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Presidents Day Schedule Changes, Same-Sex Marriage, The Constellation/Exelon Merger, and Proposed Standards for Honey
Monday, February 20, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Today is Presidents Day -- it's a federal holiday, and a day full of schedule changes around Maryland. There are no MARC trains or commuter buses because of the holiday... but Local MTA buses, the Metro Subway and the Light Rail are running on regular schedules. Federal, state, and local government offices are closed today... so are schools, courts, and banks. There's no regular mail delivery from the post office. Most public libraries are closed - the exception is in Frederick County, where libraries are open. And trash pickup is a mixed bag -- it's on regular schedules in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, and Howard County. But there's no pickup in Baltimore City or in Annapolis. And remember to bring your change when you head out today; Presidents Day is not a parking meter holiday in Maryland. The Baltimore Sun has more on schedule changes here.
A State Senate committee could vote on the bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland as early as tomorrow. Democratic Senator Brian Frosh -- who chairs the Senate's Judicial Proceedings Committee -- says that his panel will vote "quickly" on the measure. The bill was approved Friday night by the House of Delegates on a vote of 72 to 67 -- that's one more vote in favor than was necessary for passage.Similar legislation was approved by the Senate last year, and this year's same-sex marriage bill is expected to pass the chamber as well. The bill's opponents have vowed to petition it to referendum -- meaning Maryland voters would decide its fate in November (via our wire service, the Washington Post and marylandreporter.com).
The planned merger between Constellation Energy and Chicago-based Exelon is now a step away from completion. On Friday, Maryland's Public Service Commission granted conditional approval to the $7.9-billion deal, and Exelon agreed to the PSC's conditions. The only hurdle left is approval from the Federal Regulatory Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which doesn't have to make a decision until April (more here from the Baltimore Business Journal, here from the Baltimore Sun, and here from the Daily Record).
Last week, Maryland General Assembly members received an earful from county officials, who do not want them to approve Governor Martin O’Malley’s call for local governments to help pay a portion of teacher pension costs. Many county executives are against the proposed shift, outlined in the governor’s budget, but as WYPR’s Gwendolyn Glenn reports, Baltimore County’s top official is not.
The United States imports more honey than it produces... and there have long been concerns over the quality of some of that imported honey. In recent years, states around the US have begun creating laws defining honey. And, that is just what the Maryland General Assembly is considering this session. WYPR’s Matt Purdy reports on the latest buzz...
Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O'Brien is now Cardinal O'Brien. Pope Benedict the 16th elevated O'Brien during a weekend ceremony in Rome, making O'Brien the 19th U.S. cardinal. He'll continue to serve as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Baltimore until his successor is installed (via our wire service; more here from the Baltimore Sun).
Drivers in Maryland are kicking in nearly 19-million dollars in traffic tickets issued in construction work zones (via the Baltimore Sun).
AND: gas prices edged up about 3 cents a gallon over the past week -- with the statewide average for a gallon of regular unleaded hitting $3.61 yesterday. That's more than 50 cents more than the average price at this time last year. Market analysts tell AAA Mid-Atlantic that prices are likely to keep rising -- and could pass the 4-dollar-a-gallon mark in late April or early May.
IN FOCUS TODAY
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