State Roundup, November 25, 2009

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Thirteen Montgomery County legislators wrote to the governor asking him to support light rail for the Corridor Cities Transitway along I-270, Adam Pagnucco reports in Maryland Politics Watch.

Gov. Martin O’Malley said he’s staying out of the buyout talks for Maryland Terps football coach Ralph Friedgen, John Wagner reports in The Washington Post’s Maryland blog. Laura Smitherman has a fuller report in The Baltimore Sun.

With no verdict in Mayor Sheila Dixon’s trial, Baltimore Brew is covering tweets from a fake juror. There is more coverage on news and broadcast sites, but nobody really knows anything except the jurors.

Jay Hancock at the Sun speculates that it is really the estate tax that drives millionaires out of Maryland, not the income tax.

Maryland Politics Watch has more on the free EZ Passes that went to legislators.

In Baltimore, 16 percent of homeowners owe more than their homes are worth, Scott Dance reports in the Baltimore Business Journal.

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation has ordered five companies to shut down illegal home loan modification schemes that targeted Maryland residents facing foreclosure, Nick Sohr reports in The Daily Record.

WARNING: Not for the queasy. The Diamondback’s Lauren Redding continues her coverage of the controversy over vomit cleanup on University of Maryland buses. Bus drivers had complained to AFSCME that they were being put in danger of exposure to blood-borne pathogens, and state officials were investigating.

The Catholic governors of Maryland and Virginia were both critical of the church’s threat to stop services to the poor in the District of Columbia if the council there approves gay marriage, the AP’s Larry O’Dell reports in The Washington Times.

Govs. Martin O’Malley and Tim Kaine were on WTOP radio Tuesday, which has posted audio of the full interview.

(The remarks about the church are early in the program.)