State Roundup Feb. 25, 2010

Today’s roundup includes lots of coverage on the attorney general’s opinion on Maryland’s same-sex couples who wed in other states, a Supreme Court win for the state and what’s happening with Arundel Mills Mall slots petition.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Attorney General Doug Gansler issued an opinion Wednesday saying Maryland should recognize the marriage of same-sex couples who are legally wed in other states, reports The Daily Record’s Steve Lash. The Sun’s Annie Linskey reports state agencies will be required to extend benefits, like health insurance expansion and property rights, to gay couples.

Here is The Washington Post’s story on the opinion that will allow the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed in four New England states and Iowa. Erin Julius has the story for The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail and Brian Witte has this report for The Associated Press. WJZ’s Jessica Kartalija explains the significance of the attorney general’s long-awaited opinion, WBAL-TV has a video report of the story, as well as WBFF Baltimore. WYPR’s Joel McCord and Karen Hosler talk about the issue and lawmakers’ reactions in an audio report.

The Daily Record’s Caryn Tamber writes the opinion is spurring possible impeachment action towards Gansler and a referendum to have voters decide. The Sun’s Julie Bykowicz reports the opinion is drawing strong political reaction.

Maryland Politics Watch’s Adam Pagnucco has his own opinion on Gansler’s opinion, as does The Sun editorial page.

SUPREME COURT RULING: The state won a Supreme Court case which ruled that the shelf-life of a criminal suspect’s request for a lawyer is two weeks. The Daily Record’ Steve Lash has the story that stemmed from Hagerstown detectives who questioned a man more than two years after a man invoked his right to counsel. Andy Schotz has the story for The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail.

SLOTS PETITION FRAUD: The Anne Arundel County state’s attorney has referred allegations of slots petition fraud to the state prosecutor, reports John Wagner in the Post. If the petition drive collects more than 18,000 valid signatures the plan to build a slots casino at Arundel Mills mall will go on the county ballot. Nicole Fuller has the story for The Sun and Erin Cox has The Capital’s take.

JOBS TAX CREDIT: The Daily Record’s Nick Sohr writes about a failed attempt to expand a proposed job creation tax credit, which died on the Senate floor. Meg Tully has the story on Sen. Alex Mooney’s attempt for The Frederick News-Post.

MANSLAUGHTER OPINION: In a strongly worded column in the Capital, Paul Foer goes after the House Judiciary Committee chairman for his treatment of a proposal to enhance Maryland laws on vehicular manslaughter.

HOYER: The Sun’s Paul West writes House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer was the only Maryland voice at President Obama’s Health Care Summit.

NOVEMBER ELECTION: The state may not have enough money in its proposed budget to conduct November’s election. The issue was raised at a Board of Public Works meeting, Andy Rosen reports on

FISCAL LEADERS: Tom LoBianco writes for Center Maryland that a group of powerful lawmakers that has hammered out crucial budget decisions in the past hasn’t been meeting this year.

ATM CAMERAS: Video cameras would be required at every outdoor automated teller machine in Maryland under legislation pending in the General Assembly, writes The (Salisbury) Daily Times’ Greg Latshaw.

SHORE TRAINING CENTER: WYPR’s Karen Hosler has an audio report on the Eastern Shore’s opposition to a proposed national security training center, a stimulus project.

GOVERNOR’S STAFFING: Del. Gail Bates, R-Howard, questioned a little-known part of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s office. She criticized the Governor’s Delivery Unit’s use of staff detailed from other agencies, writes Erich Wagner with

NUCLEAR PLANT: A Constellation Energy official says melting snow apparently caused the shutdown of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant last week, writes The Associated Press.

SLOTS LAWSUIT: A lawsuit claims that five companies that were part of an unsuccessful effort to bring slot machines to downtown Baltimore have unpaid fees of $721,000 that they’d like to recover, reports The Sun’s Scott Calvert.

LAWMAKERS LISTENING?: The (Salisbury) Daily Times ran an editorial by Steve Lind, a member of the Worcester County chapter of Americans for Prosperity, who wonders if lawmakers are listening to constituents and called O’Malley’s budget “bogus”.

NTSB HEARINGS: The second day of National Transportation Safety Board hearings uncovered more problems leading up to and after the Metro crash in June that killed nine people, writes The Examiner’s Kytja Weir.

BIOTECH DEAL: Montgomery County and Johns Hopkins University signed a deal to find ways to beef up the county’s biotech sector, writes Vandana Sinha with Washington Business Journal.

BALTIMORE SEGREGATION: Baltimore Brew’s Jason Policastro gives a review of a former Baltimore Sun reporter’s book on the lucrative business of segregating Baltimore’s neighborhoods.

DIXON: Former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon was back in the spotlight Wednesday night as she spoke at a panel discussion sponsored by the Investigative Voice Web site, writes The Sun’s Julie Scharper. WBAL Radio’s Robert Lang has video of Dixon at the event.

CHARTER PROVISION: Baltimore County Councilman Vince Gardina says he’ll quit being a substitute teacher if it violates a county charter provision barring council members from being employed by the state or county, writes Bryan Sears with Patuxent Publishing.

UMB: Baltimore Business Journal’s Ryan Sharrow reports Dr. Jay Perman has been named the next University of Maryland, Baltimore president. Current President David Ramsay will step down, reports Childs Walker in the Sun.

CONGESTION: The Sun’s Michael Dresser writes about Baltimore’s ranking as 16th worst for congestion.

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