First Click -- Maryland
Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis
Wednesday, December 23, 2009:
Unlikely alliance vows to upend Arundel slots
"An unlikely coalition of anti-slots activists and Maryland horsemen vowed Tuesday to collect enough signatures to force a public vote on the new zoning law that allows construction of the state's largest casino at Arundel Mills mall," writes The Post's John Wagner. "The groups' mobilization followed Monday night's long-delayed passage of a zoning bill by the Anne Arundel County Council. ... Like other Maryland jurisdictions, Anne Arundel allows residents to challenge legislation through a ballot drive. If the opponents collect about 19,000 signatures, the zoning law will be suspended pending next year's election."
In related news:
Snow cleanup piles on Md. budget mess
"Maryland's budget for highway snow removal is in the red after a round-the-clock effort to clean up after last weekend's blizzard, state officials said Tuesday. The State Highway Administration has spent $27 million since last month for snow removal. It had budgeted $26 million for the entire winter," writes The Post's Aaron Davis. "During the height of the storm Saturday, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) activated the Maryland National Guard and pledged that the state's response would not be hindered by recent budget cuts. ... The $27 million in storm spending by Maryland transportation agencies does not include the cost of activating the National Guard, or replenishing supplies of salt and other equipment to get ready for the next storm."
"Barry from D.C." ... and "Martin from Annapolis"
"Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) fielded calls for the last time on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" program Tuesday morning, including one with a familiar voice identified by host Mark Seagrave as "Barry from D.C. -- that would be President Barack Obama, calling in to congratulate his pick for chairman of the Democratic National Committee as he concludes his four years as governor," writes The Post's Rosalind Helderman. O'Malley, or "Martin from Annapolis," also called in to thank Kaine for his environmental work.
Montgomery to share major new funding for base consolidation
"Montgomery and Fairfax counties are due for a $300 million boost in federal funding to help cope with the downside -- traffic, traffic and more traffic -- of federal base consolidations that will also bring thousands of jobs to the region. In a deal crafted by U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), prodded along by Maryland Sens. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) and Barbara A. Mikulski (D), and pushed through a House-Senate defense appropriations conference committee by Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) and Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), the two counties will divvy up the windfall to help pay for traffic improvements, public transit and expanded pedestrian access," writes The Post's Miranda Spivack.
Record numbers of inmates working behind bars
The state prison systems' entrepreneurial arm, Maryland Correctional Enterprises, produces dormitory mattresses, work stations or restored furnishings for the 5,000-bed campus and other government buildings in the state, reports The AP, in an inside look at the work unit at the 3,300-inmate, medium security prison in Westover. "By last year's figures, the $7.2 million industry employs a record 2,000 skilled inmates -- 220 of them at the Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover -- in furniture restoration and textiles jobs designed to train them and build a work ethic for a productive life on the outside."
Happy Holidays from The Post's Maryland Politics team. First Click will return next week (news permitting), and in January with new features. Throughout the quiet holiday period, keep up with The Post's state politics news on Facebook or on Twitter.
Aaron C. Davis
December 23, 2009; 4:26 AM ET
Categories: Aaron C. Davis , First Click
Save & Share: Previous: Snow clean up piles onto Maryland budget mess
Next: Cardin, Mikulski: aye on health care
Posted by: VikingRider | December 23, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.