Session set for hectic ending
O'Malley on way to 2 key victories
One week ago it appeared that Gov. Martin O'Malley's second legislative session would conclude with few victories and plenty of unresolved problems. But in 24 hours, the logjam of bad news broke. In that time, O'Malley struck a rate- relief settlement with BGE's parent company, Constellation Energy Group, that includes a one-time $170 rebate to each customer. And he floated a proposal to repeal the unpopular computer services tax that is likely to dominate debate in the final week before the General Assembly adjourns for the year. But it remains to be seen how the actions will play out with voters. Some Republicans say that the BGE settlement falls short of what O'Malley could have secured and that his proposed tax on millionaires is political folly. "The settlement is cents on the dollar in terms of what ratepayers had on the table," said Sen. E.J. Pipkin, an
"Here we are a week to go, and it's like Groundhog Day," said
Backroom deals are back in play in Annapolis
We were back in the backroom again last week, standing around watching senators and delegates hash out their differences on the state budget. Now, after some fierce re-education by IT professionals contemplating moves out of state to avoid the tax, they fully recognize their mistake. The negotiators knew they could be back at the table later this week wrangling over the additional budget transfers and reductions in spending growth they would need to repeal the $200 million tax.
Anne Arundel, attorney general wrangle over detention center
Anne Arundel’s attempt to stop the expansion of a juvenile detention center in
Speed-camera contractor paid per citation
A state lawmaker says
From the altar, a vow of protest
Some clergy say until
Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton was always vexed by the notion that despite the country's traditional separation of church and state,
Leopold admits reversing his stand on impact fees
As state delegate in 2001, he decried them; today he seeks larges increases to balance county budget
Years before he became
One week from tonight in
Cell phone distraction
Our view: Bad behavior is rewarded
Cell phone-addicted motorists in
Our view: Settlement offers the chance to move forward
It would be foolish to give an instant thumbs up or down on the proposed settlement announced last week between the state and Constellation Energy Group over the 1999 deregulation deal. Cursory analysis is what got ratepayers in trouble nine years ago. The proposal has far-reaching ramifications, and lawmakers will need to closely scrutinize all of it in the days ahead. The biggest payback, however, would be to remove any further liability for the future decommissioning costs of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant from ratepayers once and for all. That's a potential $1.5 billion savings and possibly even more. Indeed, if there is a lesson to take away from this episode, it's the need for a more vigilant and assertive PSC. Legislators can debate the settlement's sufficiency, but there's no question that PSC Chairman Steven B. Larsen has given the agency new teeth. That benefits not only ratepayers but probably Constellation as well - at least if it means that the 1999 settlement can be put in the past.
Our Say: Pact with utility has some pluses, avoids legal mess
There's probably only way to get a completely fair deal for
Feds give $5.7M to region's BRAC infrastructure
The federal government has allotted $5.7 million to help the communities around Fort George G. Meade and Aberdeen Proving Ground prepare for an influx of more than 20,000 jobs, U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger touted at a press conference Monday. The military bases in Anne Arundel and Harford counties are expected to gain the jobs between 2009 and 2011 under the government's Base Realignment and Closure Act, known as BRAC. The money is expected to help pay for needs including roads, mass transit, work force training and health care, according to Ruppersberger's office.
Steele to HUD?
With today's resignation of Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, is former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele a prime candidate to fill the position? He's got a fair relationship with President George W. Bush, was publicly vetted in a Senate race, and would likely find quick confirmation the Senate