State Roundup, January 25, 2010

Over the weekend, Maryland media outlets looked at new pressure for table games from the state’s slots commission, continued to analyze the state budget released last week, and looked at Gov. O’Malley’s legislative agenda.

Maryland’s slot machine location panel is calling for the legalization of table games in the state, Annie Linskey writes in The Baltimore Sun, though it’s unclear what the effect of its recommendations will be. The head of the panel says he doesn’t expect legislative action on the matter this year, John Wagner writes in The Washington Post. Brian Witte of The Associated Press points out that the recommendation comes in response to gambling measures in Delaware in Pennsylvania.

Sean Sedam in The Gazette has more about the recommendation, as does Daniel Sernovitz in the Baltimore Business Journal. Some quotes from Nick Sohr on The Daily Record’s Eye on Annapolis blog. John Rydell at Fox 45 has video.

Delmar, Del. continues to look at zoning to allow casinos, Earl Holland reports in The (Salisbury) Daily Times.

Bobby Neall, one of the more vocal members of the slots commission, has stepped down to avoid a conflict of interest after his wife’s law firm has been retained by the owner of planned slots destination Arundel Mills mall. Liam Farrell has the story in The (Annapolis) Capital.

Allison Bourg writes in The Capital that the Cordish Cos., which will develop the Arundel Mills site, doesn’t foresee a major traffic problem there.

Gov. Martin O’Malley is set to highlight his legislative agenda this week, though many of the bills have already been introduced, Robert Lang reports for WBAL Radio.

O’Malley is calling for new sex offender laws, which include lifetime supervision of violent and repeat convicts, Julie Bykowicz writes in The Sun. However, some are wondering why law enforcement officials haven’t used tough sex offender measures that are already on the books.

Tom LoBianco with WYPR reports that counties are feeling the pain this year, especially when it comes to the budget for road maintenance.

Maryland unemployment rose from 7.3 percent to 7.5 percent in December, Fox 45 reports. Some people have complaints about the difficulty of navigating Maryland’s unemployment program, Laura D’Alessandro writes in The Daily Times.

The House Judiciary Committee will take a look at a bill that would give repeat drunk drivers special license plates, Kenny Burns writes for Maryland Politics Today. Another bill would place “Home of the National Anthem” on Maryland’s license plates, The Associated Press reports.

Lawmakers from Western Maryland want a state-controlled resort at Rocky Gap in Allegany County to be included in a likely new bid for slot machines there, Adam Kerlin writes for Capital News Service.

Senate Budget and Tax Chairman Ulysses Currie has spent more than $41,000 in campaign funds on legal fees, Annie Linskey writes on The Sun’s Maryland Politics blog. It’s not clear what the services are for, but Currie would not be allowed to use the money to defend an investigation of his business dealings.

More than 5,300 Baltimore County teachers have sent state legislators a petition that opposes a new progress reporting system, Liz Bowie writes in The Sun.

Megan Eckstein writes in the Frederick News-Post that former Frederick Mayor Ron Young, a Democrat, will challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Alex Mooney.

Erin Julius takes a detailed look on the proposed budget’s effect on Washington County in The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail.

Anti-gang legislation is at the top of County Executive John Leopold’s legislative agenda, Farrell reports in The Capital.

A post on O’Malley Watch argues that the budget shouldn’t rely on federal money that Maryland hasn’t received yet, and might not get.

Meg Tully writes in the Frederick News-Post that local lawmakers are backing a trash collection program that would charge people based on the amount of garbage that they throw away.

Gerald Neily writes for Baltimore Brew that new transit funding rules might work against Baltimore City’s Red Line rail proposal. Brian Griffiths in Red Maryland suggests monorail for the project.

As Maryland cuts back on services at its rest stops, Virginia is reopening previously-shuttered locations, Markham Heid writes for the Washington Examiner.

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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