April 24, 2014

State Roundup, April 24, 2014

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COMMON CORE PART 3: Glynis Kazanjian, in Part 3 of MarylandReporter.com’s 3-part series on the Common Core, answers two of the most pressing questions for Marylanders: how are the standards working in Maryland and what will they cost?

LEGISLATIVE WRAPUP:Marc Steiner of WEAA-FM hosts a legislative update on Wednesday with Sara Love, of the ACLU of Maryland, and Dels. Dan Morhaim, Mary Washington and Kathy Szeliga.

$404M STRUCTURAL DEFICIT: Mark Newgent of Red Maryland writes that Gov. Martin O’Malley will leave his successor with a lovely house warming gift of a $404 million structural deficit. Although O’Malley’s fiscal 2015 budget reduced the structural deficit from $506 million to $236 million, the ongoing imbalance between spending and revenues means Maryland’s chronic structural deficit will increase by $168 million in fiscal 2016, according to the 90 Day Report for the 2014 Legislative Session.

HARMFUL POLICIES, UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Sean Miskell for Maryland’s Money Matters writes that while the General Assembly should be commended for taking several steps to improve the lives of working Marylanders and their families, it also enacted some potentially harmful policies and left a pile of unfinished business that should be on the agenda for the 2015 session.

FOR A BETTER BAY: In an op-ed in the Salisbury Daily Times, Tom Horton writes about how to achieve a better, cleaner Chesapeake Bay without the millions of beavers that used to be ones who performed that duty.

MOCO LAWMAKERS & MORTICIANS: Blair Lee, who Gazette column has moved to Wednesdays, asks: What do Montgomery County lawmakers and morticians have in common? They’re both good at making corpses look lifelike. For MoCo lawmakers the corpse is the county’s statehouse quest for more school construction money, their priority in this year’s General Assembly. It’s dead as a doornail but MoCo’s lawmakers are painting it a “great news” victory.

REMEMBERING TORREY BROWN: Fraser Smith of WYPR-FM salutes the late Torrey Brown, a physician, legislator and defender of the environment. He was a one-of- a- kind talent his friends say. He was rumpled . He tended to mumble. He took care to avoid credit for the things he did.

KOPP VISITS HORSE FARMS: Cheryl Mattix of the Cecil Whig reports that state Treasurer Nancy Kopp visited Winbak Farm in Chesapeake City Monday as the final of four stops to visit a variety of horse breeding farms in Maryland.

CURRY HAS CANCER: Arelis Hernández of the Washington Post reports that former Prince George’s County Executive Wayne Curry, 63, has been diagnosed with lung cancer according to two people who heard a recorded announcement that Curry sent friends and business associates this week. In the audio message, Curry — who did not return phone and e-mail messages from the Post on Wednesday — said he has a hard fight ahead of him.

VANISHING VOTERS: With the number of voters dropping – especially for primary elections – Laslo Boyd of Center Maryland ponders the affect it will have on this year’s gubernatorial primary and general elections.

‘NO PREFERENCE’ WINS: Todd Eberly, who is on sabbatical as a professor at St. Mary’s College, writes in MarylandReporter.com that the inaugural Maryland Poll from St. Mary’s College of Maryland has found that most Marylanders have absolutely no preference when it comes to the candidates for governor. Much like more established media and survey company polls, the Maryland Poll finds a Democratic race where the favorite, the sitting two term lieutenant governor, is being beaten by “No Preference” by a 2 to 1 margin.

D.C. BURBS’ GROWING CLOUT: Post columnist Robert McCartney writes that regardless of who triumphs in the Maryland Democratic gubernatorial primary June 24, the state’s Washington suburbs are almost certain to come out ahead. In a sign of expanding regional clout, the three major primary candidates hail from that area. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown is from Prince George’s County. Attorney General Doug Gansler and Del. Heather Mizeur are from Montgomery County.

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CLINTON HOSTS BROWN FUND-RAISER: Former President Bill Clinton will host a fundraiser for Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s gubernatorial bid next month, according to a fundraiser invitation that called it “a once in a lifetime event,” Erin Cox reports for the Sun.

GANSLER PROPOSAL MET WITH CRITICISM: A campaign proposal to eliminate the Office of the State Prosecutor is being met with disapproval by some state’s attorneys who would be charged with filling the role, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. “It’s a real no-win situation,” said Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. Leitess and Harford County State’s Attorney Joseph Cassilly, a Democrat and Republican respectively, said Attorney General Doug Gansler’s proposal would place intense amounts of political pressure on local prosecutors.

GANSLER CONTINUES ATTACKS: Gubernatorial hopeful Doug Gansler on Wednesday released his third television ad on health care, promising to “get tough” on proposed rate hikes by insurance companies and calling the state’s online health exchange “a nearly $200 million failure,” writes John Wagner in the Post. The commercial tops the article.

POOR STRATEGY: Columnist Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland writes that Doug Gansler may have to learn the hard way that criticizing someone’s military service – even if it belongs to his political rival Anthony Brown – just isn’t going to gain him any points.

GOP FORUMS: Alisha George of the Carroll County Times reports that Carroll residents had two opportunities to hear the ideas of Republican gubernatorial candidates at events in Westminster Wednesday. McDaniel College and Winters Mill High School hosted governor or lieutenant governor candidates at forums Wednesday. Those events gave candidates an opportunity to spread their political message and answer voter questions before the June 24 primary election.

DISTRICT 36 CANDIDATE: Irving Pinder, a lifelong resident of Queen Anne’s County and former executive director of the Maryland Board of Physicians, is seeking a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates for the 36th District, which consists of Queen Anne’s, Kent, Cecil and Caroline counties, according to the Easton Star Democrat.

ANNAPOLIS HOUSE FORUM: Anne Arundel residents listened as five Democrats running for House of Delegates and one Republican state Senate candidate offered views on the health and health care Tuesday night at a forum in Annapolis. They heard from Democrats Chuck Ferrar, Cheryl Miller, Ridg Mills and Maria Triandos, who are running for the House in District 30A; District 30B candidate Mitchelle Stephenson; District 32 candidate Tonja McCoy; and Don Quinn, a Republican running for the state Senate in District 30. Rema Rahman reports the story for the Annapolis Capital.