental, health and social service programs are plotting to ensure that that doesn’t happen, reports Erin Cox in the Sun.

NOT SO AFFORDABLE: The online insurance exchange had no affordable health care options for Frederick residents Susan Blaney or Sharen Gartrell, writes Patti Borda for the Frederick News Post. What Gartrell found was an option that would cost her 550% more than the coverage she has now and is about to lose. She pays $300 per month now, and would have to pay $1,700 per month for equivalent coverage available in Maryland, she wrote in an email.

HEALTH CARE DELAYS: State health officials confirmed what MarylandReporter.com first reported two weeks ago — the Jan. 1 opening of the small business health insurance marketplace will be delayed, writes Glynis Kazanjian. According to a weekly report issued late last Friday by the Maryland Health Connection, the Small Business Health Options Program will not open until April 1, 2014.

I-95 STRETCH TURNS 50: Kevin Rector of the Sun writes that on a brisk afternoon 50 years ago, Timothy Hyman snapped pictures as officials cut a ribbon to open the newest stretch of Interstate 95, connecting Baltimore to Delaware and onward north to Maine. Amid the large crowd gathered at the Maryland-Delaware border, Hyman still remembers the civil rights advocates picketing just outside his frame, calling for the interstate to be interracial and to further advance their cause.

COMMON CORE:Less than a decade ago, some schools on the Lower Shore struggled to meet requirements of No Child Left Behind. Now, reports Deborah Gates for the Salisbury Daily Times, schools are in a more rigorous race to the top of Common Core State Standards. The academic standards were implemented in Maryland this school year.

GUNS & BUCKS: Donors have been invited to bring their wallets and weapons to a fundraiser for Rep. Andy Harris on Tuesday. The Maryland Republican is hosting a “BYOG” — bring your own gun — event, billed as an afternoon of fund-raising and target practice with pistols and rifles at a gun range, reports Nicole Gaudiano in the Salisbury Daily Times.

MUSE OUSTER SOUGHT: State Sen. Anthony Muse of the 26th District is facing a serious challenge from his district colleague, Del. Veronica Turner. And people close to the delegate have said that her run is not based on her dislike for her district’s current senator or his ineffective leadership, but based on her party’s elite wanting her to run to “get rid of Muse,” writes Hassan Giordano of DVMDaily.

POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Ray Givens, a Republican candidate for the House of Delegates from Subdistrict 1C, which includes parts of Washington and Allegany counties, will speak Tuesday at 7 p.m. at American Legion Post 13 in Cumberland. This is among several items in the Political Notebook for the Hagerstown Herald Mail.

Campaign On leaderboard 11-1-2013

MIZEUR ENDORSED: Del. Heather Mizeur has picked up an endorsement in Maryland’s gubernatorial race from Progressive Neighbors, a group based in Montgomery County that is led by liberal activists, reports John Wagner in the Post.

MIZEUR SPEAKS: Montgomery County Del. Heather Mizeur, who is also a Democratic candidate for governor, spoke with Dan Rodricks on his WYPR-FM show last Friday. Last week, Mizeur proposed a cut in state income taxes and an increase in Maryland’s minimum wage.

On Saturday afternoon Mizeur appeared at an event in Baltimore City, and Bill Hughes of the Baltimore Post-Examiner photographed it.

FRICK ON ATTY GEN JOB: Del. Bill Frick, a candidate for Attorney General, joins Center Maryland for a video interview to talk about Maryland’s political landscape in 2104, the importance of consumer protection and his view on how the office of Attorney General should be managed.

mobbies-badgeANNAPOLIS COUNCIL PONDERS POWER: Mayor-elect Mike Pantelides’ honeymoon as the new chief executive of Annapolis might end before it begins, as City Council members say that next term they plan to revisit legislation that would strip the mayor’s office of much of its power, reports Jack Lambert for the Capital-Gazette.

Annapolis Alderman Ross Arnett insists the City Council’s decision to take another look at making the mayor’s job a more ceremonial role has nothing to do with party politics, reports Colin Campbell for the Sun.

PANTELIDES WINS:After elections officials spent more than 24 hours reviewing and counting absentee and provisional ballots, Republican newcomer Mike Pantelides was named winner of the Annapolis mayoral election Friday night, writes Pamela Wood for the Sun. The article is topped by a video report from WJZ-TV.

Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen conceded defeat in his re-election bid  shortly after a final vote tally was announced by city election officials. Despite earlier signals that the slim 59-vote margin of victory held by challenger Pantelides might spark legal action by the incumbent, Cohen came in person to congratulate Pantelides and declared:  “You have my full support,” report Matt Tacka and Karen Hosler for WYPR-FM.

FREDERICK EXEC RACE: About 150 supporters turned out Saturday afternoon in front of Winchester Hall to cheer on former County Commissioner Jan Gardner as she announced that she filed the necessary papers to run for Frederick County executive in next year’s election as Frederick County moves to charter government, according to a brief in the Frederick News-Post.

A WHITE ELEPHANT: Writing for MarylandReporter.com, opinionmaker Barry Rascovar writes that Baltimore City has a white elephant on its hands, a $301 million, deep-in-debt convention hotel it owns because of the folly of its former mayor, Martin O’Malley.

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