December 2, 2014

State Roundup, December 2, 2014

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FILM TAX CREDIT HEARING: Erin Cox is reporting in the Sun that lawmakers will consider the fate of Maryland’s controversial program to lure film and television crews to the state with millions in tax dollars. Today, during a public hearing, state lawmakers will hear public testimony on whether the costly program is worth the money. The same program that gave millions of taxpayer dollars to Netflix’s “House of Cards” series and HBO’s “Veep” was sharply criticized by state analysts as ineffective.

BGF EX-LEADER TESTIFIES: Justin Fenton of the Sun reports that the former leader of the Black Guerrilla Family at the Baltimore Detention Center spoke publicly for the first time Monday from the witness stand, describing his unlikely rise to power and the gang’s inner workings.

COLLEGE TUITION HIKES? A week after analysts announced a $300 million state budget deficit, Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County sent his staff an email stating that a hiring freeze would go into effect Dec. 1. Budget cuts generally mean higher costs for students. As universities have struggled with widespread cuts, annual tuition has increased by 28% nationwide, Sam Manas reports for WYPR-FM.

MIKULSKI TOUTS HILLARY FOR PRES: Sen. Barbara Mikulski told a group of Hillary Clinton supporters gathered in Baltimore County on Monday that Maryland would provide a “groundswell of grassroots” support for the former Secretary of State should she decide to run for president in 2016. “We need Hillary,” the Maryland Democrat and Senate Appropriations Committee chairwoman told about 100 people gathered at Goucher College for a fundraiser by the group laying the groundwork for her possible candidacy, reports John Fritze for the Sun.

EHRLICH FOR PRESIDENT? Another Marylander may have his hat in the presidential ring. Pat Warren of WJZ-TV reports on how former Gov. Bob Ehrlich is testing the White House waters. While it was not necessarily on his list of things to do, the former governor is gaining favor as he speaks around the country. It could work to his advantage.

CITY MAYOR VETOES BODY CAM BILL: Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake carried out her promise and vetoed bills Monday that would have barred most merchants from distributing plastic bags and required Baltimore police to wear body cameras.

COUNTY EXECUTIVES TAKE OFFICE

GOP LEGISLATORS TAKE OVER: Republican members of the Maryland legislature took office Monday as the new county executives of three large suburban counties, but for Harford and Anne Arundel counties GOP dominance is becoming a routine event, while in Howard it was just the second time a Republican became executive, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

GARDNER 1ST FREDERICK COUNTY EXEC: Beneath the wooden arches of an 88-year-old theater, Frederick County residents on Monday witnessed the transformation of their local government. To thundering applause, Frederick County’s first executive, Jan Gardner, and seven council members raised their right hands and took the oaths that signified the start of their four-year terms and a new era for local government, reports Bethany Rodgers for the Frederick News Post.

Kittleman sworn in 2

Allan Kittleman, left, is sworn is as Howard County executive by Clerk of the Court Wayne Robey,

KITTLEMAN IN HOWARD: Amanda Yeager of the Howard County Times reports that newly elected Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman and the five members of the Howard County Council struck a conciliatory note at their inauguration Monday night, with speeches emphasizing progress over party.  “The campaign is behind us and it’s time to act, not hastily… but with due diligence,” said Kittleman, the county’s first Republican executive since 1998.

SCHUH IN  ARUNDEL: Republican Steve Schuh is officially Anne Arundel County’s ninth chief executive. The seven members of the County Council were also sworn-in Monday and include three councilmen who will serve their first full terms, reports Rema Rahman in the Annapolis Capital. A photo gallery of the event tops the story.

GLASSMAN IN HARFORD: Republican Barry Glassman took office Monday as Harford County executive, promising to make the county “a leader in economic development and job creation.” Michael Dresser writes in the Sun that in a ceremony at Harford Community College, Gov.-elect Larry Hogan praised Glassman as both a political ally and “a genuinely nice man. … Together we’ll put Maryland on a new path and together we will change Maryland for the better,” Hogan said.

BAKER, LEGGETT IN PG, MO CO: The swearing-in ceremonies were familiar turf for Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, a former student of Leggett’s at Howard University Law School. Leggett, 69, was taking the oath of office for the third time; Baker, 56, for the second, Bill Turque and Arelis Hernández  write in the Post.

KAMENETZ IN BALTIMORE COUNTY: Kevin Kamenetz was sworn into office Monday for a second term as Baltimore County executive, pledging to go beyond running government with “an adroit hand with a ledger” to also press inclusion for the county’s diverse population, opportunity in education and jobs and celebration of community traditions, writes Pamela Wood in the Sun.

DELEONDARDO SWORN IN AS CARROLL STATE’S ATTORNEY: In the aftermath of the death of Jerry Barnes, Brian DeLeonardo was sworn in as interim Carroll County State’s Attorney Monday, about a month prior to when he was scheduled to officially take office after having been elected in November, writes Heather Cobun for the Carroll County Times.

NEW SOMERSET CLERK: When Charles Horner was sworn in as the Somerset County Clerk of the Circuit Court on Monday, it marked the first time in more than a half-century that someone new has held that position, Vanessa Junkin reports in the Salisbury Daily Times.

PG TEACHERS INFO RELEASED: The president of the Prince George’s County teachers’ union said teachers are angry over the school system’s inadvertent release of their personal information, but that the only thing to do now is to pick up the pieces, writes Jamie Anfenson-Comeau for the Gazette.

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  • InGodWeTrust

    Earth to Mikulski and the brain-challenged 100 people she spoke to: Everyone Hillary campaigned for LOST. Also, as a woman, the LAST person I want in the White House is Hillary, whose husband would be running down every skirt in the White House while Hillary would be working 24×7 to continue destroying whatever is left of America after Taco-Bama gets done.

  • No to the GOP

    We need Hillary. We don’t need O’Malley or Bernie Sanders.