Friday, August 10, 2012
Patch gives readers' a chance to sound off each week on controversial topics or to share some personal experiences around current events.
The Maryland General Assembly is considering approving a bill during a special session that would permit a sixth casino in Prince George’s County, and allow for table games at existing gaming sites. Gov. Martin O’Malley called the special session so the issue can be put on the ballot as a referendum before voters in the Nov. 6 general election. But Patch wants to know how readers want the legislators who represent North Baltimore to vote. North Baltimore is represented in the House of Delegates by Del. Shawn Z. Tarrant, Del. Frank Conaway, Del. Barbara Robinson, Del. Samuel "Sandy" Rosenberg, Del. Nathaniel "Nat" Oaks, Del. Jill Carter, Del. Maggie McIntosh, Del. Curt Anderson and Del. Mary Washington. The area is represented in the …
Thursday, August 9, 2012
A bill that would overturn the state's Court of Appeals decision declaring pit bulls "inherently dangerous" overcame its first hurdle Thursday by passing a Senate committee hearing 7-2.
Maryland's Senate Judicial Services Committee voted 7-2 in favor of a bill that would overturn the state's Court of Appeals decision declaring pit bulls "inherently dangerous." Senators Joseph Getty (R-District 5) and Nancy Jacobs (R- District 34) made up the minority. Despite more than two hours of testimony before the committee, Senate Bill 2 passed without amendment. The legislation would overturn the breed distinction created by April's Tracey v. Solesky ruling, which stated that "when an attack involves pit bulls, it is no longer necessary to prove that the particular pit bull or pit bulls are dangerous." Instead, the bill's language tightens down regulations on all dog owners by making them legally responsible for a first bite even…
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Governor says 56-page bill "will create predictability in the marketplace" while protecting local and city aid and giving Prince George's County the ability to decide if it wants a sixth slots venue in its county.
Gov. Martin O'Malley Monday night released the 56-page bill that will be the focus of a special session on expanded gambling in the state. Legislators will be asked to vote on legislation that could add a sixth casino, most likely at National Harbor in Prince George's County as well as legalize table games. “The legislation we are sending to the members of the General Assembly will create predictability in the marketplace, protect local and city aid being generated at existing sites, ensure authorized facilities are able to be built, and allow the people of Prince George’s County the opportunity to decide whether they want a sixth site for the benefit of their county and revenue base," O'Malley said in a statement released just before 9 p.…
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Comptroller Peter Franchot argues the state needs to find a way to build businesses not casinos.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
By Comptroller Peter Franchot For anyone who remains unconvinced that the Maryland economy has lost momentum and is now moving in the wrong direction, the latest unemployment figures released by the U.S. Labor Department should remove all doubt. The State of Maryland lost 11,000 jobs in June – the third highest total in the nation, trailing only Wisconsin and Tennessee. This was our fourth consecutive month of job losses, and it elevated our state’s unemployment rate to 6.9 percent. Disappointing as those numbers are, they don’t tell the full story. Maryland also ranked 48th in Fiscal Year 2012 in both average private hourly and weekly earnings growth, and has actually experienced year-over-year declines in both categories. This means …
Friday, July 27, 2012
O'Malley says session, which begins on August 9, will be about job creation and funding for schools.
UPDATED (2:57 p.m.)—Gov. Martin O'Malley Friday announced he will call the General Assembly back to Annapolis for a special session on the issues of gambling and the creation of a sixth casino. "This is an issue about jobs," O'Malley said. "This is an issue about maximizing revenues from gaming." A bill was not available at the time of the morning news conference. O'Malley said it needed tweaking and would likely be made public shortly before the beginning of the special session. O'Malley, House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller all said the bill would create about 2,500 jobs from the legalization of table games and generate $100 million for schools. Sen. E.J. Pipkin Friday afternoon blasted O'Malley for …
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Baltimore City delegation isn't set on special session for expanded gambling yet.
This afternoon word broke that a deal for a Special Session of the Maryland General Assembly to put expanded table gambling up to the voters was close, but that may not be the case. Del. Shawn Z. Tarrant, D-District 40, who was at meetings today with House Speaker Michael Busch, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and 10 other members of the delegation said a deal hasn’t been brokered. "No I haven’t heard that, and to be quite honest with you, the Baltimore delegation hasn’t been pitched anything of any value to make us vote for this," Tarrant said. But on Wednesday evening The Baltimore Sun reported Del. Maggie McIntosh, D-District 43, said after a meeting with Busch that a special session was likely to be convened in early August. McIntosh …
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Governor calls budget package "good for all Marylanders." Republicans say burden to local governments may force county governments to increase taxes.
The Maryland House of Delegates gave final approval Wednesday to a package of three bills that increases taxes on some state residents, shifts part of teacher pensions to local governments and undoes the so-called "doomsday budget." The votes Wednesday afternoon capped the three-day special session called by Gov. Martin O'Malley in order to override more than $500 million in cuts made in a budget passed in early April. The Senate approved the same three bills Tuesday. As part of the package, legislators approved by a vote of 86-51 what amounts to a 50-50 split of teacher pension costs with local governments. The split will be phased in over the next four years beginning July 1 with the new budget year. That bill also includes a doubling of…
Friday, May 11, 2012
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot criticized a proposed tax increase following an event in Baltimore.
A special session of the Maryland General Assembly is set to begin on Monday to address the state’s so called “doomsday” budget, but Comptroller Peter Franchot already doesn’t like the direction it's heading. "I think the special session is going 100 mph in the wrong direction. Raising taxes in a tough economy is just—well intentioned, perhaps—but a really, really bad idea, bad timing," Franchot said. On Wednesday, Gov. Martin O’Malley, House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller held a news conference to announce a $35.8 billion budget plan that includes a proposal to hike the income tax rate of some residents. But a bill to do that has yet to be introduced. Franchot said the proposal will raise taxes on the …
Friday, May 4, 2012
Work will focus on balancing budget and eliminating $500 million in "doomsday" cuts.
Gov. Martin O'Malley Friday announced he will call state legislators back into session May 14 to deal with lingering state budget issues. “There is too much at stake not to move forward,” O’Malley said in a statement Friday afternoon. “I’m confident that we can come together with the Senate President and House Speaker to complete this most important work for the people of our State.” The session will focus on balancing the state budget and eliminating more than $500 million in cuts that were part of a so-called "doomsday budget" what passed at the end of this year's 90-day legislative session. As part of that session, some legislators expect the General Assembly will be asked to approve an income tax increase for some Maryland residents. …