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Special Session Round-Up for Tuesday

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 Tuesday, November 13, 2007.

There are "too many opportunities for corruption" when choosing slot sites, says
a Baltimore Sun editorial, which is why legislation by the House Ways and Means Committee to prohibit political contributions employed in the gambling industry makes a lot of sense. "The fact that the owner of Ocean Downs in Worcester County has given nearly $400,000 in political donations and no stands to own one of those slots licenses certainly suggests his contributions didn't go unnoticed."

The slots issue needs to be settled before the 2008 General Assembly's regular session, reads a column on the WBAL-11 web site. "It is simply time for the Governor and Legislators to end this political poker game, call each other's hand, lay their cards on the table, and go to Annapolis and have one less obstacle for the general session in 2008."

O'Malley's proposed legislation to increase taxes will hurt Washington County businesses whose success or failure can be determined by tax policy, writes a letter published on the Herald-Mail's web site. "Here, the proposed legislation will hurt the hair dresser and the cleaning service, the bookkeeper and the farmer, the landscape company and the local restaurant," writes Brien Poffenberger.

What will happen to Maryland's higher education system is still up in the air based on how the state's House and Senate decide to act on budgeting, reads an article in The Diamondback. "Because the House and Senate took very different approaches to fixing the state's $1.7 billion deficit, tuition cuts are still a possibility," reads Megan Eckstein's article.

The special session appears to be getting old for some Maryland lawmakers and lobbyists as it heads into its third week. "Everyone's getting sick of it, and everyone wants to be home by Thanksgiving," said Sean Dobson, head of Progressive Maryland, in an Associated Press article.

Maryland lawmakers "abandoned the idea of taxing property owners to help the Chesapeake Bay," reports The Annapolis Capital, though lawmakers are still making plans to help the bay at the State House.

From The Post, the Maryland House of Delegates overwhelmingly voted this afternoon to direct Gov. Martin O'Malley to cut about $498 million from the next fiscal year's budget by slowing planned spending growth on several state education, health-care and environmental initiatives.

StopSlotsMaryland, a grass-roots group opposed to Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan to expand gambling, is trying to employ humor as lobbying tactic, reads a post on the Maryland Moment blog.

And from the weekend: Early Sunday morning, the Maryland House of Delegates voted for 80-56 for House Bill 5, which includes raising the sales tax from 5 to 6 percent, increasing the vehicle titling tax from 5 to 6 percent and increasing the tobacco tax by $1. The Associated Press listed Washington-region votes.

- Compiled By Jamisha Purdy

By Washington Post Editors  |  November 13, 2007; 6:09 PM ET
 
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Comments

If slots are coming, why not full scale casino's? Do it right. A casino at National Harbor could likely rip-off money from more out-of-stater's than anywhere else in the state. Just a short hop to VA and DC, not to mention all the convention traffic.

Posted by: spikemilligan | November 14, 2007 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I think they should go full throttle and have casinos that offer all types of gambling. It makes no sense to offer what West Virginia or Delaware offers, go one better. The Inner Harbor would be the perfect place this.

Posted by: Harry | November 14, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

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