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The Push For Death Penalty Repeal, Transportation Funding Issues, and Fundraising For The 2014 Governor's Race
January 16, 2013
Governor Martin O'Malley says that he'll introduce legislation this week to repeal Maryland's death penalty. At a rally in Annapolis yesterday, O'Malley said the death penalty is expensive and does not work, citing statistics indicating that it's done nothing to prevent violent crime and the taking of human life over the last several decades. O'Malley wants to replace the death penalty with life without the possibility of parole, and says he thinks the will is there to pass such legislation in both the House of Delegates and the State Senate. Senate President Mike Miller says he expects that the repeal will pass... and that voters will ultimately decide its fate at the ballot box in 2014. A recent poll of Maryland voters shows more support for the death penalty than support for repeal, but no majority on either side (with reporting from WYPR's Karen Hosler and our wire service; more here from the Baltimore Sun, here from the Gazette, here from the Frederick News Post, here from the Daily Times, and here from the Washington Post).
The 2014 governor's race is underway... at least, on the fundraising front. One potential candidate is Attorney General Doug Gansler; the Democrat announced yesterday that his campaign account has more than $5-million cash on hand, and raised more than a million dollars over the past year. Other possible Democratic candidates include Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, and Montgomery County Delegate Heather Mizeur... they'll file formal finance reports today with the State Board of Elections (via our wire service, the Washington Post, and the Baltimore Sun). Republicans likely to enter the governor's race include Harford County Executive David Craig and Frederick County Commissioner Blaine Young; Young announced yesterday that his campaign had raised almost $450-thousand over the past year (via the Frederick News Post).
Maryland lawmakers will look to find new ways of raising money to pay for new transporation projects during this year's General Assembly session. Yesterday, a senior policy analyst with the state's Department of Legislative services told lawmakers that that the Transportation Department's capital fund will bring in about $2-billion dollars less than had previously been forecast, over the next six years (via the Baltimore Business Journal).
On today’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics, WYPR Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith talks to Andy Green, the Editorial Page Editor of the Baltimore Sun, about the potential for an increase in Maryland's gas tax in order to fund transportation in the state.
The chief economist with Moody's Investors Service told a State Senate committee yesterday that raising the state's gas tax THIS YEAR would hurt Maryland's bottom line, because of the expiration of the payroll tax holiday (via the Washington Examiner).
Meanwhile, Frederick County State Senator Ron Young says he wants to let counties and municipalities impose local gas taxes (via the Gazette).
The watchdog group "Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety" is calling for unified traffic laws in our region. The group says that accidents would be reduced -- and the roads would be safer -- if Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC get on the same page with their regulations (via our wire service and WJLA).
Maryland lawmakers have begun the process of reviewing the state's speed camera enforcement law. During a hearing yesterday, state highway officials defended the program, saying serious accidents in work zones have reached a ten year low, and deaths have dropped in each of the three years since the camera law took effect (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
Officials in the Frederick County town of Thurmont have decided to keep the town's 5% amusement tax (via the Frederick News Post).
In sports: The Ravens are back on the practice field today as they prepare for Sunday's AFC Championship Game. It will be a rematch of last year's title game in New England against the Patriots. Sunday's game will start at 6:30 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. Meanwhile: Baltimoreans will have to wait to see the fruits a bet made in advance of Saturday's Ravens game against the Broncos... Denver's mayor, Michael Hancock, had vowed to do his best imitation of Ray Lewis's signature pregame dance if the Ravens won (which, of course, they did). But Hancock injured himself over the weekend, and says the Dance will have to wait (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
IN FOCUS TODAY
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 6:35am
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