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First Click

Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis

Wednesday, October 14, 2009:


Nearly 60 State Delegates Haven't Given Up Any Pay
Warning: If you're one of Maryland's 70,000 employees forced to take furloughs to help close the state's budget gap, you may not want to read this:
State police, road workers, court employees and just about every other public employee in Maryland had no choice in August when Gov. Martin O'Malley and the Board of Public Works voted to require state employees to take up to 10 days leave without pay.
Under the state's constitution, however, lawmakers couldn't be forced to do the same -- and it appears many don't want to.
Despite the pleadings of House Speaker Michael E. Busch, just 58 percent of state delegates have notified his office that they'll return any money to the state, even though O'Malley says more cuts and possible layoffs of state workers will be coming next month.
Aides to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. say his office will report today on the number of senators returning money in the other chamber of the General Assembly.
Of the 141 members of the House of Delegates, 82 have said they plan to return a portion of their $43,500 annual salary, according to Busch's office.
Five of those, however, have said they will return an amount less than the 8 days of pay lost by state workers making an equivalent amount.

What's More: State lawmakers (who work a 90-day legislative session, attend meetings in between, and often hold other paying jobs) have calculated the amount they will return to the state treasury based on a theoretical 365-day work year. That means for 8 days pay they lose $966.72. State workers making the same amount had to give up $1,338.46, based on a 40-hour work week.

Delegates who haven't committed to returning any pay: LeRoy E. Myers, Jr. (R); John P. Donoghue (D); Joseph R. Bartlett (R); Tanya Thornton Shewell (R); Nancy R. Stocksdale (R); A. Wade Kach (R); Michael H. Weir, Jr. (D); Richard K. Impallaria (R); Joseph C. Boteler III (R); Gail H. Bates (R); Warren E. Miller (R); Susan W. Krebs (R); Montgomery County: Herman L. Taylor, Jr. (D); Craig L. Rice (D); Alfred C. Carr, Jr. (D); Ana Sol Gutierrez (D); Henry B. Heller (D); Benjamin F. Kramer (D); Prince George's County: Benjamin S. Barnes (D); Joseline A. Pena-Melnyk (D); Tawanna P. Gaines (D); James W. Hubbard (D); Gerron S. Levi (D); Marvin E. Holmes, Jr. (D); Michael L. Vaughn (D); Aisha N. Braveboy (D); Melony G. Griffith (D); Veronica L. Turner (D); Kriselda Valderrama (D); Jay Walker (D); James E. Proctor, Jr. (D); Sally Y. Jameson (D): Anthony J. O'Donnell (R); Ronald A. George (R); Don H. Dwyer, Jr. (R); Steven R. Schuh (R); Tony McConkey (R); Robert A. Costa (R); Mary-Dulany James (D); B. Daniel Riley (D); H. Wayne Norman, Jr. (R); Michael D. Smigiel, Sr. (R); Mary Roe Walkup (R); Norman H. Conway (D); Frank M. Conaway, Jr. (D); Barbara A. Robinson (D); Jill P. Carter (D); Nathaniel T. Oaks (D); Susan L. M. Aumann (R); Curtis S. (Curt) Anderson (D); Ruth M. Kirk (D); Melvin L. Stukes (D); Talmadge Branch (D); Cheryl D. Glenn (D); Carolyn J. Krysiak (D); Keith E. Haynes (D); Jolene Ivey (D); Doyle L. Niemann (D); Victor R. Ramirez (D). Note: Busch Spokeswoman Alexandra Hughes says lawmakers have until the end of the year to decide to participate in the voluntary give-back.

In Other News:

Pr. George's Won't Rule out Re-Hiring Lobbyist Convicted of DUI
David A. Jacobs, a lobbyist who has worked for the Prince George's County Council and the sheriff's office pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving under the influence, the latest in a string of similar charges against him dating back to the early 1990s.
Still, the County Council has not ruled out re-hiring him next year, writes The Post's Jonathan Mummolo. Council spokeswoman Karen Campbell said contracts have not been finalized and the nine-member body needs time to confer in light of what happened in court Tuesday.
"I think it's a little premature," Campbell said. "The Council needs to take a look at exactly what happened." On April 29, he lost control of his sport utility vehicle, collided with a guard rail and another vehicle, and ended up on the median of the road, authorities said.

Public Employee Unions Say MD Needs More Equitable Budget Plan
State employees plan to gather in Annapolis on Thursday as lawmakers begin meeting on next year's budget. They're expected to call on O'Malley and the legislature to close tax loopholes, and consider other measures before moving forward with further state budget cuts to already understaffed state agencies.

MoCo Delegate Meeting with Obama
Del. Tom Hucker, (D-Montgomery County), will be part of a small group of state legislators meeting with President Barack Obama this morning at the White House. The group is representing some 1,057 state legislators who have signed letters supporting comprehensive health care reform.

O'Malley To Announce Partnership with Microsoft.
Gov. O'Malley, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, and the state's new Labor Secretary, Alex Sanchez, are expected to announce a partnership today with Microsoft to provide "free technology training to displaced workers."

10th Swine Flue Death in Maryland
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said Tuesday that the victim was an adult in western Maryland who had serious underlying health conditions.Since June 1, the agency has reported 217 hospitalizations due to swine flu related illnesses. Officials say swine flu is on the rise across the state.

State Civil Rights Legend Dies
Philip Lorenzo Brown, a black teacher who fought in 1938 to win black educators the same pay as whites, has died. He was 100.
Then-NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall represented black teachers in the case. Brown, in an interview last year with The Capital of Annapolis, said Anne Arundel county set top pay for black teachers at 56 percent of the maximum pay for a white teacher, or $700 a year versus $1,250, Brown said. Brown retired from teaching in 1970. He wrote several books about African-American history in Arundel County. Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a statement Tuesday that Maryland had lost a champion in education.


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By Aaron C. Davis  |  October 14, 2009; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Aaron C. Davis , First Click  
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