State Roundup Jan. 18, 2010 | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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State Roundup Jan. 18, 2010

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Lawmakers brace this week for the introduction of the state budget Wednesday, slot machine changes are on the table, and there's talk of Republican primaries.

In The Baltimore Sun, Annie Linskey takes a look at long-term budget fixes for Maryland — including tax increases — that some argue will be necessary next year. These include taxes on alcohol and snack foods, a gas tax hike, and a reduction to the state’s liability for local teacher pensions.

Jenny Hopkinson of The (Salisbury) Daily Times takes a look at changes to the state’s slot machine laws being considered by lawmakers. They include a ban on lawmakers having a financial interest in slots parlors, new restrictions on where facilities could be built, and a shift of money from racing purses to buy better machines.

WBAL Radio has a report on the introduction this week of the state budget, which will seek to close a $2 billion gap. The story includes audio interviews with Gov. Martin O'Malley, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and House Minority leader Tony O'Donnell.

Del. Pat McDonough will not seek the Republican nomination for governor, and will instead consider a run for Baltimore County Executive, The Associated Press reports. McDonough believes former Gov. Bob Ehrlich is going to run against Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Potential Republican gubernatorial hopeful Larry Hogan has lent his campaign $325,000, John Wagner reports on The Washington Post’s Maryland Politics blog. Hogan has said he won’t run if Ehrlich does, but he polled above Ehrlich in an unscientific survey conducted by a blog.

Erin Julius of The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail takes a look at the effect of the coming primary battle among Washington County Republicans for a Senate seat. Sen. Don Munson, who is being challenged by House Minority Whip Chris Shank, says the race is going to "tear Washington County Republicans apart."

The Sun’s editorial board says the state’s Department of Juvenile Services appears to be headed in the right direction, but is in need of more reform.

Nick Sohr writes in his Eye on Annapolis blog for The Daily Record that Marylanders smoked fewer cigarettes and drank less beer last year, but consumed more liquor and wine.

Brian Griffiths of the Red Maryland blog argues in favor of the state's film production tax credit.

The federal government has extended the public comment period on a controversial security training site in Queen Anne’s County, Shantee Woodards reports in The (Annapolis) Capital.

The federal housing department wants more than $2 million back from Prince George’s County, because officials there did not spend the money in time, Jonathan Mummolo reports in The Washington Post.

Some doubt that the state can maintain its top ranking for the school system if the General Assembly rolls back local funding requirements, Marge Neal writes for the Frederick News-Post.

Erica Kritt of the Carroll County Times takes a look at the state’s 2007 Medicaid expansion, which she reports has extended coverage to 1,000 people in Carroll County and 52,000 in Maryland.

Maryland's judicial commission is going after the Charles County judge who let the air out of a courthouse worker's tire last year, according to the Post.

Montgomery County lawmakers talk to The Sentinel about their top issues this session.

Karen Kemp of the Carroll County Times writes that Maryland gas prices are at a 15-month high.

The state will pay $4.4 million to help restore a section of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Andrew Schotz reports in the Herald-Mail.

Harry Jaffe writes in his column for the Washington Examiner that Washington, D.C. has a good shot at bringing the Northrop Grumman headquarters to town. Maryland and Virginia are also competing for the defense contractor’s business.

Michael Dresser writes in his blog in The Sun that the state has not changed its approach to ownership for BWI airport. An earlier report had quoted Gov. Martin O’Malley as saying he was open to a sale. WBAL TV has a report with video.

Megan Miller rounds up some local bills in the General Assembly for the Cumberland Times-News.

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