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A Special Session -- Or TWO Special Sessions? Plus: Parts Of A DNA Collection Law Are Ruled Unconstitutional, and An Eastern Shore Mail Processing Center Is Saved From Closure
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
There could be two special sessions of the General Assembly this year -- one in May to deal with the budget, and another later in the summer to deal with a proposal to expand gambling in Maryland. If lawmakers don't pass a revenue raising package by the end of June, more than $500-million in budget cuts will go into effect in the coming fiscal year; Governor O'Malley wants the budget resolved by May 23. The Governor also appears willing to deal with the issue of gambling -- in particular, a bill that would allow a sixth casino in Maryland and table games at all casinos around the state. Voters would decide in the fall whether to approve a gambling expansion, if one is passed by the General Assembly. If that doesn't happen this year, expanded gaming couldn't go before voters until 2014 -- and supporters of the bill don't want to wait that long. Many Republicans are opposing plans for a special session (or special sessions), noting that they'd cost upward of $20-thousand a day. More here from the Baltimore Sun, here from the Washington Post, here from marylandreporter.com, and here and here from the Frederick News Post.
Portions of a Maryland law allowing police to collect DNA samples from suspects of violent crimes have been ruled unconstitutional. Maryland has seen 58 convictions stemming from the collection of DNA evidence from crime suspects, since a law allowing the practice went into effect three years ago. More on the story here from the Baltimore Sun; we'll have an in-depth look at the ramifications of the ruling at 9 on Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast.
Governor O'Malley spoke at a meeting of the State School Board yesterday -- for the first time since 2009. O'Malley was there to welcome Lillian Lowery, who'll take over as State Schools Superintendent on July 1st (via the Baltimore Sun).
Lawmakers in Washington DC are saying an Eastern Shore mail processing center has been saved from closure. U.S. Senate negotiators say they reached a preliminary agreement yesterday that would keep the Easton mail processing center open -- and likely do the same for a similar center in the Western Maryland city of Cumberland (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
House Speaker Michael Busch announced yesterday that he recently recieved treatment for a non life-threatening form of skin cancer. Speaker Busch tells the Baltimore Sun that his condition hasn't caused him to miss any work, but has made him a big advocate of sunblock for kids -- and everyone else.
In Maryland's Sixth Congressional District, Democrat John Delaney is receiving new financial support in his bid to unseat incumbent GOP Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (via the Washington Post).
The Eastern Shore town of Berlin has being named the first certified sustainable community in the state (via the Daily Times).
Police in Catonsville are saying a speed camera has been replaced -- days after the previous one was set on fire (via our wire service; more here from the Baltimore Sun).
And in sports: the Orioles eeked out a victory over the Toronto Blue Jays last night; 2 to 1 was the score. The two teams play again tonight; the game starts at 7:05 at Camden Yards.
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