State Roundup, November 23, 2009

The Baltimore Sun takes a look at the policy response in Maryland to last week’s government recommendation that women under 50 don’t necessarily need mammograms to screen for breast cancer. Sen. Barbara Mikulski proposed an amendment to the health reform bill now before the Senate that would guarantee access to the procedure for women above 40.

Anne Arundel County Chairwoman President Cathy Vitale says she’s getting ten times the typical amount of pressure for a zoning debate as the body gears up for a decision on whether to allow a slot machine emporium at Arundel Mills mall, according to Erin Cox at The Capital.

Bob Burdon, who heads the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, blames the General Assembly for the slots setup in an op-ed in The Capital. He says lawmakers used the referendum that allowed slots “to avoid making important, but difficult, decisions.”

The jury will continue to deliberate Monday in the trial of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon. The Sun and The Daily Record have coverage and analysis.

Michael Dresser writes in his column for The Sun that lower tolls on the Intercounty Connector will mean higher costs across Maryland’s transportation system for people who aren’t using it. Montgomery County is urging the state to reduce the proposed tolls for the new highway.

Adam Pagnucco at Maryland Politics Watch points out that Montgomery County has paid more than its “maintenance of effort” education funding requirements in recent years. We have reported on the statewide issue of local education funding, as counties prepare to appeal to the state for more flexibility on what they spend on schools.

Carroll County officials say they can’t afford to put up a Christmas tree outside of the county office building this year, writes Adam Bednar with the Carroll County Times. Instead, the county is decorating the area with holly. It cost the county $2,500 to cut and install a donated tree last year.

Nick Sohr at The Daily Record has some industry reaction to Friday’s announcement that the Maryland Port Administration is going to get capital improvements as part of a deal that allows Ports America to take over Seagirt Marine Terminal.

The Sun’s editorial board says the Seagirt deal looks good for the state.

The Daily Record also runs an Associated Press story that touches on the economic effect of rising unemployment taxes for business in the state.

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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