State Roundup, November 2, 2009

If you haven’t seen it yet, Constellation has accepted the deal, after the Public Service Commission signed off on the company’s $4.5 billion nuclear deal on Friday. The panel set several conditions, including a $100, one-time bill credit for customers at Baltimore Gas and Electric. Some of the conditions were similar to those requested by Gov. Martin O’Malley, though he had asked for larger credits.

Jay Hancock wrote in a Saturday column for The Sun that the companies had already essentially agreed to many of the terms.

Former Gov. Bob Ehrlich says O’Malley didn’t do a very good job on the Constellation deal, charging that O’Malley “failed” to “shake down” the companies.

Lisa Rein in the Post reports on a new study that calls the state’s Smart Growth policy ineffective. The study, which comes from the institute set up at the University of Maryland to promote the policy, blames lax pressure on local governments to follow land use goals.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other groups are pushing for the state to toughen its drunk driving laws, after a hit and run accident killed a Johns Hopkins University student who was walking in Baltimore last month. The driver of the truck that killed the student had eight drunken driving convictions in the state.

O’Malley and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger paid a visit to the White House on Friday to talk about job creation and retention attributable to the federal stimulus package, The Sun’s Maryland Politics blog reports.

An editorial in The Sun says O’Malley’s plan to require mediation before foreclosure is a good idea, but does not go far enough. The piece says the General Assembly should also look at helping pay for legal assistance for homeowners.

Local interests in Washington County are going to play defense before the General Assembly next year, reports Heather Keels of The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail, pushing for the continuation of existing spending rather than new programs.

Today in The Sun, Michael Dresser writes that the Intercounty Connector was destined to be expensive to use, and that may be why people are not surprised about the price of its proposed tolls.

Baltimore County might not have speed cameras until the start of next year, Mary Gail Hare reports in The Sun.  The county is looking at getting the cameras installed through an existing contract held by Montgomery County.

Lawmakers from Calvert County are not too excited about their local government’s legislative proposals,  the Post reports. One of the major moves would be to increase the licensing fee for bingo machines in Chesapeake Beach.

Adventist Healthcare is seeking state approval for a $177 million hospital in Clarksburg, Ed Waters Jr. reports in the Frederick News-Post

A state labor official paid a visit to Cumberland to try to quell businesses’ concerns about the increasing unemployment tax, Kevin Spradlin writes in the Cumberland Times-News.

Tess Hill in reports in the Times-News today on a number of area nonprofits that are struggling with state budget cuts.

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.

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