State Roundup, July 2, 2012

STATE OF EMERGENCY: Gov. Martin O’Malley on Saturday issued a state of emergency for Maryland because of severe thunderstorms on Friday night, high temperatures and the long period of time it’s expected to take to fully recover from the double blow of weather disasters, Bryan Sears reports for Earlier in the day, O’Malley assessed the destruction with reporters, including announcing that 820,000 customers were without power.

The declaration gives the state flexibility to activate the Maryland National Guard, according to a report in the Frederick News-Post.

NEW LAWS: Tim Wheeler, Annie Linskey and Scott Calvert of the Sun reports that high-earners in Maryland will feel a financial pinch as employers start withholding more money from paychecks to accommodate the higher income tax rates approved by the General Assembly in May and signed into law by Gov. O’Malley. That’s among the laws that took effect yesterday.

Also on the list: Taxes on mini-cigars will jump more than four-fold, to 70 cents on the dollar.

Here’s a partial list of the 223 laws taking effect in Maryland yesterday, from Laura Vozzella and John Wagner of the Post. The list is led off by Virginia laws.

Brian Hughes of the Washington Examiner writes about both the new Virginia laws and those in Maryland, and includes a chart of the retroactive tax-hike for high earners.

An AP story in the Frederick News-Post reports on significant laws that went into effect yesterday, including the flush tax.

In December, all Maryland restaurants will have to store their food at 4 degrees cooler than the current requirement of 45 degrees Fahrenheit, writes Shantee Woodards for the Capital-Gazette.

REMAP PETITIONS HANDED IN: David Moon of Maryland Juice reports that a reader told him that on Saturday night, Republican activists and officials met the deadline to submit signatures to subject the state’s new congressional districts to a referendum. The Board of Elections still needs to validate the signatures.

Annie Linskey reports in the Sun that the group, led by Del. Neil Parrott, filed 36,267 signatures to the Maryland Secretary of State’s Office late Saturday evening, bringing to the number of signatures turned in to 63,030.

SWAIM-STALEY ON MD: After 35 years in state and local government, Beverley Swaim-Staley announced in April that she would step down as Maryland’s secretary of transportation. The Sun’s Candus Thomson interviews her about her years in government and what the future holds.

HEALTH CARE JOB CREATION: Gov. O’Malley said yesterday that Democrats can campaign on President Obama’s health care law in the wake of last week’s Supreme Court decision — if they put the law in its proper context. “We should tie it to the fact that we need to create jobs and expand opportunity,” O’Malley, chair of the Democratic Governors Association, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” during an appearance with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Here’s KAL’s toon take on the Supreme Court ruling on Obama’s health care plan.

ROSEN DOWN 8-1 IN FUNDS: With about 130 days of campaigning to go, Democratic congressional candidate Wendy Rosen is continuing to court Lower Shore voters in Maryland’s 1st District in hopes she can make up an 8-to-1 fund-raising deficit against incumbent U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, Brian Shane writes in the Salisbury Daily Times.

MOONEY WORKING FOR BARTLETT: State Republican Party Chairman Alex Mooney is now working part time on the staff of U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett as community outreach director, and state Sen. Nancy Jacobs is working on her spiel as she prepares to take on incumbent U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, Len Lazarick writes in

NUNS BYPASS BARTLETT: A group of Roman Catholic nuns traveling across nine states to protest a national budget proposal that cuts social service programs briefly stopped at Loyola University Maryland on Saturday, writes Jessica Anderson in the Sun. The stop scheduled for U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s Frederick office was canceled due to power outages.

ARUNDEL DEFIBRILLATORS: Like most lifeguards, Chris Roney is trained to use an automated external defibrillator. But the Millersville pool where he works doesn’t have one. That could change this summer if the Anne Arundel County Council passes a law today mandating that all public and semi-public pools have the devices, which provide an electric shock to the heart in cases of cardiac arrest, writes Allison Bourg for the Capital-Gazette.

PG SCHOOLS SANS CHIEF: Prince George’s schools Superintendent William Hite announced late Friday that he would accept an offer to head the School District of Philadelphia, leaving the county school system with a leadership void, Holly Nunn reports in the Gazette.

BA CO WORKERS WITHOUT CONTRACT: About 2,400 unionized Baltimore County public employees were set to return to work today without contracts, following disagreements about workers’ contributions to their health care benefits, writes Alison Knezevich for the Sun.

ALLEGANY FARMLAND PROTECTED: Matthew Bieniek of the Cumberland Times-News reports that the amount of Allegany County farmlands under permanent protection from development continues to grow with the planned addition of 205 acres along Town Creek to the program. An easement protecting the land was approved for purchase by the state Board of Public Works in late June at a price of $288,441.87.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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