May 28, 2014

State Roundup, May 28, 2014

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PRE-TRIAL SYSTEM: Gov. Martin O’Malley on Tuesday ordered the creation of a 23-member commission to examine and improve how the justice system treats arrested criminal suspects prior to trial, including the feasibility of implementing an objective risk assessment computer program to determine if an arrestee should be held in custody or released before trial, reports Steve Lash for the Daily Record.

MD. WOMEN LESS WORSE-OFF: Across the nation, women earn less than their male counterparts, make up a majority of minimum wage workers and carry the greatest burden when it comes to balancing family life with work, writes CNS’s Tazeen Asiya Ahmad in the Cecil Whig. In Maryland, women have it a little better — earning 85 cents on every dollar white men earn, 8 cents above the national average. Overall, women are doing better economically than their counterparts in any other state, according to a report by the Center for American Progress.

POOR BUSINESS CLIMATE: A commission created by state leaders to examine economic development in the state got an earful from Hagerstown-area business leaders Tuesday who complained about Maryland’s business and regulatory structure, writes Kaustuv Basu for the Hagerstown Herald Mail. The Maryland Economic Development and Business Climate Commission, which is composed of state lawmakers and business leaders, met Tuesday for one of several meetings that will take place this year across the state.

MOM JOINS NATIONAL RX POT PUSH: A Frederick County mother whose sons suffer from epilepsy has joined a group of parents in asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to help make marijuana more accessible as a medical treatment, Bethany Rodgers reports in the Frederick News-Post.

REPLACING KIRWAN: WYPR’s Joel McCord and Laslo Boyd of Center Maryland talk about the departure of Brit Kirwan as chancellor of the University System of Maryland and why he will be difficult to replace.

BROWN RAKES IN BUCKS: Democrat Anthony Brown is raising money for his campaign for governor at a torrid pace, raking in more than $1.2 million in the six weeks after the General Assembly session ended in April, writes Michael Dresser for the Sun. The lieutenant governor’s campaign has $4.15 million in cash on hand. Doug Gansler’s campaign stated that the attorney general raised a little more than $311,000 since April 8. The campaign said it has $3.1 million in cash on hand. Del. Heather Mizeur had $961,000 in the bank.

FROSH LEADS IN FUNDS: Arelis Hernández of the Post reports that state Sen. Brian Frosh may not be ahead in the polls, but he has maintained his substantial fundraising lead in the race for the Democratic Party nomination for attorney general, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections.

THE OTHER DEM CANDIDATES: They are not as well known as Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler and Montgomery County Del. Heather Mizeur, reports Robert Lang for WBAL-AM. However, there are three other candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for governor in next month’s primary. They are Ralph Jaffe, Charles U. Smith and Cindy Walsh. There’s a 10-minute audio report as well as a written article.

GANSLER, MIZEUR DEBATE: John Wagner and Jenna Johnson of the Post report that the stage for Tuesday night’s Maryland Democratic gubernatorial debate was set with three lecterns. But only two candidates showed up. The third lectern, positioned smack in the middle, was reserved for Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who took several hits in his absence.

IVEY BLASTS BROWN: Del. Jolene Ivey of Prince George’s County, who is running with Gansler, also slammed Brown as a “failed leader” of Maryland’s implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. She rejected the arguments of Brown’s running mate, Ken Ulman, that the state exceeded its enrollment goals despite the failure of its health exchange website, writes Michael Dresser in the Sun. The three Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor were meeting in their only scheduled television debate on Tuesday.

DUTCH BACKS BROWN: U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, who briefly considered running for governor himself last year, endorsed Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown for the job on Tuesday, writes John Fritze for the Sun.

ON IKE LEGGETT: Bill Turque of the Post profiles Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, writing that as a college student in Baton Rouge in the 1960s, Leggett had two distinct identities: civil rights activist and brigade commander in the school’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. Other students at historically black Southern University, including H. Rap Brown, were expelled for political activity. Leggett pressed school administrators for better services and facilities but also committed to four years in the Army after graduation, including infantry duty in South Vietnam.

LEGGETT’S FUND-RAISING: Four weeks before the Democratic primary for county executive, incumbent Ike Leggett holds a better than 3-to-1 fundraising advantage over Doug Duncan, with $1 million cash on hand, reports Bill Turque for the Post.

SILVER SPRING TRANSIT FIASCO: Serious safety, soundness, and durability problems that are now causing indefinite delays with opening the $112 million Silver Spring Transit Center were attributable to negligence, inadequate oversight and other shortcomings with project management, construction, and engineering, writes Charlie Hayward in MarylandReporter.com. None of the principal parties has “clean hands” according to a study released last week by the independent Office of Inspector General for Montgomery County.

MO CO COUNCIL ENDORSEMENTS: The Washington Post editorial board has endorsed in the races for Montgomery County Council, writing that Montgomery — the richest and most populous locality in Maryland and among the most diverse — needs leaders with the sobriety and common sense not to fall again into the trap of extravagance.

DISTRICT 33: Writing in the Annapolis Capital’s column giving candidates a forum on its op-ed page, Jeff Gauges, running for the House of Delegates for District 33, writes that growing up on the family farm, he was raised to appreciate hard work, the value of a dollar and integrity in our words and deeds.

FREDERICK EXEC FUND-RAISING: Bethany Rodgers and Danielle Gaines of the Frederick News Post reports that two candidates in the historic race for Frederick County executive have gained a formidable fundraising lead over the other contenders during the first part of 2014. Campaign finance reports filed Tuesday show that Commissioners President Blaine Young raised the most money of the four candidates, hauling in about $53,000 over the reporting period from Jan. 9 to May 20. Jan Gardner, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, gathered the second-highest amount, about $42,000.

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