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MarylandReporter.com: State Roundup Mar. 11, 2010

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From the Maryland Reporter website:

DEATH PENALTY The death penalty is up for discussion again as state lawmakers plan for more revisions, writes Baltimore Sun staff writer Julie Bykowicz. The bill would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty on the basis of finger prints and/or photographs, reports John Wagner from the Washington Post’s Maryland Politics blog.

A year ago, death penalty cases could only be tried based on biological evidence, videotaped evidence or a confession, adds WBAL’s Anne Kramer. Steve Lash, Daily Record legal affairs writer, focuses his story on opponents and supporters butting heads at a Wednesday Senate Committee Hearing.

REVENUE WBAL’s Robert Lang is reporting optimism in Gov. Martin O’Malley’s camp on state revenues, while Comptroller Peter Franchot remains more gloomy about the state’s latest revenue estimates. The current estimate for Maryland’s tax revenue is $66 million less, writes Scott Dance for the Baltimore Business Journal. You can read The Gazette of Politics and Business staff writer Douglas Tallman’s story here.

GOP CUTS Budget leaders and legislative analysts were skeptical about the Republican plan to cut $800 million from next year's budget, Len Lazarick reports in MarylandReporter.com

SCHOOL A bill requiring students to attend school until they are 18 years old was shelved because of its hefty price tag, says WBAL Radio’s Anne Kramer.

FRAUD Being a "whistle-blower" on fraudulent health care claims could be lucrative, according to a story from WBAL TV-11.

WAXTER CENTER Legislators are proposing to shut down the Waxter Center, the troubled detention center for girls in Laurel run by the Department of Juvenile Services, according to Henri Cauvin in the Post.

IMMIGRATION Two bills coursing through the General Assembly would require the Division of Corrections to notify state agencies about an inmate’s immigration status Erin Julius reports for The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail.

EARMARKS U.S. House Democrats are planning to ban corporate earmarks by 2010, writes Paul West from The Baltimore Sun’s Maryland Politics blog.

BGE WTOP posted this Associated Press story that says Baltimore Gas and Electric and Pepco won’t have to pay taxes on federal grant money that they received to modernize power grids.

ALCOHOL The Daily Record posted this story from the Capital News Service about ongoing debate about a "dime-a-drink" tax on alcohol.

CRITICISM Sen. Alex Mooney is criticizing the nomination of Del. Charles Jenkins to the Washington County Republican Central Committee writes Meg Tully, Frederick News-Post staff writer.

IMPEACHMENT Del. Don Dwyer’s vocal attempt to impeach attorney general Doug Gansler could turn into an "ugly battle," writes The (Annapolis) Capital’s Liam Farrell.

CUTS Baltimore could be feeling more multi-million dollar cuts after a new General Assembly analysis of the city’s transportation spending, according to Annie Linskey in the Sun.

LIBRARY UNION Delegates representing six counties have moved to exempt these jurisdictions from a bill that would make it easier for local librarians to unionize, citing concerns about the costs, Nick DiMarco writes in MarylandReporter.com.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS Marta Mossburg has a column in the Frederick News-Post supporting BOAST, the legislative to provide tax credits to companies that aid private schools.

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