State Roundup May 19, 2010

LIGHT RAIL: Former Gov. Robert Ehrlich says the state cannot afford two light rail projects — Baltimore’s Red Line and the Washington suburbs’ Purple Line — supported by Gov. Martin O’Malley, according to the Associated Press.

Here’s Baltimore Sun transportation reporter Michael Dresser’s take on the story. He says the former governor would likely scrap the projects entirely.

LISTENING TOUR: Facing re-election, Comptroller Peter Franchot met with three Black ministers as part of a state wide “listening tour” to get a sense for how voters are dealing with a tumultuous economic climate. Fraser Smith has the story for WYPR.

Franchot also made a stop in Frederick to sample some wine from a small business owner along his tour, writes Ed Waters Jr. for the Frederick News-Post.

PRINCE GEORGE’S HOSPITALS: staff writer Erich Wagner reports the state authority tasked with finding a buyer for the county-owned Prince George’s County health care system will recommend this week that the troubled facilities stay in public hands for now.

ROSEWOOD: Hazardous waste on the site of the closed Rosewood Center in Owings Mills clouds the purchase from the state of 178 acres there by neighboring Stevenson University, Arthur Hirsch reports in the Sun.

LOTTERY: The State Lottery Agency is asking to spend up to $99 million over five years to continue its deal with the company that operates the system used to operate almost all of its systems statewide, writes Andy Rosen for

SURPLUS FIGHT: Liam Farrell, (Annapolis) Capital staff writer, reports the financial feud continues when it comes to lead gubernatorial candidates O’Malley and Ehrlich. Both camps are disputing one another’s financial records given the state of the economy that Ehrlich left O’Malley in 2006.

O’MALLEY’S WAR: Columnist Marta Mossburg in the Frederick News-Post takes issues with Gov. O’Malley’s use of “war” in his discussion of potential tax increases.

SIGN REMOVAL: A Towson resident is weighing his legal options over a situation in which Baltimore County officials ordered him to take down a large campaign sign supporting Bob Ehrlich. Stephen Kolbe believes his First Amendment rights have been violated, according to Robert Lang for WBAL Radio.

CHESAPEAKE BAY REPORT CARD: Gov. O’Malley announced Tuesday that The Bay has received its highest grade since 2002 for improvements to water quality. The Bay’s overall grade was a C, according to Brian Witte for the Associated Press.

ENDORSEMENTS: Sen. Brian Frosh, D-Montgomery, announced his endorsement of county colleague Sen. Jennie Forehand in this video posted by Adam Pagnucco for Maryland Politics Watch.

Al Redmer, a District 7 hopeful, says Gov. Ehrlich’s endorsement of opponent Del J.B. Jennings doesn’t mean that much, writes Bryan Sears in his Strange Bedfellows blog.

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