State Roundup April 1, 2010

IMPEACHMENT: The House Judiciary Committee rejected an attempt by GOP Del. Don Dwyer to oust Attorney General Doug Gansler over a controversial opinion on same-sex marriage, Annie Linskey and Julie Bykowicz report for The Baltimore Sun. The word from Gansler’s office is that the failed attempt was “unfortunate” and “political grandstanding,” writes Nick Sohr for The Daily Record.

Dwyer called the proceedings “kangaroo court” shortly before the committee decided Gansler would not be impeached. Here’s Editor Len Lazarick with his take on the story.  To watch video from the House floor, check out (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail reporter Erin Julius’s take on the impeachment proceeding. WBAL TV reporter David Collins has more video of the “State House drama.”

EHRLICH OFFICIAL: After confirming to reporters his candidacy for governor, Bob Ehrlich told his 14,000 Facebook fans about his plans to “take Maryland back.” The Sun’s Julie Bykowics has a story about the use of the social networking site in the coming campaign.  Bykowicz reports that if Ehrlich defeats Gov. Martin O’Malley, he will become the only governor in modern Maryland history to win a rematch against an incumbent.

Washington Post Columnist Robert McCartney shares the views of two “tea party” enthusiasts on Ehrlich’s chances and impact on the race. One only watches Fox News, while the other occasionally reads The Post and The Sun. O’Malley wouldn’t handicap the race in his first public interview, John Wagner writes for the Post blog.

The Sun’s editorial page is welcoming Ehrlich to the race. His announcement is a good thing for Marylanders, the article says, because he is the only credible Republican challenger that can generate the conversation voters deserve.

SCHOOL CUTBACKS: Thou House and Senate have “substantial differences” to work out when it comes to legislation regarding local cutbacks on school spending, reports Andy Rosen for

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Maryland activists are displeased with President Barack Obama’s decision to open up offshore drilling in Virginia, according to this Associated Press story.  Last year, Obama issued an executive order to protect the Chesapeake Bay. Today, the head of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation says the decision to drill does exactly the opposite, according to Christian Schaffer for WMAR.  According to activists, offshore drilling would hurt Ocean City tourism, threaten wildlife along Assateague Island and pollute the Chesapeake Bay, write Paul West and Timothy B. Wheeler for The Sun.

BOND BILLS: After moving to eliminate bond bills from the 2012 and 2013 budget in the Senate, House delegates are expecting a debate even though they believe it may make sense, Nick DiMarco writes for

Some delegates say the Senate’s move might be connected to a House vote last week to eliminate the legislative scholarships that are popular with the Senate, Annie Linskey writes for The Sun blog. Read more about the scholarship cut on

AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE: Drivers will potentially pay higher premiums for car insurance if the Senate passes a measure to increase the amount of coverage a person must carry, Michael Dresser reports for The Sun.  Sun columnist Jay Hancock, explains why trial lawyers are eager for the rates to be increased.

UNAUTHORIZED SPENDING: The state military department is in trouble after paying contractors $1 million without approval from the Board of Public Works, according to Erich Wagner for

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