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First Click

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2009:

Anne Arundel casino lurches ahead, unemployment insurance woes exist elsewhere and the prosecutor argues Dixon's conviction should stand

Proposed Arundel slots casino clears big hurdle
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Anne Arundel slots.jpg"Plans to put a slots casino at a Maryland outlet mall moved far closer to reality Monday night when the Anne Arundel County Council approved zoning for the 4,750-machine facility, breaking a stalemate that threatened to sink the project," writes The Post's John Wagner. "With a 4 to 2 vote, the council gave its blessing to the proposed casino at Arundel Mills mall, which would be the largest of five slots sites authorized in Maryland and one of the largest of its kind in the nation."

  • A breakdown here of how the council voted.

  • Reaction from the Maryland Jockey Club here.

  • The Baltimore Sun's take here.
  • Maryland not alone in unemployment insurance woes
    "The recession's jobless toll is draining unemployment-compensation funds so fast that according to federal projections, 40 state programs will go broke within two years and need $90 billion in loans to keep issuing the benefit checks," writes The Post's Peter Whoriskey. "The shortfalls are putting pressure on governments to either raise taxes or shrink the aid payments."
    Remedies proposed last week in Maryland by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) got a lukewarm repsonse.

    Dixon photo.jpgDixon conviction should stand, prosecutor says
    State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh argued Monday that the conviction of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) should stand, saying allegations of juror misconduct do not merit granting the new trial that her defense attorneys have requested, reports The Baltimore Sun's Annie Linskey. "'The Constitution entitles a criminal defendant to a fair trial, not a perfect one,' Rohrbaugh wrote in a motion filed Monday afternoon, quoting a Supreme Court case."

    Hospital expansion plans prompts 34 days of hearings
    Planning battle.jpgThe Post's Miranda Spivack looks at an epic land-use battle in Montgomery County over Suburban Hospital's proposed $230 million expansion. "In addition to demolishing homes, the hospital wants to add parking spaces, single-patient rooms, surgical suites and physicians' offices. To accomplish this, the houses would have to go and a public street would have to be closed, the hospital says." (Anti-expansion activist Amy Shiman is pictured above.)

    Snow weighs heavily on county budgets
    "The weekend's record-breaking snowfall is putting a big dent in already strained area government budgets, with some counties spending more than half of what they had initially allocated for storm emergencies," reports The Sun's Larry Carson in a story that surveys the Baltimore region.


  • Montgomery tries to incubate resurgence in biotech industry, reports The Post's Michael Laris.
  • Montgomery seeks a new planning board chair.
  • Maryland loses another corporate headquarters.
  • The Gazette's Marcus Moore looks at the state's confusing maintenance of effort funding formula for schools.
  • By Aaron C. Davis  |  December 22, 2009; 6:45 AM ET
    Categories:  Aaron C. Davis , First Click , John Wagner  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: How the Anne Arundel Council voted on slots
    Next: Leopold signs slots bill for Arundel Mills mall


    I've plotted the latest BLS Unemployment data for Maryland to create this heat map:

    Posted by: peterusso | December 22, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

    You know it's the silly political season when a councilmember (Valerie Ervin) proposes an investigation into the countys plowing actions. I think she needs to spend more time figuring out how the county will dig itself out of a mountain of unbalanced budget.

    Posted by: VikingRider | December 22, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

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