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O'Malley's State Of The State Speech, Baltimore County's Police Chief Calls For Universal Background Checks, and The Anne Arundel County Schedules Public Hearing On Leopold Ouster
January 31, 2013
Flanked by political leaders and diplomats, Governor Martin O’Malley delivered yesterday a seventh State of the State address that had a clear valedictory feel. O'Malley called on the General Assembly to approve a gun control package, which would ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines... and impose a licensing requirement for handguns. The governor also called on lawmakers to repeal Maryland's death penalty, approve a bill that would speed the development of an offshore wind power industry, and find a way to raise more money for transportation projects. WYPR’s Karen Hosler was among those tucked along the walls of the crowded House chamber and filed this report.
The Baltimore Business Journal has the full text of the speech here. And there's more here from the Baltimore Sun, and here from the Washington Post, and here from the Gazette, and here from the Daily Times.
Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson was in Washington yesterday -- urging Congress to tighten the nation's gun laws. Johnson called on lawmakers to require background checks for all gun buyers -- and said that as many as four out of ten sales happen without them. Johnson, who chairs the National Law Enforcment Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, wants background checks to be a universal requirement (via the Baltimore Sun).
The Anne Arundel County Council met yeserday to introduce legislation that could lead to the permant removal of County Executive John Leopold. This after Leopold was found guilty of two counts of misconduct on Tuesday. Technically, Leopold can't be removed from office until he's convicted of a crime... and that won't happen until he's sentenced or exhausted his appeals. And the County's attorney says that a vote on Leopold's ouster, before sentencing, would be premature; a sentencing date will likely be announced today. However, Anne Arundel County Council Chairman Jerry Walker says the removal of Leopold must be considered... and six of the seven council members co-sponsored legislation that would remove him from office. It only takes votes from five of the seven to declare the post vacant. A public hearing on the matter is scheduled for Monday of next week -- at which a vote is likely (via our wire service, the Gazette, and the Baltimore Sun).
The Rev. Vernon Dobson, long time pastor of Union Memorial Baptist Church and a founding member of the civil rights-era Goon Squad, died last weekend. WYPR’s Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith remembers Pastor Dobson in his weekly essay.
The Maryland Department of the Environment heard five hours of testimony yesterday, on plans to build a waste-to-energy incinerator in Frederick County (via the Frederick News-Post).
And in sports: the countdown to Super Bowl 47 continues in New Orleans. The Ravens and San Francisco 49ers both practiced yesterday in preparation for Sunday's big game at the Superdome.
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