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A GOP Budget Plan, The Proposed Sales Tax On Gas, MD's Unemployment Rate, and A Push For An Elected State Inspector General
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Republicans in the House of Delegates unveiled their budget plan yesterday, which they said maintains state services without increasing taxes and without shifting the responsibility for teacher pensions to the counties. WYPR’s Joel McCord looks at the numbers.
Governor Martin O'Malley is expected to make a personal pitch in Annapolis today for imposing Maryland's 6% sales tax on gasoline purchases (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun). State Senate President Mike Miller has said he doesn't think the plan will pass during the regular session -- and that a special session may be needed later this year to address the issue (more here from the Baltimore Sun).
Maryland's unemployment rate dropped again in January -- to 6.5%. That's two-tenths of a percent lower than it was the month before. Maryland added nearly five thousand private sector jobs to the rolls in January (via the Baltimore Business Journal and the Baltimore Sun).
Republicans in the General Assembly say that Maryland needs an elected State Inspector General. The position would be tasked with investigating waste, fraud, mismanagement and corruption in state agencies. Creating an Inspector General's office would take a constitutional amendment; legislation that would do so has now been introduced (via marylandreporter.com).
More endorsements came out yesterday in the Sixth District Congressional race. Democratic State Senator Rob Garagiola won the backing of the United Auto Workers, while Democrat John Delaney won the endorsement of Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot. Republican Roscoe Bartlett currently represents the Sixth District; but the redistricting process has made his re-election battle an uphill one, and he faces several GOP candidates in his party's primary (via the Baltimore Sun and marylandreporter.com).
The Baltimore City School System is planning on spending more money per student next year; about 3% more, or 155-dollars per student (via the Baltimore Sun).
Maryland is considering a switch to all-electronic toll collection (via the Baltimore Sun).
Baltimore's director of the Department of Recreation and Parks is heading to a new job in Tampa. Gregory Bayor has held the post for two years. Bill Vondrasek will take his place next month as acting director and a search is going on for a replacement (via our wire service and the Baltimore Business Journal).
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is suggesting smaller increases in boat-registration fees than were proposed in the General Assembly (via our wire service; more here from the Baltimore Sun).
The Maryland Science Center is celebrating Pi Day. The value of pi, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, is 3.14(159...but who needs the rest?), and today's date is March 14, or 3-14. Events at the Science Center are free with paid admission, and include a pie-eating contest and a pizza pie toss (via our wire service).
IN FOCUS TODAY
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