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    State Roundup: Tuesday, Dec. 7

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    From MarylandReporter.com:

    RACING'S FUTURE Although various players in the state's thoroughbred racing industry may disagree on how to sustain the sport, Gov. Martin O'Malley's office said yesterday that everyone agreed on one thing: keeping the Preakness Stakes in Maryland, Hanah Cho reports for the Sun.

    The Daily Record's Ben Mook reports that while the fate of Maryland’s horse racing industry remained in question yesterday, state officials and representatives of the racing industry met behind closed doors in an effort to open up a dialogue.

    Pat Warren of WJZ-TV reports that the impasse means that there could be no horse racing in Maryland next year. John Rydell of WBFF-TV reports about yesterday's meeting.

    GAMBLING DROP Gamblers at the Hollywood Casino Perryville lost $7.5 million in November, a drop of more than $4 million from the October, the first full month the casino was open. The drop was expected, writes Erich Wagner for the Daily Record. Ryan Sharrow of the Baltimore Business Journal reports that the average machine brought in $169 in November compared to $245 per day in October.

    BRACE FOR CUTS In an apparent bid to brace state employees for looming budget cuts, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley yesterday e-mailed them some recommended reading: a link to a New York Times story about states facing crises because of their debt loads, John Wagner blogs for the Post.

    TAX PANEL DISBANDS? The Maryland Business Tax Reform Commission has canceled its meeting for today and may not even meet next week to put the finishing touches on a report that advises against instituting a new form of corporate taxation called “combined reporting,” writes MarylandReporter.com.

    GOP FIELD THINS The Gazette's Alan Brody reports on the thinning field for chairman of the state's GOP.

    GLADDEN HAS MS Since she first entered politics, state Sen. Lisa Gladden has kept a secret. More than a decade later, she wants to share it on her own terms: She has multiple sclerosis, reports Michael Dresser of the Sun.

    BAKER JUMPS IN Mere hours after taking over as Prince George's County executive yesterday, Rushern Baker removed Roberto Hylton from his post as chief of Prince George's County Police, a department addled by two ongoing federal investigations that allege corruption and misconduct, Ben Present reports for the Diamondback.

    Matt Zapotosky reports the firing for the Post.

    Baker moved swiftly to take control of the $2.6 billion county government, firing or accepting resignations from at least a dozen top officials in the Johnson administration, the Post's Miranda Spivack and Ovetta Wiggins report.

    During his inaugural speech, Baker took on the ethical failings of the Johnson administration without ever specifically mentioning a federal investigation into county corruption. Johnson was seated nearby, reports Kevin Robillard for TBD.com. A video of the speech is at the top of the story.

    Miranda Spivack, Mike DeBonis and Ovetta Wiggins of the Post offer full coverage of the day's events.

    Here's some video interviews from Baker's inaugural ball, posted by the Post. You'll get a pretty good feed, although the sound does drop out here and there.

    JOHNSON SWORN IN Leslie Johnson, who with her husband, Jack, was indicted in the ongoing corruption probe, took the oath of office as a member of the Prince George's County Council over the objections of colleagues and citizens, Kevin Robillard reports for TBD.com. Again, there's video of the swearing in at the top of the story.

    WHO'S NEXT? In wake of the Johnsons' arrest, Prince George's residents can't help but wonder who is next, writes Paul Schwartzman of the Post.

    LEGGETT WATCH WORDS "Budget sustainability" were the words of the day as Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett took the oath for a second term then described his prioritys for the next four years, the Post's Michael Laris and Caitlin Gibson report.

    Erin Cunningham of the Gazette also reports on Leggett's low-key inauguration. Laris also writes that Leggett and the county focused on those in need.

    MIDDLEBROOKS RETIRES From the state Senate rocking chair to a pair of gavels and framed newspaper clippings, the walls of Anne Arundel County Councilman Ed Middlebrooks' law office chronicle nearly three decades in public office, Erin Cox reports for the Annapolis Capital.

    KAMENETZ TO INNOVATE In his first official speech as Baltimore County executive, Kevin Kamenetz vowed yesterday that his administration would be marked by a return to innovation in county government, Bryan Sears of Patch.com reports.

    In his inaugural speech, Kamenetz called himself a "lucky man," Steve Schuster reports for the Towson Times. The Sun's Raven Hill also reported the story.

    BUT NOT HERE In his Second Opinion column, Peter Jensen of the Sun writes that Kamenetz's call for innovation doesn't extend to those he's chosen as his top advisors.

    MOXLEY LOBBYIST Four-term former Baltimore County Councilman Sam Moxley will become the county's new top lobbyist with the council and in Annapolis, Sears writes for Patch.com.

    HARFORD EXEC The Dagger runs a press release stating that Harford County Executive David Craig also took the oath of office for a second four-year term.

    BERNSTEIN TEAM Gregg Bernstein, Baltimore's new top prosecutor, has tapped for his leadership team federal prosecutor George Hazel and Elizabeth Embry, who most recently served as acting director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, Scott Calvert reports for the Sun.

    Brendan Kearney of the Daily Record also reports on Bernstein's appointments.

    ICC DELAY Recent rain and this week's cold snap have slowed construction on the Intercounty Connector, pushing the opening of the highway's first 7.2-mile segment to early next year instead of this month, the Post's Katherine Shaver reports.

    IMMIGRANT PANEL SEEKS TIME It took two years for the Commission to Study the Impact of Immigrants in Maryland to be appointed, and the members will now be asking for another year to do their work, reports Megan Poinski for MarylandReporter.com. Sarah Breitenbach writes the story in the Gazette.

    SENATE COMMITTEES Alan Brody at the Gazette gets into more detail about Montgomery County retaining its three seats on a smaller Budget and Taxation Committee.

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