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First Click -- Maryland

First Click

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis

Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009:

No hints on state budget cuts
Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Wednesday is expected to ask the state's Board of Public Works to approve nearly $300 million in fresh budget cuts, but unlike in days preceding similar rounds of cuts this summer, O'Malley's office has planned no public briefing today to explain the cuts. Inaccurate information presented at one of the last rounds of cuts has led to complications in closing an Eastern Shore mental health facility.

Dixon trial: Mayor had gift cards for clothes, seafood dinners

"Week 2 of [Mayor Sheila Dixon's] corruption trial got under way with revelations that Dixon had [gift cards intended for the poor] from Dunkin Donuts, Caribou Coffee and Starbucks, Nordstrom, Talbot's and Hecht's, Legal Sea Foods and Blockbuster," writes Laura Vozzella in The Baltimore Sun. "The real shocker: It was Dixon's defense that put all that out there for the jury."

State tax revenue falls in October

"Maryland tax revenue continued to drop in October, falling 2.3 percent below October 2008 levels," writes Scott Dance in The Baltimore Business Journal. "October is not a significant month for revenue collections, but Comptroller Peter Franchot wrote in a report to state leaders that the results were in line with expectations, 'which remain very low.'"

Marine contractors renew lobbying effort in capital

"A marine contractor group wants the state to provide a special license and faster permits because bureaucratic delays are sinking their business," writes Liam Farrell in The Capital. "The Maryland Marine Contractors Association is continuing lobbying efforts it began last year to require the Maryland Department of the Environment to license and regulate people and firms that provide or solicit marine contracting services in the state."

MoCo politicians get most cash from independent donors

Individual political contributions make up the bulk of Montgomery County politicians' fundraising, but business far outspends labor, according to Maryland Politics Watch, which has begun posting detailed reports on fundraising by politicians in the county.


  • O'Malley on Monday floated the idea of using federal education dollars for which Maryland is competing as "challenge pay" to lure principals to low-performing schools.

  • Owners of Arundel Mills mall conducted a media blitz Monday designed to counter opposition to putting a casino on the property.

  • Franchot, who is pushing for a statewide program to teach high school students how to manage money, visited a financial literacy class, chatting with students, the teacher and Allegany County Board of Education staff about how the program got started.

  • The first comprehensive update of Montgomery County's road and transit plan in more than 50 years is about to begin, according to The Gazette.

  • Anne Arundel County would convert methane gas into electricity and seek to cut energy consumption by 30 percent in both government and the private sector, under a proposal to harness millions in federal stimulus money, writes Erin Cox in The Capital.

  • Maryland Politics Watch continues to probe the funding for, including a look at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, which was launched with a grant from a conservative nonprofit and has worked to set up new online journalism sites this year in several state capitals.
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    By Aaron C. Davis  |  November 17, 2009; 6:45 AM ET
    Categories:  Aaron C. Davis , First Click  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Mall owners court media as slots vote looms
    Next: Pr. George's cab drivers protest outside final council session


    It seems to me that we all have to do more with less. Prices are falling, so sales tax revenue will go down. Unemployment is still increasing, so less tax revenues for the state. We need to shrink government expenses to live within our means.

    Posted by: newwave87 | November 17, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

    Very good. Live within our means, so quaint. So how will you feel when the state cuts school funding, cuts or delays road projects, cuts road and park maintenance, forces counties to pay teachers pensions, vastly increases tolls, and cuts money to save the dead Chesapeake Bay? What do you think should be cut to reduce state government spending?

    Posted by: VikingRider | November 17, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

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