The Washington Times - November 16, 2011, 08:13AM

Virginia officials sounded a cautionary tone Tuesday about a lean budget season and the potential of cuts from Capitol Hill next week — cuts that could stanch economic recovery in a region heavily reliant on federal spending. The discussion was among members of the state’s money committees in Staunton during their annual retreats, about a month before Gov. Bob McDonnell is scheduled to present his biennial budget proposal, according to The Washington Times.

Virginia Senate Republicans are sticking with their leader, a perceived moderate, despite Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s preference that conservatives get consideration for ranking caucus roles. Sen. Tommy Norment, James City Republican, is expected to be Senate Majority Leader when Republicans take control of the chamber early next year. Mr. Norment, the current Minority Leader, and the rest of the caucus team were announced Tuesday evening, ahead of a planned gathering of GOP senators in Richmond, according to The Virginian Pilot.


Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will lead more than 100 state business leaders, educators and elected officials on an economic-development trip to India starting Nov. 28, state officials announced Tuesday. The delegation will visit Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi during the six-day trip to meet with potential investors, trade partners and government officials, according to The Times.

The Secret Service says a bullet hit an exterior window of the White House and was stopped by ballistic glass. An additional round of ammunition was also found on the exterior of the White House. The bullets were found Tuesday. The discovery follows reports of gunfire near the White House on Friday. Witnesses heard shots and saw two speeding vehicles in the area. An AK-47 rifle was also recovered. The Secret Service says it has not conclusively connected Friday’s incident with the bullets found on the White House grounds. U.S. Park Police have an arrest warrant out for Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, who is believed to be connected to the earlier incident, according to AP.

The Prince George’s County Council decided Tuesday not to vote Tuesday on a measure to ban slot machine gambling in the county. The council also voted in favor or urging state lawmakers to pass legislation designating a proposed slots site in Prince George’s and to put the question of whether to allow gambling at that site to Maryland voters. A statewide referendum could come as soon as November 2012. If slots in Prince George’s were approved in a referendum, the council would still be able to examine the proposal under its zoning authority.Maryland residents voted in a 2008 referendum to allow slots at five sites; Prince George’s County was not among them, AP reports.

The trial of a Maryland political operative accused of encouraging voters in mostly black neighborhoods to stay home last Election Day was delayed Tuesday after a judge recused himself from the case. Julius Henson, a campaign consultant for former Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich in his rematch with Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley, was set to go on trial on charges of using robocalls to encourage voters to stay home. The calls told supporters of Mr. O’Malley and President Barack Obama to relax because the candidates had won. Mr. Henson has said he did not believe the calls were illegal and weren’t meant to suppress the vote. After both sides assembled in court Tuesday, Baltimore Circuit Judge Wanda Heard announced that Mr. Henson’s trial had been postponed until Feb. 6. The assigned judge, Charles J. Peters, recused himself because he was appointed last year by Mr. O’Malley, said Edward J. Smith Jr., Mr. Henson’s attorney, AP reports.