First Click -- Maryland
Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis
Wednesday, December 02, 2009:
Dixon verdict among worst-case scenarios; sneak peak suggests O'Malley's vision remains modest for session; Prince George's begins merit pay for teachers, linking cash bonuses to students' classroom performance; Montgomery council breaks with tradition.
Dixon trial: Lone guilty verdict leads to more questions than answers
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) on Tuesday was convicted on one of five counts related to theft of gift cards intended for city charities, throwing her future and that of the city's political structure into question after she said the verdict "does not impact my responsibility to continue serving." Constitutional provisions appear likely to force Dixon from office, and if her public support weakens she may not be able to maintain control at city hall, but some legal scholars said the lone misdemeanor could produce a legal quagmire of Dixon stands her ground. The Baltimore Sun has all the angles covered. Tricia Bishop dissects the mayor's legal options.
Merit pay for Prince George's teachers
"Many of the country's top educators are talking about the idea of paying teachers in line with their performance in the classroom. On Wednesday, Prince George's County will actually do it," writes The Post's Nelson Hernandez. "The second-largest school system in Maryland is paying $1.1 million to 279 teachers and administrators from a dozen schools who volunteered for a new program that links cash bonuses to classroom performance. ... bonuses of up to $10,000 for teachers, $11,500 for assistant principals and $12,000 for principals."
Montgomery council elects pro-business president
A deeply divided Montgomery County Council elected a pro-business president Tuesday, breaking with the county's tradition of making leadership decisions in private and a year in advance," writes The Post's Michael Laris. "The 5 to 4 vote elevated member Nancy Floreen (D-At Large) to the senior leadership post ... thrusting into the open hostilities among members of the all-Democratic council as it heads into an election year."
O'Malley seeking few new laws next year
Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) appears to have modest goals for when the General Assembly reconvenes next month. Joseph Bryce, the governor's chief legislative officer, provided a sneak peak of the governor's goals Tuesday in a briefing for the House Appropriations Committee, writes The Post's Aaron Davis. There were few surprises. The list's here.
No slots near shopping malls?
"With the fate of a proposed slots casino at Arundel Mills mall hanging in the balance, a state lawmaker said Tuesday that he will seek legislation prohibiting such facilities near shopping centers" writes The Post's John Wagner. "Del. Ron George (R-Anne Arundel) said he has prepared a bill that would ban slot machines within 1,000 feet of a shopping center, church, community center, playground or school -- with the exception of slots placed at existing horse tracks."
Maryland senators deeply skeptical about Afghanistan plan
"President Barack Obama's troop surge in Afghanistan met with deep skepticism Tuesday night from some of his staunchest backers: liberal Democratic lawmakers from Maryland," writes Paul West in The Sun. "Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin said he had 'serious questions' ... Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski said she had "grave reservations ..."
State won't cut teachers, but ...
"The state won't cut teachers to help deal with a $1.5 billion budget deficit next year, but school administrators and public relations employees may need to go, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said Tuesday," according to The AP's Brian Witte.
Report: Maryland horse racing needs a lift
"Maryland horse racing needs improved marketing, quality facilities, and better racing, according to a report released Dec. 1 by the Maryland Horse Industry Board," writes Tom LaMarra at Bloodhorse.com. "The board developed the report--Maryland Horse Forum 2009--at the request of Gov. Martin O'Malley."
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Aaron C. Davis
December 2, 2009; 8:33 AM ET
Categories: Aaron C. Davis , First Click
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