April 30, 2014

State Roundup, April 30, 2014

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***Watch a livestream debate between the three Democratic candidates for Montgomery County executive sponsored by the Montgomery Sentinel and MarylandReporter.com tonight at 7 p.m. on the Sentinel website. For more details about the debate and how to attend in person in Rockville, click here.***

TRANSGENDER LAW REFERENDUM: A conservative activist group in Maryland has launched a petition that calls for a referendum on the newly approved Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014, which expands protections for transgender individuals, reports Jenna Johnson in the Post.

DISTRACTED DRIVING: In this four-minute video, Center Maryland interviews Susan Yum, founder of Change for Jake Foundation, to discuss the passage of Jake’s Law and the continuing problem of cell phones and distracted driving.

AIDING EX-INMATES: Experts and advocates for prisoners say that providing offenders assistance immediately upon their release is the most infallible method of ensuring they don’t backslide. But those on the front lines of the recidivism battle — probation officers — are historically overworked and underpaid, leading the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to turn to supplemental programs to assist inmates, writes Jeremy Bauer-Wolf for MarylandReporter.com.

BAY CLEANUP: Maryland is joining three other jurisdictions in supporting the Obama administration’s plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay watershed, seeking to counter an election-year legal challenge by farmers and 21 attorneys general that could shape future U.S. environmental policy, according to an AP story in the Daily Record.

SUNBELT AHEAD: Latest numbers from the Internal Revenue Service show changes in the individual income tax base for each state, with the Sunbelt region outpacing the rest of the country, and gains coming at expense of its northern neighbors, writes Jim Pettit in an op-ed for the conservative Human Events. Further down in the piece, Pettit uses the opportunity to tout his boss’s gubernatorial campaign message of lowering then eliminating inome taxes to keep Marylanders in the state. His boss is David Craig. But that is not referenced in the article or in a note at the end.


FROSH ENDORSED: Arelis Hernández of the Post reports that Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and state’s attorney Angela Alsobrooks plan to endorse Maryland Sen. Brian Frosh today in his bid to become the state’s next attorney general.

LATINO DISTRICT 47B: A newly drawn legislative district in Prince George’s County is more than 60% Hispanic — the first and only majority-Latino district in Maryland — and was billed as a prime chance to increase the number of Latino lawmakers in Annapolis, reports Arelis Hernández for the Post. But that opportunity has spawned a bitter legal battle over whether a young woman named Natalie Cabrera is eligible to run in the Democratic Party primary against William Campos, a seasoned County Council member with deep ties to the political establishment who is seeking a seat in the House of Delegates in the new District 47B.

SENATE DISTRICT 43: WYPR’s Fraser Smith and Luke Broadwater of the Baltimore Sun talk about state Sen. Joan Carter Conway’s challenge from Baltimore City Councilman Bill Henry, and why the ticket matters in this Democratic primary.

VIEWING THE DEM DEBATE: Even though next week’s first gubernatorial debate is being co-hosted by two taxpayer-funded state universities, Baltimore viewers are not scheduled to be able to see it, writes TV columnist David Zurawik in the Sun. The event featuring Democratic candidates Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler and Del. Heather Mizeur is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 7 at the University of Maryland, College Park and will be broadcast live on Washington’s NBC-owned station, WRC-TV (Channel 4). The only other Maryland station scheduled to have a live feed is WHAG-TV in Hagerstown.

GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE: Although the governor’s race has already featured attack ads, the state’s top candidates – Democrats and Republicans — focused more on their own platforms than their opponents’ at a Prince George’s County forum Monday night, writes Colin Campbell in the Sun.

HOGAN ON TAXES, SPENDING: Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan said Tuesday night that he would focus on controlling Maryland’s spending before moving to roll back what he called the “40 consecutive tax increases” adopted under Gov. Martin O’Malley, writes Michael Dresser in the Sun.

ANTI-ABORTION ENDORSEMENTS: Jeff Quinton of the Quinton Report writes that Maryland Right to Life has released some endorsements in primary elections this year, but not in the governor’s race. The list includes U.S. Rep. Andy Harris and Dan Bongino, who is running for Congress.