July 10, 2014

State Roundup, July 10, 2014

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NEW FBI HQ: The federal government is expected to name a short list of sites it will consider for a future FBI headquarters campus in coming days, ending weeks of speculation about which locations best fit what some call an increasingly rigid set of requirements. Among the sites that have likely been proposed are the parking lot area at Greenbelt Metro station, a combination of public and private land in Springfield, the former Landover Mall and Poplar Point, a waterfront property in Southeast D.C., reports Jonathan O’Connell for the Post.

ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES INSPECTIONS: There are more than 1,300 licensed assisted living facilities in Maryland caring for thousands of residents not quite able to care for themselves. But year after year over the past decade the state health department has failed to do annual inspections for a majority of them, writes Margaret Sessa-Hawkins for MarylandReporter.com.

BAIL SYSTEM: The cause of greater justice in the courts advanced last week with little if any disruption, opines Fraser Smith for WYPR-FM, as the new bail system was put into place statewide.

AAA BOND RATING: Mark Newgent of Red Maryland writes that the state’s Triple-A bond rating is “an un-clever façade masking Maryland’s real fiscal problems. … Maryland, under O’Malley-Brown Administration has rung up a massive amount of debt—a great deal of which was used to cover general fund spending fueled by fund raids i.e., swapping cash from other funds and replacing it with bond debt.

HOGAN TAKES PUBLIC FINANCING: Republican Larry Hogan will be the first candidate in two decades to mount a statewide general election bid using taxpayer donations, reports Erin Cox for the Sun. Hogan’s campaign said Wednesday that it will accept public financing, an unusual move that reflects the GOP’s uphill political fight against Maryland’s better-funded and more powerful Democratic Party.

HOGAN AND FAMILY PLANNING: The editorial board for the Sun opines that while Gov. Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown were quick to jump into the Hobby Lobby-women’s contraceptives issue, “Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan has sought to stay as far away from it as possible. He initially issued a “no comment” on the decision and has subsequently responded to questions with various iterations of the idea that it doesn’t really have anything to do with being Maryland governor. … We appreciate Mr. Hogan’s desire to focus his campaign on taxation, state spending and economic development. Family planning is an exceptionally effective public health intervention with the potential to improve the physical and economic well-being of Marylanders.”

LOLLAR TO RUN FOR CHARLES COMMISSION: Newburg businessman and former gubernatorial candidate Charles Lollar has re-entered the 2014 election scene following his nomination Monday by the Charles County Republican Central Committee as the party’s candidate in the District 1 race for county commissioner, writes Jeff Newman for SoMdNews.com.

HOWARD EXECUTIVE FORUM: Howard County executive candidates Courtney Watson and Allan Kittleman talked affordable housing, business development, the environment and LGBTQ issues in their first post-primary forum, sponsored by the Howard County chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG.

PEROUTKA DECLARES VICTORY: Michael Anthony Peroutka has declared victory in the Republican primary for Anne Arundel County Council in District 5, reports Rema Rahman for the Annapolis Capital. The tight race ended with Peroutka and Maureen Carr-York separated by 38 votes.

  • Capital reporters Rema Rahman and Zoe Read break down the District 5 Anne Arundel County Council race now that Michael Peroutka has clinched the Republican nomination, and the Simonaires trying to become the first father-daughter team from Anne Arundel County to serve in the General Assembly together.

CURRY FUNERAL: The funeral service of former Prince George’s County Executive Wayne Curry will be held today at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro. Public viewing will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the service at 11 a.m. Arelis Hernández of the Post writes about the procession and viewing yesterday at the county administration building.

HAGERSTOWN MUST REPAY BLOCK GRANT: From 2005 to 2008, $164,213 in Community Development Block Grant money was used by the Hagerstown Neighborhood Development Partnership for gap financing and other issues, reports Dave McMillion for the Hagerstown Herald Mail. But the housing project did not pan out, and now the city is required to repay the $164,213.

EASTON EYES ARTS DISTRICT: A designated arts and entertainment district in Easton could provide tax breaks to artists and indirect benefits to businesses in and around the district, said Gerry Early, executive director of the Talbot County Arts Council. The hard part is finding an entity to oversee it, and fill out the application and follow up with yearly reports for the Maryland Arts Council, which runs the program in the state, reports Josh Bollinger for the Easton Star Democrat.

EXPORT-IMPORT BANK: The future of the 80-year-old Export-Import Bank, a popular program that helps companies in Maryland and across the country export their products overseas, is in doubt because of opposition by key House Republicans. U.S. Rep. Andy Harris in 2012 opposed the funding but this year hasn’t taken a stand yet. And U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski supports the bank. Nicole Gaudiano writes the story for the Salisbury Daily Times.