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Special Session Round-Up for Thursday

Here is a selection of news and links from around the web that supplement The Post's coverage of the Maryland special session as of Thursday, Nov. 8.

''We have to be able to get Maryland citizens back in Maryland and out of Dover, out of West Virginia and out of Pennsylvania," said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. of Chesapeake Beach, a slots supporter, in the Gazette. ''... We've got to be able to put a good product in place to recapture that Maryland money that's flowing out of the state."

From the Associated Press: "A House committee decided today to abandon the so-called 'Green Fund,' a fee on impervious surfaces that would have raised $85 million a year for Chesapeake cleanup."

A new report says the state should consider an increased sales tax, slot machine revenue, lottery proceeds and other means to help fund the operation state parks in Maryland, according to a story in the Annapolis Capital.

"The bottom line is, we're trying to raise about $1 billion for tax cuts, and we're trying to do it without hurting any particular demographic or geographic group," Bowie's Democratic Delegate Jim Hubbard said in the Bowie Blade-News. "It's our job to make sure Bowie doesn't get hurt in any of this and to do what we think is fair across the board."

Also from the Blade News, a Bowie health club is distributing a "glossy little foldout [that] urges members to e-mail and call legislators to express opposition to a proposal that would attach a sales tax onto health club memberships. It gives step-by-step instructions on how to write an effective e-mail and follow it up with a call to their legislator's office."

Democratic Senate majority leader Edward Kasemeyer "is about to make a choice he acknowledges could cost him at the polls when he is up for re-election in 2010," reads an article in the Howard County Times...

A West Virginia gaming company operator believes new facilities in Maryland won't destroy his business: "I don't think any other facility in the area is going to be able to provide what we can provide,'' MTR Gaming Group CEO and President Ted Arneault said in an Associated Press article. "I think we have an extremely unique product that's going to keep our customers coming.''

From The Post

The General Assembly's special session has thrown a wrench into Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett's travel plans. Leggett was scheduled to leave tomorrow for India as part of his economic development department's trade mission. But Leggett has decided to stay put for the legislative session.

As Maryland lawmakers debate how to balance the state budget, a local poll shows that Anne Arundel residents have mixed feelings about taxes proposed by Gov. O'Malley. But a majority in the county back the governor's efforts to bring slot machine gambling to the state.

And budget writers in the Maryland Senate were peppered with questions yesterday about whether their deficit reduction plan protects the interests of working families and why they had decided, with no public debate, to propose taxing landscaping, video arcades and visits from the Geek Squad and other computer services.

Finally, more than 50 bills have been introduced during the special session. Most offer alternative ways to close the projected shortfall, but many of the bills, have nothing to do with the state's budget problem.

-- Compiled by David P. Marino-Nachison

By Washington Post Editors  |  November 8, 2007; 5:49 PM ET
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