State Roundup, January 7, 2014

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U.S. Rep. John Delaney and Del. Heather Mizeur, who is running for governor — both Democrats —called on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration Monday to publicly disclose the feasibility of abandoning the state’s troubled health insurance exchange in favor of the better-performing federally run website, John Fritze reports in the Sun.

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Heather Mizeur on Monday called the rollout of Maryland’s online health insurance exchange a “debacle” and said the General Assembly needs to “step in and make it right,” writes John Wagner in the Post.

David Craig, a leading Republican candidate for Maryland governor, wants the state to stop spending millions of dollars marketing and promoting its problem-plagued health insurance marketplace and instead point residents directly to private insurance carriers and other options, reports the Post’s Jenna Johnson.

Craig and his running mate, are calling for Maryland to divert money earmarked for promoting the state health care benefit exchange to efforts that would encourage residents to sign up for insurance using private brokers, Bryan Sears reports in the Daily Record blog.

John Hanson Briscoe portrait in the House of Delegates chamber.

John Hanson Briscoe portrait in the House of Delegates chamber.

SPEAKER BRISCOE DIES: Judge John Hanson Briscoe Sr., scion of a prominent Southern Maryland family who served as speaker of the House of Delegates and later as a judge for the Circuit Court of St. Mary’s County, died Wednesday of cancer at Half Pone Farm in Hollywood, St. Mary’s County. He was 79, writes Fred Rasmussen in the Sun.

Megan McDonough does the Post’s obituary.

STREAMLINE BAIL REVIEW: Maryland’s judiciary is urging the General Assembly to streamline the state’s system for setting or denying bail for criminal defendants, replacing the current two-step process with a single hearing before a judge most of the time, writes Michael Dresser for the Sun. A task force appointed by Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera delivered its recommendations Monday to a panel set up by the legislature.

CYBERSECURITY, FILM TAX CREDITS: Tax credits for the film and cybersecurity industries could expand as part of the legislative session that starts Wednesday, Natalie Sherman reports in the Sun. Gov. Martin O’Malley is interested in adding money to the programs, said aides, who declined to provide details. The governor will release a budget and legislative package later this month, as lawmakers work to address a budget shortfall of about $500 million.

PIT BULL LEGISLATION: Tami Santelli of the Humane Society of the United States writes in a op-ed for the Sun that the Maryland General Assembly, which last year failed to pass compromise legislation to address the Maryland Court of Appeals’ ruling that pit-bull type dogs are inherently dangerous, will have another chance to bring certainty and protection to dog bite victims and dog owners.

Md CAN (Citizen Action network) ad

CARROLL BOOZE FEE HIKE: Carroll County businesses that sell beer, wine and liquor may see an increase in their license fees if the Carroll County House of Delegates Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly introduces a bill in Annapolis, Christian Alexandersen is reporting for the Carroll County Times. The four member, all-Republican delegation met Monday night for a public hearing on 22 local and state bills that have been requested by county officials and organizations to be introduced into the 90-day legislative session this year.

TURNING A BUCK WITH MUCK: Kevin Rector of the Sun reports that officials in Maryland don’t know how feasible it is to turn dredged muck from the bottom of Baltimore City’s shipping channels into a commercially viable construction material — but they are looking to find out. The Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland Port Administration recently requested information from a variety of private companies on best practices in turning the sludgy dredged material at its Cox Creek Dredged Material Containment Facility into concrete aggregate.

BIZ GROUPS LOSE HEADS: On Monday, Kathy Snyder, long-time president of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, announced her retirement. And today is the last day for Kim Burns, president of Maryland Business for Responsive Government, an organization she headed for three years, writes Len Lazarick for Snyder’s last day is June 30, write Gary Haber and Chris Mahoney for the Baltimore Business Journal.

FAREWELL TO COSTA: The editorial board for the Annapolis Capital writes, “We’re going to to miss Del. Bob Costa of Deale. We think his constituents will, too. But we also think the three-term Republican from south county, who announced on Friday that he’s retiring after his current term, made the right call — for reasons Costa himself explained. “I never planned to make a career out of this,” he said. “I believe in a people’s legislature — one that is in touch with their district.’ “

ASSEMBLY RACES UPDATE: Here’s’s monthly update of the General Assembly races.

FUNDRAISING CHALLENGE: A judge soon could hear a case challenging Ken Ulman’s ability to raise political contributions for his gubernatorial ticket during the upcoming legislative session, reports Kate Alexander in the Gazette. Daniel Clements, attorney for the plaintiffs, said Monday parties are trying to set a hearing date for the case.

HUGHES BACKS FROSH: Josh Bollinger of the Easton Star Democrat is reporting that former Maryland governor and Caroline County resident Harry Hughes last week announced his support of state Sen. Brian Frosh’s run for attorney general. “He’s a good public servant. He has been one for several years and he has the right sense of values,” Hughes said.

SPLIT ON IRAN ACTION: Nicole Gaudiano, writing in the Salisbury Daily Times, says that Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin of Maryland are among Senate Democrats who disagree on what action Congress should take to rein in Iran’s nuclear program.

LEGGETT CAMPAIGN CHIEF: Scott Goldberg, a former Maryland House candidate and one-time head of the Montgomery County Young Democrats, is Ike Leggett’s choice to manage his re-election campaign as Montgomery County executive, Bill Turque is reporting in the Post.

BISHOP ROBINSON DIES: Fred Rasmussen of the Sun writes that Bishop Lee Robinson Sr., Baltimore City’s first African-American police commissioner who began his 50-year law enforcement career with the Baltimore Park Police and went on to lead two state agencies, died Monday of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. The longtime Homeland resident was 86.

HADDAWAY INTERVIEW: The Spy websites have a 10-minute video interview with Del. Jeannie Haddaway, running for lieutenant governor.

ECM CHAIR DAVIS PROFILED: Center Maryland columnist Josh Kurtz uses the flurry of fundraising events Monday as the way to launch into a political profile of Del. Dereck Davis, the Prince George’s delegate who chairs the House Economic Matters Committee.

CRAIG CRITIQUE: The Dagger blog posts a critique of spending by Harford County Executive David Craig from the head of the teachers union there.

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:


  1. KatieSilverSpring

    I’m surprised in the listing of TV & Radio that WMAL radio is not there; it is a short 2 block walk from its studio into Maryland, unlike The Washington Post which you have listed under newspapers. WMAL focuses quite a bit on local politics and news, most especially on Maryland.

    • Ed

      Doesn’t follow DC TV stations either….and The Post actually has bureaus in Maryland.

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