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The Voter Registration Deadline Nears, Spending On Ballot Questions, and Falling Unemployment Insurance Tax Rates
October 15, 2012
Election day is November 6th, Maryland's early voting period begins October 27th, and the deadline to register to vote is TOMORROW -- October 16th. You can register online here... and the State Board of Elections has information about registering in person here.
When Marylanders head to the polls, they'll decide the fate of seven statewide ballot questions. And the campaigns fighting over those measures are pouring money into ads -- all told, some $53-million so far. The most money has been spent on "Question 7," -- which would permit an expansion of the state's casino gambling program. Some $47-million have been earmarked for ads about that measure, primarily by gambling companies. Second in the spending battle: "Question 6" -- which puts the state's law legalizing same sex marriage before voters. Groups for and against same-sex marriage have raised more than $4.1-million combined. Another $1.5-million dollars have been spent talking about "Question 4" -- the Maryland DREAM Act, which would allow some undocumented immigrants to pay in-state college tuition rates (via the Washington Post). Far less spending's taken place on "Question 5," which determines whether Maryland's new congressional district map will be allowed to stand; one group opposed to the redistricting plan has raised less than $1-thousand (via the Baltimore Sun).
The unemployment insurance taxes that Maryland businesses pay are set to be cut by as much as 55% in the coming year (via the Baltimore Sun).
The number of meningitis cases In Maryland linked to a tainted steroid injection for back pain has reached 15; one of those cases has been fatal (via the Baltimore Sun). A programming note: we'll have the latest on the meningitis outbreak today at noon on Midday with Dan Rodricks.
On today's edition of Inside Maryland Politics, WYPR Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith talks to Alexander Pyles from The Daily Record. They discuss a recent study that shows the potential benefits the state would see if The Dream Act referendum is approved.
Baltimore City comptroller Joan Pratt has filed a lawsuit in an effort to prevent the installation of a new phone system; the suit alleges that the Mayor's Office of Information Technology used a "underhanded, illegal technique" to skirt the competitive bidding process, and grant contracts to Digicon Corp for the installation of a Voiceover Internet Protocal phone system (via the Baltimore Sun).
Firefighters in Northeast Baltimore are going door-to-door checking smoke alarms and educating people about fire safety, in the wake of last week's house fire that killed 5 people. If you don't have a smoke alarm, call 311 and firefighters will install one within two hours (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
Crews are trying to locate two hikers from our region who have disappeared in Montana's Glacier National Park (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
City area drivers should prepare for delays in the coming days; the State Highway Administration has announced that it's closing the eastbound lane of the Route 90 Bridge over the Assawoman Bay tomorrow and Wednesday. The SHA says the closures are necessary to repair roadway lighting systems (via the Daily Times).
And in sports: the Ravens took down the Dallas Cowboys in yesterday's game; the score was 31 to 29.
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