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Reactions To The State Of The Union, A Possible Credit Rating Downgrade, and "Progress" On Transportation Funding
February 13, 2013
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin is reacting to last night's State of the Union Address, backing President Obama's call for more investement in job creation and now is not the time to put the brakes on the economy. The Democrat also echoed Obama's call for Congress to set partisanship aside, and find a way to prevent sequestration... a broadbased series of cuts to federal spending that would have a direct impact on Maryland's bottom line, in part because of the high concentration of federal workers in our state (via our wire service). Sequestration would also cause the state's credit rating to suffer; State Treasurer Nancy Kopp told a State Senate Committee yesterday that Moody's Analytics is planning to downgrade Maryland's Triple-A rating if a deal cannot be reached. Marylandreporter.com says the exact impact of a credit downgrade is hard to predict, but that it would cost the state millions of dollars.
In the General Assembly, lawmakers continue to work on a plan to raise more money for transportation projects. And yesterday, State Senate President Mike Miller said that progress is being made. Miller's remarks came after he met yesterday with Governor Martin O'Malley to talk about a transportation funding deal... but it's unclear what that deal would be. Miller put forth his own proposal last week, including a new sales tax on gasoline at the wholesale level. O'Malley is reportedly eyeing a hike in the state's general sales tax instead -- and Miller says the Governor could introduce his own legislation (more here from WYPR's Karen Hosler; more here from the Baltimore Sun and here from the Washington Post).
It looks like a shakeup could be on the way for the Republican leadership in Maryland's House of Delegates. GOP lawmakers have agreed to hold a special election in April, in which they could vote to replace Minority Leader Anthony O'Donnell and Minority Whip Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio. Delegates LeRoy Myers and Kathy Szeliga tell the Post that they plan on running for the positions (via the Washington Post).
The Baltimore city school board voted last night to close one charter school and not to renew the contracts of several others. But members put off deciding whether to close other schools whose licenses were revoked. WYPR’s Gwendolyn Glenn reports.
Governor O'Malley is expected to testify today before the Senate Finance Committee about his proposed wind legislation. On today's edition of Inside Maryland Politics, WYPR's Fraser Smith and Tim Wheeler of the Baltimore Sun talk about the prospects for offshore wind in Maryland.
The University of Maryland graduate student who yesterday shot two of his roommates -- one of them fatally -- before killing himself had reportedly been battling mental illness. Police say the handgun the shooter used was purchased legally (via our wire service; more here from the Baltimore Sun and here from the Gazette).
General assembly is considering a bill that would require all bicyclists in Maryland to wear helmets -- if the measure is approved, it would be the first of its kind in the nation. Cycling enthusiasts are opposing the bill, saying it would discourage people from riding their bikes. The majority of fatal bicycle injuries involve riders who were not wearing helmets (via the Baltimore Sun).
A University of Maryland police officer in training was shot in the head yesterday during a training exercise at an abandoned building in Owings Mills. Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts announced a suspension of all police training pending a safety evaluation (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
A tiny town on Maryland's Eastern Shore saw more rain from Hurricane Sandy than any other place in the U.S. According a new National Hurricane Center report on the superstorm, the Talbot County town of Bellevue recorded nearly 13 inches of rain (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
And in sports: Orioles pitchers and catchers begin spring training workouts today in Sarasota. Position players are expected to report later this week with full-team workouts to begin on Friday.
IN FOCUS TODAY
Monday, June 17, 2013 - 6:35am
WYPR's Fraser Smith and Scott Calvert of the Baltimore Sun talk about how the City Council is...
Friday, June 14, 2013 - 6:35am
WYPR's Fraser Smith and David Moon, political consultant and blogger at Maryland Juice talk...
Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 4:55am
Homer Favor, who died last Saturday, was an unrelenting advocate for civil and economic rights....