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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Michael E. Busch
The Maryland Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, taking an action that mirrors those in a growing number of states relaxing their laws against the drug.
Gov. Martin O'Malley on Friday underscored the need for new licensing requirements for handguns, while a leading Maryland lawmaker recommended the provision in a comprehensive gun-control measure be considered separately due to the potential for considerable opposition.
Banning assault weapons, repealing capital punishment and laying the groundwork to develop offshore wind received strong endorsements by Maryland’s top leaders, who were confident that they would pass this year as lawmakers convened Wednesday for the first day of the legislative session.
ANNAPOLIS -- A panel of Maryland lawmakers Thursday recommended that Gov. Martin O'Malley cut the state's projected budget deficit of $382 million by more than half in the next fiscal year.
A Maryland delegate has been suspended from office following her plea agreement on two sets of criminal charges, but her lawyers say they think she could be reinstated in time for the General Assembly's next session in January.
Maryland's House Republican leaders said Friday they are troubled by the boating accident involving Republican Delegate Don H. Dwyer Jr., who has admitted he had been drinking while operating a motorboat before a collision that hospitalized six people, including the delegate.
The General Assembly passed legislation Tuesday night to expand gambling in the state, setting up a November referendum that will determine the proposal's ultimate fate.
As the battle for gamblers' dollars intensifies in the mid-Atlantic region, the possibility of developing Internet games in Maryland will be considered when lawmakers gather for a special session next week to expand gambling, the House speaker wrote in a memo.
Maryland legislators will be cutting their summer vacations short after Gov. Martin O'Malley announced a special session for Aug. 9 to address gambling questions left unanswered in the spring.
Maryland's high tax rate on slot machines and reluctance to expand gambling have not only deprived the state of needed revenue, but have also nearly killed its horse-racing industry, according to the president of the American Gaming Association.
A special General Assembly session to discuss a potential casino in Prince George's County and statewide table games is not off the table, but some General Assembly members were unwilling to gamble on the final outcome of Gov. Martin O'Malley's efforts to resolve the gambling issues.
The chances of Maryland lawmakers spending next week in a special session shrank more on Thursday, as Gov. Martin O'Malley continued to focus his attention on the weather and fellow legislators remained as much in the dark about plans as some of their constituents did in their homes.
Gov. Martin O'Malley blasted House leaders Thursday for balking at a proposal to expand gambling, as lawmakers said they will keep working toward a possible compromise and special session this summer.
A consulting firm will present its findings Tuesday on the potential impact of expanded gambling in Maryland as lawmakers continue to discuss possible legislation to add table games and a sixth casino in the state.
Leading Maryland lawmakers have formed a task force to study the effect of a recent court ruling that classifies pit bulls as an "inherently dangerous" breed of dog.
"As a father of two children, I'm very concerned with any lessening of the law and how it affects kids," said House Speaker Michael E. Busch, Anne Arundel Democrat, as reported by WBAL-AM radio.
He did say he is open to supporting a House bill that would allow some academic medical centers to begin prescribing marijuana for medicinal purposes.