Thursday, November 15, 2012
Public hearing to discuss replacements for state legislator.
The Prince George's County Democratic Central Committee will hold a public hearing tonight to try to find a replacement for retiring Prince George's County state Del. Justin Justin Ross (D-District 22). Ross announced his retirement back in September, surprising many of his colleagues in Annapolis. Ross was first elected in 2002, and was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Last week, Ross, whose 22nd District encompasses Hyattsville, University Park, Riverdale Park, Greenbet and New Carollton, was honored by the Hyattsville City Council for his service to the area. Tonight's meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Prangley Room on the second floor of the Hyattsville Municipal Building at 4310 Gallatin Street in Hyattsville.
Monday, November 5, 2012
A look at what's at stake—and how the battle is being waged.
Note: This article was originally published on Oct. 25 but is being featured again ahead of Tuesday's election. WHAT IT'S ABOUT Question 7 asks voters whether they favor a plan to expand gambling in Maryland that would: The ballot question is a result of legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly during its 2012 special session (view the House and Senate roll calls) and signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley. Several other portions of the law are not subject to a referendum. Slot machines have been permitted in the state since voters approved a gaming referendum (59 percent to 41 percent) in November 2008. Passage of Question 7 would mark a significant shift, however, bringing Maryland's casinos closer in line with those of Atlantic City …
Thursday, October 18, 2012
How will you vote on the Congressional redistricting plan on Nov. 6?
In addition to more notable referendum questions such as same-sex marriage, DREAM Act and expanded gambling, Maryland voters will also be asked to decide the fate of the state's recently redrawn congressional districts. Earlier this week, Comptroller Peter Franchot announced he intends to vote against the maps and asked voters to do the same. The comptroller said the recent maps drawn by Gov. Martin O'Malley and approved by the General Assembly are unfair and make Maryland "the poster child for gerrymandering." A spokeswoman for the governor noted that the maps have survived a number of challenges in the courts and that the process used to create them is legally sound. Voters on Nov. 6 will be asked to vote for the referred law or against …
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Comptroller says Maryland "is the poster child for gerrymandering" and urges voters to vote no on Question 5.
Democratic Comptroller Peter Franchot said Monday he supports his party's candidates but that recent redistricting of Maryland's congressional is too heavy-handed. "This map is way over the edge in terms of bare-knuckle politics," said Franchot. "I'm a proud Democrat. I support Democrats. I just want it to be fair and not fixed," Franchot said, comparing the redistricting process to "Boss Tweed-style Chicago politics." Franchot Tuesday called for an independent, non-partisan commission that would redraw the congressional and state legislative districts. The change would help restore faith in the political system, he said. The comptroller said the districts should be more compact in order to provide voters with better representation. He …
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Ross has represented the 22nd District since 2003.
Del. Justin Ross (D-Prince George's) is retiring, according to a statement from county officials. County Executive Rushern Baker's office announced the decision by the 22nd district representative on Thursday, calling it "a loss for Prince George's County." Ross was elected in 2002 and has served as a delegate and Deputy Whip in the general assembly. "His energy and passion for Prince George’s County impressed anybody he met in the county or around the state and region," Baker said. "I will miss having his voice in Annapolis and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. I know that he will remain an active and engaged leader in our county and throughout our communities.” Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley called Ross a "tireless advocate…
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Comptroller says the November referendum will not be about legalization of slots but "will be about the type of government Marylanders want, and the kind of state we wish to leave to our kids."
Comptroller Peter Franchot said expanded gaming legislation scheduled to be signed into law Wednesday won't generate the revenue state officials promise. "There never was a fiscal or an economic rationale for reconvening the Maryland General Assembly for its third special session in less than a year," said Franchot in a statement released Wednesday. "Any revenues that will be generated by a new casino in Prince George’s County will take several years to materialize and, if the past is any indication, have been drastically overestimated by gambling supporters and legislative analysts." Gov. Martin O'Malley is expected to sign the bill into law after 10 a.m. Wednesday, just hours after the Senate passed a final version amended by the House …
Senate adopts gaming bill amended by the House but ends the session without bringing dog bite litigation bill to the floor for a vote.
Maryland voters can add expanded gaming to the list of referendum issues they'll be asked to vote on in November. The Senate early Wednesday morning voted 32-14 to accept a gaming bill amended hours earlier by the House of Delegates. But a bill meant to overturn a controversial Court of Appeals ruling that declared pit bulls an inherently dangerous dog breed failed after Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said the House gave senators a "take it or leave it" ultimatum. "The House said take our amendments or nothing and the two committees weren't able to work out an agreement," said Miller. The Senate was able to reach a separate peace on the gaming bill where senators quickly agreed to all of the amendments delegates put on the bill …
Friday, August 10, 2012
Focus shifts to the House on Monday where both bills will be debated and voted on.
Focus on legislation to expand gambling and overturn a controversial Court of Appeals ruling on pit bulls shifts to the House of Delegates. A House Ways and Means subcommittee will meet Saturday to discuss legislation that would open Maryland casinos to table games and could possibly legalize a sixth casino in Prince George's County if voters approve the law in a referendum vote in November. The Senate adopted four amendments to the bill including a $500 annual license fee per table game that would go to a gambling addiction fund and requiring that one member of the gaming commission come from a jurisdiction with a video lottery facility. A number of the 23 amendments rejected by the Senate involved earmarking parts of the money to roll …
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Governor says 56-page bill "will create predictability in the marketplace" while protecting local and city aid and giving Prince George's County the ability to decide if it wants a sixth slots venue in its county.
Gov. Martin O'Malley Monday night released the 56-page bill that will be the focus of a special session on expanded gambling in the state. Legislators will be asked to vote on legislation that could add a sixth casino, most likely at National Harbor in Prince George's County as well as legalize table games. “The legislation we are sending to the members of the General Assembly will create predictability in the marketplace, protect local and city aid being generated at existing sites, ensure authorized facilities are able to be built, and allow the people of Prince George’s County the opportunity to decide whether they want a sixth site for the benefit of their county and revenue base," O'Malley said in a statement released just before 9 p.…
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Comptroller Peter Franchot argues the state needs to find a way to build businesses not casinos.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
By Comptroller Peter Franchot For anyone who remains unconvinced that the Maryland economy has lost momentum and is now moving in the wrong direction, the latest unemployment figures released by the U.S. Labor Department should remove all doubt. The State of Maryland lost 11,000 jobs in June – the third highest total in the nation, trailing only Wisconsin and Tennessee. This was our fourth consecutive month of job losses, and it elevated our state’s unemployment rate to 6.9 percent. Disappointing as those numbers are, they don’t tell the full story. Maryland also ranked 48th in Fiscal Year 2012 in both average private hourly and weekly earnings growth, and has actually experienced year-over-year declines in both categories. This means …