State Roundup May 7, 2010

STORMWATER: Maryland’s residential neighborhoods will begin to see some drastically different environmental features, as developers begin working under new environmental guidelines being put in place by local governments this year, Nick DiMarco writes for

JOB CREATION: The Baltimore Business Journal’s Scott Dance writes that 51 people have been hired using the new job creation tax credit since its inception in late March. But some of the hiring companies said the credit was just a coincidental reward.

HEALTH REFORM:’s Erich Wagner writes that the state is taking the first steps in implementing the federal health care reform bill, but officials are still struggling to get clarification on many parts of the new law.  The Baltimore Sun’s Kelly Brewington writes that although key components of reform don’t go into effect for four years, the systems behind them need to be decided on soon.

CAMPAIGN FIGHT: Sean Sedam with The Gazette compares the gubernatorial race between Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Gov. Bob Ehrlich to a heavyweight boxing rematch. Both men have the option of running against each other’s records.

METRO: State officials agreed to pay their $56 million share of Metro’s infrastructure projects over the next two years, Ann Scott Tyson reports in The Washington Post. But the agency must create more accountability in its next capital funding agreement and charge only for expenditures, Kytja Weir writes in the Washington Examiner.

PARTY BACKING: The national GOP is using an obscure rule to back Ehrlich before he wins a gubernatorial primary, Alan Brody (not Sean Sedam, sorry) writes for The Gazette. Usually the party doesn’t send resources to candidates who face a challenge from within the GOP, as Ehrlich is from Brian Murphy.

CANDIDATE?: The state board of elections is seeking advice from the attorney general’s office to see if Ehrlich is a candidate yet, Margie Hyslop writes for The Gazette.

NEGATIVE ADS: Aaron Davis writes in The Post’s Maryland Politics blog that O’Malley has released the first negative ad of the gubernatorial campaign, attacking Bob Ehrlich on the assertion that the former governor left office with a surplus. An Ehrlich spokesman called it an attempt to deflect attention from O’Malley’s own record.

ABRAMOFF FILM: Maryland Democrats were thrilled to see former Gov. Bob Ehrlich appear in a trailer for a new documentary about disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Julie Bykowicz reports in The Sun’s Maryland Politics blog. Ehrlich called Democrats’ promotion of the film ‘goofy.’

EDWARDS: Rep. Donna Edwards was the only member of the state congressional delegation to vote for a cost of living increase for federal lawmakers, C. Benjamin Ford writes for The Gazette. Del. Herman Taylor of Montgomery County plans to challenge Edwards, Daniel Valentine writes for The Gazette.

GUTIERREZ: Erin Cunningham with The Gazette interviews Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez about her arrest during a protest of new Arizona immigration enforcement laws. She was brought in from a White House demonstration last weekend.

KRYSIAK: Del. Carolyn Krysiak is stepping down from her House seat after two Decades, Alan Brody writes in a Gazette Reporter’s Notebook item. Brody also writes that former Gov. Marvin Mandel got off easy “for a man who was convicted of mail fraud and racketeering as governor” during his 90th birthday roast this week.

SNOW AID: A federal disaster declaration will make most of Maryland eligible for aid to make up for snowstorm cleanup from this February, according to The Gazette.

IMMIGRATION: Meg Tully writes for the Frederick News-Post that Republican candidate for delegate Kathy Afzali wants to bring the controversial new Arizona immigration law to Maryland.

BUSINESS CLIMATE: Blair Lee writes in his Gazette column about why Maryland’s business climate is driving firms like Northrop Grumman away.

HORSE RACING: In advance of the Preakness Stakes, Gazette Columnist Barry Rascovar complains that state policymakers have driven the horse racing industry into the ground.

SHEILD LAW: Lawyer William McComas has an op-ed in The Gazette that argues a new court records shield law passed by the General Assembly falls short of its goals.

OWINGS: Retired Montomery County Council member Gail Ewing writes that the media is ignoring gubernatorial candidate George Owings III, who is challenging O’Malley for the Democratic nomination.

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