State Roundup July 20, 2010

SLOTS UPDATE: A state commission threw the single gaming license for Western Maryland up for grabs on Monday, but will have to wait months longer to do the same for the casino to be built in Baltimore City, reports Nicholas Sohr of the Daily Record. Stories also appear from the Gazette’s Sean Sedam and the Post’s John Wagner also reports on the slots issue.

TAWES CRAB FEST: If you expect to be elected to office in Maryland, you’ll be among the 6,000 at Wednesday’s 34th annual J. Millard Tawes Crab & Clam Bake in Crisfield, considered by most to be the premier political event of the year. Liz Holland reports for the Salisbury Daily Times. Center Maryland’s Josh Kurtz writes about the environmental drama and political theater to unfold on the Eastern Shore. But those trying to attend from the mainland should be warned: There will be single-lane closures of the Bay Bridge during off-peak hours. View David Kosen’s video report for WMAR-TV here.

SSNs POSTED: A employee of the state Department of Human Resources is on administrative leave after posting the Social Security numbers of nearly 3,000 clients of a state agency on a third-party website. Liz Kay of the Sun has the story.  Joy Lepola has video report for WBFF-TV.  And listen to Steve Fermier’s report for WBAL-Radio.

HEALTH REFORM: A task force charged with overseeing sweeping federal health care reform in Maryland has approved an interim plan that outlines steps to prepare for the changes it will bring, says the Sun’s Andrea Walker.

DEATH ROW: Maryland is considering becoming one of the few states to allow condemned inmates to choose a clergy member not employed by the state to be in the execution chamber when they die, reports the AP’s Brian Witte in the Annapolis Capital.

BIDEN ON O’MALLEY: The Sun’s Annie Linskey reports that Vice President Biden heaped praise on Gov. O’Malley, telling the 200 gathered at a fundraiser that the governor can be trusted to lead, in part because he “feels” the pain of ordinary Marylanders “in the gut.”  See Mike Helligren’s in-depth video report for WJZ-TV here.

TOP SECRET PART II: The Washington Post continues its series on the mammoth growth of U.S. covert ops since 9/11 with a piece on the huge number of private contractors who now do government functions.

ALTERNATE COURT: Montgomery County Council members want to set up an alternate court for nonviolent criminals with mental illnesses, saying those inmates don’t receive enough treatment behind bars and drain the cash-strapped county with each trip back to jail, reports Brian Hughes of the Washington Examiner.

HOWARD FEES: Unhappy with Howard County Council fees, the independent Soil Conservation District declares its own higher development review fees, a move county officials say is illegal, reports Larry Carson of the Sun.

HOUSING DEPT MOVE: Employees, union officials say that the proposed Housing and Community Development Department move from Anne Arundel County to a Prince George’s County Metro stop would be a hardship, writes Barbara Pash of

ELMORE SWORN IN: Carolyn Elmore, the widow of late Del. Page Elmore, has been sworn in to the legislature to fill out her husband’s term. But she will not seek election to the seat.

LEOPOLD SURGERY: Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold is recovering from his second back surgery in five months, Nicole Fuller reports for the Sun. And here’s the Annapolis Capital story.

FREE CONTRACT SCHOOL: An Anne Arundel County councilman is trying to push a developer’s 1,000-home plan forward in order to add a school in Laurel, writes Nicole Fuller of the Sun.

LIVING WAGE: Marta Mossburg writes for the Sun opinion section that Baltimore city’s living wage proposal will hurt businesses and won’t do much to help city workers.

PAPERLESS COUNCIL: The Hagerstown City Council to consider the advantages of going paperless, reports Kate Alexander of the Herald-Mail.

DIME A DRINK: Health care advocates who want health coverage to low-income Marylanders expanded are pressing candidates to sign a resolution calling for a dime a drink increase in the state alcohol tax, Sean Sedam reports for the Gazette.

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