Monday, March 11, 2013
The construction of a wind power farm off the coast of Ocean City could begin as early at 2017.
- GOING GREEN
Monday, March 11
By Jessica Wilde Capital News Service Gov. Martin O’Malley’s offshore wind energy bill is on its way to his desk for a signature, having passed in the House in February and in the Senate on Friday. Five friendly Senate amendments are expected to be approved easily by the House. The new legislation will funnel $1.7 billion of ratepayer subsidies over a 20-year period toward the construction of a wind power farm 10 to 30 miles off the coast of Ocean City as early as 2017. “It’s about a better Maryland for tomorrow,” said Sen. James Mathias Jr., D-Worcester, the former mayor of Ocean City, who changed his vote to support the bill. O’Malley’s previous two attempts to push the legislation—the first more ambitious —never made it to the Senate …
Thursday, February 21, 2013
A bill to repeal capital punishment is expected to pass out of a Senate committee with the vote of the Baltimore County Democrat.
The effort to repeal the death penalty in Maryland was stalled by the vote of one Baltimore County Democratic senator but it may pass this year because of another. Sen. Bobby Zirkin said he will vote in favor of a bill that repeals capital punishment in the state. "I'm forever torn on this issue, have been and probably always will be," Zirkin said in an interview Thursday. "I'm extremely jealous of people who fall comfortably on one side of the debate or the other." In the end, Zirkin said he made the decision to vote for repealing capital punishment based on testimony of some victims who said the death penalty provided little closure because of lengthy appeals and that the state hasn't executed anyone in nearly a decade. Zirkin said the …
The University of Maryland president lays out administrators' response to last week's shooting in The Diamondback.
In a lengthy column from Thursday's issue of The Diamondback, University of Maryland President Wallace Loh urges state legislators to pass a series of gun control measures proposed by Gov. Martin O'Malley and vows to expand campus police coverage to off-campus areas frequented by students. Loh's comments come just over a week after two UMD students were killed and another injured in a College Park murder-suicide—an event that "pierced our community’s emotional armor and awakened our vulnerability." "We are a campus family of some 37,000 students and 13,000 faculty and staff," Loh writes. "We must take thoughtful action together." The president outlines several areas of concern and steps the university is taking in the aftermath of the …
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Gov. Martin O'Malley's renewable energy initiative could add $1.50 per month to the average electricity bill.
A bill providing a public subsidy to offshore wind generation received preliminary approval from the House of Delegates Wednesday. The bill, one of Gov. Martin O'Malley's initiatives for the 2013 Maryland General Assembly session, would add $1.50 to the average consumer's electric bill once the windmills are built and start generating electricity. The turbines would likely be built 10 to 30 miles off the coast of Ocean City. The bill was passed despite attempts by Republicans to derail it because of concerns about costs. The House passed a similar bill last year but it later died in the Senate. The bill is expected to pass the General Assembly this year. The House of Delegates could schedule a final vote on the legislation as early as …
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Looking ahead to the strange and unknown in weather.
Tuesday, February 19
By Lauren Kirkwood, Capital News Service From potential heat waves to increased cases of respiratory illness and outbreaks of infectious disease, Maryland scientists are looking to predict how climate change will affect health in order to help communities across the state prepare. Looking ahead at the possible impact of global warming will give states and cities the chance to enact plans to protect those especially vulnerable to public health threats, including infants, the elderly and people with allergies or other medical conditions, scientists said. In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama noted 12 of the hottest years on record have fallen in the past 15 years, and said if Congress fails to act to prepare the nation …
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Capital punishment in Maryland already is effectively dead, according to some prosecutors.
Saturday, February 9
By Julia Maldonado, Capital News Service A bill that would repeal the death penalty in Maryland appears to have the votes needed to clear the Senate, adding momentum to Gov. Martin O’Malley and proponents’ push for repeal. But some prosecutors and other death penalty supporters say a repeal would only make official what is already true—capital punishment doesn’t really exist in Maryland. The state has one of the most restrictive death penalty laws in the country. Combine that with bureaucratic opposition from the governor and judges’ reluctance to impose the ultimate penalty, and even the most violent criminals are not likely to ever be executed, some say. “I don’t want them to ever have the opportunity to do it again,” said Sen. Kathleen …
Thursday, February 7, 2013
A state senator wants a new state bird; one man's technolgical fortress is his castle; and the Senate president feels snubbed by Obama.
It's not a statue in front of the office building that bares his name but Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller did receive a bust of himself this week courtesy of the Regional Manufacturing Institute. Sen. Kathy Klausmeier, a Perry Hall Democrat, gave a sneak preview of the small, light-weight bust of Miller moments before presenting it to the Senate's top dog. "You can't have too much Mike Miller," Klausmeier said. The technology is similar to what was used in a scene of Jurassic Park 3 where a copy of a velociraptor's larynx was recreated. The institute offered legislators in Annapolis the opportunity to have themselves scanned into a computer and get busts of themselves. Miller seemed impressed with the petite bust but joked that it …
Hundreds head to Annapolis to testify for and against a package of bills that would tighten gun regulations in Maryland.
Gun control supporters and opponents descended on a hearing room in Annapolis to debate a package of bills that is likely to be as divisive as any issue during the 90-day General Assembly session. Gov. Martin O'Malley said his legislation was driven by the shootings in Newtown, CT. and more than 500 shooting deaths in Maryland last year. "We are still losing too many of our citizens to gun violence," O'Malley said. "There's no such thing in our state as a spare American." Hundreds gathered outside the State House Wednesday morning, hours before O'Malley was to testify, to rally against the proposed laws. A line of people waiting to testify stretched outside the Senate office building. More than 500 people signed up to testify even though …
A comparison of existing state gun laws and proposed changes at the federal and state level.
Thursday, February 7
By Allen Etzler Capital News Service Gov. Martin O’Malley and President Barack Obama have proposed gun control and public safety legislation in response to the December school shootings in Newtown, CT. Here are some current Maryland laws, and the proposed legislative changes: Current Maryland Gun Laws Handguns: Assault Weapons: Ammunition Magazines: Proposed Changes to Maryland Law Proposed Changes to Federal Law
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Hundreds gather on the day Gov. Martin O'Malley testifies in favor of gun legislation he proposed earlier this year.
Wednesday, February 6
By Rashee Raj Kumar Capital News Service Hundreds of gun rights advocates rallied outside the State House Wednesday in opposition to new gun control measures proposed by Gov. Martin O’Malley. As O’Malley testified in favor of new gun restrictions before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, protesters outside said his proposals to ban assault weapons, limit magazine sizes and strengthen licensing measures would erode their rights. Jay Hanlon, a retiree from Silver Spring, held a sign arguing that the Second Amendment protected gun ownership, including assault weapons, as a check against “Domestic Enemies.” “That’s the weapon we need to defend ourselves against a government gone bad—against our oppressors,” said Hanlon, 65. Kerry …