State Roundup, December 8, 2009

The slots soap opera continues: The Video Lottery Terminal Commission approved the license for the location at the Arundel Mills mall, as the Anne Arundel Council delays a vote on zoning once again with three of seven members out of action. Reporting are Nicole Fuller and Laura Smitherman in The Baltimore Sun, John Wagner in The Washington Post blog, and Nick Sohr in The Daily Record. WBAL TV has a video report.

Gov. Martin O’Malley is proposing a $3,000 tax credit for hiring the unemployed, according to Nick Sohr in The Daily Record. Jamie Smith Hopkins at the Sun adds some critiques of the jobs plan, as does the Carroll Standard blog.  WBAL radio’s version includes a link to O’Malley discussing the plan on CNBC.

In his State of the County address, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett discusses the state budget cuts, the gasoline tax and many other issues facing the county. Maryland Politics Watch has the full text.

In his Sun column, Dan Rodricks talks to both Kirk Bloodsworth, exonerated for a rape-murder, and the woman who prosecuted him and won the death penalty, Anne Brobst, named last week to be a judge.

The Sun editorial writers go after the state’s food stamp program, which is being sued in federal court.

Maryland is now among the top 10 states with the lowest rates of fatalities from drunken driving, Michael Dresser reports in The Sun.

Washington-area school systems have already cut central office staff, so any further cuts in aid are likely to affect classroom teachers, Leah Fabel in the Washington Examiner reports.

Sen. Ben Cardin talks to farmers about his Chesapeake Bay proposal, hoping they won’t take back the award they gave him last year, according to Brian Shane in The (Salisbury) Daily Times.

In Western Maryland, officials and citizens celebrated the expansion of Medicaid health insurance coverage, Kevin Spradlin reports in the Cumberland Times-News. The victory tour for the health initiative also passed through Frederick, Karen Gardner reports in the News-Post.

Doug Tallman gives a preview of O’Malley’s legislative agenda in the Gazette.

Ike Wilson in The Frederick News-Post reports on the closing of a state welcome center, part of planned 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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