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Death Penalty Repeal, Transportation Funding, Marijuana Legislation, and Thomas Perez To Be Nominated To Head The US Labor Department
March 18, 2013
In a move that's been anticipated for more than a week, President Obama will today tap the former head of Maryland's Labor Department to become Secretary of the US Department of Labor. The President will nominate Thomas Perez to the cabinet level post. If he's confirmed, Perez is likely play a major role in immigration reform, which is expected to be a priority for Obama's second term (via the Baltimore Sun). Two Maryland congressmen took to the Sunday talk shows to talk about some of the President's other priorities. Democrat Chris Van Hollen, who represents the 8th District, said on NBC's "Meet The Press" that the top budget priority for President Obama is sustaining the economic recovery (via our wire service and the Washington Post). And on CNN's "State Of The Union," Maryland was represented by 2nd District Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger... who said cyber security is another top priority on Capitol Hill (via our wire service and CNN).
A bill repealing Maryland's death penalty is headed to Governor Martin O'Malley's desk, after being approved on Friday by the House of Delegates on a vote of 82 to 56; the State Senate had already approved the measure (via our wire service, the Washington Post, and the Gazette).
Now three weeks left in this year's General Assembly session, and lawmakers are turning to a bill that would raise more money for transportation projects... which would be accomplished by higher taxes on gasoline and higher fares on public transit (via our wire service, the Baltimore Sun, and marylandreporter.com).
Today, the State Senate is expected to approve a bill that would make the posession of small quanities of marijuana a civil offense, instead of a criminal one. The measure would then move to the House of Delegates, where its future is uncertain. The House is also considering a bill that would legalize marijuana for medical use (via the Washington Post and the Gazette).
On today's edition of Inside Maryland Politics, Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler of WYPR's political team talk about the difficult recent decision that Senator Barbara Mikulski made as Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Governor O'Malley is headed to Israel in April, for an economic development mission (via the Baltimore Sun).
The Baltimore Police Department increased its street presence over the St. Patrick's Day weekend, issuing citations for public drinking and open container violations, and setting up DUI checkpoints across the city. And a city police spokesperson said that "nothing noteworthy" happened this year. The Baltimore Sun reports that the weekend did see a fatal stabbing and two shootings, one of them fatal -- police say those incidents were unrelated to the holiday.
Anne Arundel County officials say a program that holds back tax refunds for people with criminal warrants is turning out to be a big success (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
And the sequestration spending cuts could keep the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration squad out of the 2013 Ocean City Air Show. The Navy says that the Blue Angels will be grounded after Sunday March 24th... but with the OC Air Show more than two months after that, its organizers tell the Daily Times that they're still expecting the Angels to show. The Air Show's president says that, as recently as Friday, the Navy told him that Blue Angels will be there. And with or without the squad, the OC Air show will go on, June 8th and 9th.
And in sports: a pair of Orioles split-squad teams beat the Twins 7-1 and lost to the Phillies 5-3 yesterday. The O's have an off day today and face the Red Sox tomorrow.
IN FOCUS TODAY
Monday, May 20, 2013 - 6:35am
WYPR's Fraser Smith and Luke Broadwater of the Baltimore Sun talk about the Baltimore City...
Friday, May 17, 2013 - 4:41am
More than 17,000 Baltimore students miss 20 or more days of school a year. Many of these...
Friday, May 17, 2013 - 4:37am
WYPR's Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler talk about changes to the horse racing industry in Maryland...