September 9, 2014

State Roundup, September 9, 2014

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POLS REACT TO RAY RICE FIRING: Jean Marbella and Yvonne Wenger of the Sun report that newly circulated video showing Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee drew heightened and widespread outrage Monday, prompting the Ravens to fire the player whose dazzling runs on the field and anti-bullying efforts off it had endeared him to Ravens Nation.

HOGAN CRIES FOUL ON SUPER PAC: The relationship between Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s gubernatorial campaign and a Super PAC is not only too close, it’s illegal, according to Larry Hogan, the Republican candidate for governor, reports Bryan Sears in the Daily Record.

BAY CLEANUP CONTROVERSY: Legislators from Maryland and Pennsylvania sparred at a hearing in Annapolis Monday over whether their states are doing too much or too little to reduce Chesapeake Bay pollution, reports Tim Wheeler in the Sun. In a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing called to review the new bay restoration agreement, Maryland state Sen. Steve Hershey complained about the “astronomical cost” of cleaning up the ailing estuary, calling it an “unfunded mandate” from the federal government.  Maryland’s share has been estimated at nearly $15 billion through 2025, he noted.

UNION BUSTING OPINION? Last week, a court in Maryland published an opinion that could become an epitaph for public sector unions in the Old Line State, writes Richard Douglas for MarylandReporter.com.  In 2013, Prince George’s County asked Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals (a step below our state’s highest court) to decide which of two competing considerations enjoys higher dignity: “public policy” or a union contract. The court chose public policy, opening a Pandora’s Box for public sector unions that may be hard to close.

RASKIN OR ZIRKIN? In his choice to replace Brian Frosh as chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, Senate President Mike Miller is facing a battle between Montgomery County Sen. Jamie Raskin,  an American University law professor and constitutional scholar, and Baltimore County Sen. Bobby Zirkin, a trial lawyer and pipeline foe, writes Josh Kurtz for Center Maryland. And the choice is not as clear as one would think.

WHO’S TAXING THE RAIN? Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan loves to tell voters that Democratic nominee Anthony Brown is part of an administration that taxed everything that it could — even the rain. But, writes Jenna Johnson in the Post, is it really a rain tax or is it more of a pollution tax?

HOGAN UPBEAT ON CHANCES: Republican candidate for governor Larry Hogan came to Easton on a campaign stop on Monday, Sept. 8, and stopped by the offices of The Star Democrat for an interview, where he was upbeat about his chances in the upcoming election, citing a recent poll showing he and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown are in a “statistical tie” in the race, Andrew Sharp reports for the Easton Star Democrat.

  • Hogan also stopped by a family-owned business. He said this is “what our whole campaign is all about.” Gail Dean of the Easton Star Democrat writes that Hogan said that Maryland needs to be more friendly for businesses large and small, something he said the O’Malley-Brown administration has failed to do here. “They’re driving business and taxpayers out of the state,” he said.

DELANEY BIAS: Red Maryland is charging the Hagerstown Herald-Mail with biased coverage in favor of Rep. John Delaney in his reelection race in the 6th Congressional District against Republican Dan Bongino.

2nd ERROR ON KITTLEMAN: Lest you think Sen. Allan Kittleman is unkind to animals, a Democratic website attacking the record of the Republican candidate for Howard County executive got him confused with his late father in citing a low rating by the Humane Society. This is the second error the website made concerning Kittleman, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

EX-OBAMA AIDE WORKING FOR O’MALLEY PAC: Will Jawando, a former Obama administration staffer who narrowly lost a primary bid this year for a Maryland House of Delegates seat, has landed a position with Gov. Martin O’Malley’s political action committee, writes the Post’s John Wagner.

PG COUNCIL RAISE PLAN: A Prince George’s County Council proposal to raise the pay of its members and the county executive is coming under fire from some residents due to the amount of the increase and the timing, writes Jamie Anfenson-Comeau for the Gazette.

TRAFFIC HELL IN MOCO: Gazette columnist Blair Lee writes that to protect Montgomery County’s tax base, which finances county government, MoCo’s elected officials are approving massive new development projects like White Flint along Rockville Pike and the new LifeSci Village at White Oak. But, to make these projects economically feasible, the county has relaxed traffic mitigation rules that could lead to a traffic hell far worse than what county motorists already suffer.

SCHOOL BUS TRAFFIC CAMS: Twelve more video cameras will be added to local school buses soon as the Washington County Sheriff’s Office expands a program to catch — and discourage — drivers from passing school buses when the buses stop to pick up or drop off students, Julie Green reports in the Hagerstown Herald Mail.

FLOOD INSURANCE: Pat Furgurson of the Annapolis Capital is reporting that the need for federal flood insurance was never greater than in 2003 in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isabel and its storm surge, which inundated Anne Arundel County neighborhoods from Holland Point to Riviera Beach. The county Department of Planning and Zoning and the City of Annapolis will hold a joint meeting this week to explain the new FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps, using interactive maps.

NEW CITY SLOGAN? How’s “Baltimore – Birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner” sound for a new slogan for Baltimore City? City Councilman James Kraft was expected to introduce legislation at Monday’s City Council meeting to set a new official slogan to “celebrate Baltimore’s essential link to our national anthem.” Yvonne Wenger writes in the Sun.

  • Bruce

    You made a mistake in your title.
    You typed “Free State” Im sure you meant to type, “Fee State”