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Sequestration, A BGE Rate Hike, Gun Legislation, and A Push To Study A Post-Labor-Day Start For Maryland Schools
February 25, 2013
A series of across-the-board federal spending cuts is set to take effect at the end of the week, if Congress doesn't act. Known as sequestration, the cuts would have a major impact on Maryland.The Obama Administration says that our state stands to lose around $14-million in federal funding for primary and secondary education, and close to $10-million more for education of children with disabilities (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun; the Sun has a gallery of eight ways the sequester could affect our state here).
Governor Martin O'Malley says sequestration could mean significant job losses for Maryland... and on CBS's Face The Nation yesterday, the Democrat was part of a bipartisan call for Congress to act; O'Malley was joined by Republican Governors Bob McDonnell of Virginia and Jan Brewer of Arizona (via our wire service, the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun).
BGE customers are about to pay more for their gas and electricity; on Friday, the state's Public Service Commission agreed to let the utility to raise its distribution rates. But not as much as BGE had asked for; the utility wanted to pull in an extra $175-million a year; the PSC says it can only raise an extra $113-million a year... only about 65% of the original request. The PSC says that the average BGE customer will see an extra $3.33 on monthy electricity bills, and an extra $2.70 on monthly gas bills; the rate increase has already gone into effect (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
On today's edition of Inside Maryland Politics, WYPR Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith gets an update from The Daily Record's Alexander Pyles about gun legislation in Annapolis.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments tomorrow on a challenge to Maryland's practice of taking DNA samples from people who are arrested (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
Some lawmakers in Annapolis are pushing for the school year to start after Labor Day... and they've introduced legislation that would create a task force to study how the move would effect summer tourism, the economy, and education in general (via the Daily Times).
The newest Delegate headed to Annapolis is Nina Harper. On Friday, Governor O'Malley officially tapped her to represent the 45th Legislative District, replacing Delegate Hattie Harrison, who passed away earlier this year (via the Baltimore Business Journal).
A Baltimore County councilman has been arrested on drunk driving charges. Police say 44-year-old Republican Councilman Todd Huff of Lutherville was arrested early Saturday in Towson for suspicion of driving under the influence (via our wire service; more here from the Baltimore Sun).
And in sports: The Orioles have started the spring season with two wins after yesterday's 5-4 victory over the Blue Jays. On Saturday the Birds topped the Twins in Sarasota... and the O's return to Sarasota this afternoon to host the Yankees.
And: The Ravens started contract negotiations with quarterback Joe Flacco over the weekend at the NFL Combine. Flacco's agent says he's seeking to make Flacco the highest-paid quarterback in the league.
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