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Transportation Funding, Term Limits, Racial Profiling Records, Open Meetings, and Remembering Richard Ben Cramer
January 25, 2013
State Senate President Mike Miller says he is drawing up legislation that would increase taxes on gasoline. Miller will reportedly propose imposing a 3 percent sales tax on gas at the wholesale level. He says the move will raise 300-million dollars a year in. Maryland's gasoline tax of 23 and a half cents a gallon has not been changed since 1992. Miller also wants to allow counties to collect their own local gas tax, of up to five cents a gallon -- and use the money to pay for local road and bridge projects. Miller's also floating the idea of leasing a major roadway, such as the Intercounty Connector, to a private operator to raise even more transportation revenue (via our wire service, the Baltimore Sun, and the Gazette).
First District Congressman Andy Harris is calling for term limits in Washington. Representative Harris has introduced legislation that would limit lawmakers to two consecutive terms in the U.S. Senate and six consecutive terms in the House (via our wire service and the Gazette).
Maryland's highest court has ruled that the State Police must provide internal affairs files on racial profiling complaints to the NAACP (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
The General Assembly is considering a bill that would allow fines for government bodies that ignore Maryland's open meetings law. The bipartisan legislation would allow public bodies to be fined as much as $10-thousand if they illegally block citizen from public meetings (via marylandreporter.com).
The people of Chestertown said goodbye to townsman Richard Ben Cramer last Sunday, remembering his smile and his talent for listening. WYPR Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith has this remembrance.
On today's edition of Inside Maryland Politics, WYPR Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith and the Daily Record's Alexander Pyles talk about a poll of Maryland voters that touches on Governor Martin O'Malley's political future.
The Chairman of Maryland's Lottery and Gaming Control Commission has officially resigned. The commission regulates Maryland's casino gambling program... and Kirby Fowler has chaired it, and its previous incarnation -- the Maryland Lottery Commission -- for the past three and a half years; Fowler says he stepped down because he didn't want any appearance of conflict as he works with the operators of a casino coming to downtown Baltimore in the coming months. Fowler is also the president of the business development group, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. Fowler will be replaced at the Lottery and Gaming Control Commission by Kimberly Robertson Pannell, who had been the body's vice chair (via the Baltimore Business Journal). Meanwhile, Maryland's Video Lottery Facility Location Commission will open the bidding for a licence to run a casino in Prince George's County next week (via the Gazette).
Baltimore's Police Department is doubling the number of officers reviewing speed camera tickets. The number of officers will increase from 12 to 25, a move aimed at stopping incorrect citations from going out (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is looking to bring new apartment buildings to downtown Charm City -- and six other city neighborhoods. And she's planning to introduce legislation that would give developers big tax breaks if they build them (via the Baltimore Business Journal and the Baltimore Sun).
The prosecution has rested its case in the misconduct trial of Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
Carroll County is now the third Maryland jurisdiction to make English its official language. The ordinance was passed unanimously last night by Carroll's Board of Commissioners. It forbids county government from conducting any form of business in any language other than English (via the Baltimore Sun).
A source tells the Frederick News-Post that Democratic Delegate Galen Clagett is planning to run for Mayor of Frederick in this year's municipal election. When asked for comment by the News-Post, Delegate Clagett wouldn't confirm whether he is indeed considering a Mayoral bid. Frederick's current Mayor, Republican Randy McClement, has not announced whether or not he'll seek a second term.
And in sports: Baltimore City is gearing up to give the Ravens a send-off ralley at the Inner Harbor prior to the team's departure for Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans. The rally will be held Monday morning at 11:30 at the Inner Harbor amphitheater, between the Pratt and Light Street pavilions. Ravens coaches and players are scheduled to attend, including head coach John Harbaugh and retiring Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
IN FOCUS TODAY
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