State Roundup July 21, 2010

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SLOTS REFERENDUM: Maryland’s highest court has issued an order allowing a referendum on the state’s largest planned slots casino to move forward in Anne Arundel County, writes John Wagner for the Post. Liz Farmer of the Daily Record writes that the referendum could delay slots for years. Nicole Fuller of the Sun says supporters and opponents will likely mount vigorous campaigns on the issue. View Dave Collins’ video report for WBAL-TV. Here’s John Rydell’s piece for WBFF-TV. And Christian Schaffer’s report for WMAR-TV.  And Alex Demetrick’s video for WJZ-TV. And finally, here’s the story in the Annapolis Capital.

INTERNET POLITICS: Megan Poinski for reports that you’ll now be able to find out if a candidate is really behind a political message on Facebook. John Wagner blogs for the Post that Maryland will become one of the first states to regulate how candidates identify themselves on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites.  Julie Bykowicz reports the story for the Sun. Here’s Alan Brody’s article for the Gazette.

STATE PENSIONS: The Sun’s Jessica Anderson reports that after taking hits for two consecutive years, the state’s pension system saw gains well beyond its expected rate of return last fiscal year.

JOB GROWTH: Steve Fermier of WBAL-Radio and Baltimore Sun report that Maryland employers added 1,600 jobs in June, the fourth straight month of gains — but the smallest of the bunch.

TRIPLE-A MISTAKE: Columnist Marta Mossburg, in the Frederick News Post, writes that the state’s celebration of its AAA bond rating from discredited ratings agencies will allow Maryland to borrow money cheaply but delay hard budget choices.

HOSPITAL SHIP: Maryland’s U.S. representatives are trying to block the Navy from moving the hospital ship U.S.N.S. Comfort from its home in the Port of Baltimore to Norfolk, Va., when its berthing agreement expires in 2013, Matthew Brown and Robert Little write for the Sun. Here’s a video report from WJZ-TV.

TAX FREE DAYS: The state is offering tax-free shopping in August and again in September on specific clothing and appliances, Ryan Sharrow reports for the BBJ.  Here’s the August clothing list.

TOP SECRET III: In suburbs across the U.S., especially in Maryland and Virginia, the intelligence community goes about its anonymous business, writes Dana Priest and William Arkin in the third part of their investigative piece on the growth of the intelligence community since 9/11.

ILLEGAL SIGNS: A District 18 Delegate candidate has resumed her placement of illegal campaign signs, even after a warning from the town of Kensington. But her abuses have finally forced law enforcement to crack down. Adam Pagnucco posts at Maryland Politics Watch, where you can find lots of photos and other campaign updates.

SCHULZ TO RUN: Republican Central Committee Chairwoman Kelly Schulz has announced her candidacy for the House of Delegates District 4A seat, reports Scott Maucione for the Frederick News-Post.

MOCO COUNCIL CANDIDATE: Hans Riemer, a youth campaign manager for Obama’s primary run, is running himself — for Montgomery County Council, writes Erin Cunningham of the Gazette.

AMBITIOUS AGENDA: The Howard County Council is to vote on nearly every hot button issue it is facing before ending its legislative season next week, reports Larry Carson for the Sun.

COUNCIL MEMBER DIES: First term Havre de Grace City Councilwoman Brenda Guldenzopf died Monday. She was 48, L’Oreal Thompson reports for the Aegis.

SAFETY EXPERIENCE: A Frederick County emergency responder hopes to bring his public safety experience to the Board of County Commissioners, Meg Tully profiles him in the Frederick News Post.

ECONOMIC CORP: Annapolis Mayor Joshua Cohen signed into law legislation creating a new economic development corporation designed to revitalize small businesses in the capital city, Nicole Fuller reports for the Sun.

WINDMILLS: The Arundel County Council voted to allow homeowners to construct energy-generating windmills up to 125 feet tall, though most would be shorter, Erin Cox for Capital writes.

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