The Washington Times - January 17, 2012, 07:35AM

The Mid-Atlantic states are locked in a high-stakes competition to expand legalized gambling and boost lagging revenue, but Maryland might have the fewest chips and worst hand of anyone at the table. Maryland has struggled to get slots casinos off the ground since they were legalized in a 2008 referendum, while other states in the region have established slots and moved on to legalize casino table games such as poker and blackjack. Meanwhile, the District of Columbia and New Jersey have upped the ante to fill government coffers by attempting to legalize online gambling, reports David Hill of The Washington Times.

Occupy D.C. on Tuesday will spend its first day of action in more than a month with a scheduled rally on Capitol Hill, an event organizers have promised will draw thousands of supporters and could determine the movement’s ongoing viability, The Times reports.


Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch said Monday that he would assign this year’s same-sex marriage bill to two committees instead of one, a procedural change that could increase the measure’s chances of passage and a sign of the tough road still ahead for the legislation. Mr. Busch, Anne Arundel Democrat, said the decision would allow more delegates to closely examine the controversial measure, which died unexpectedly on the House floor last year after narrowly passing the Senate, according to The Washington Post.

D.C. Council member Mary Cheh, Ward 3 Democrat — like Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren; Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan; and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democratic National Committee chairwoman, before her — was dismissively referred to on air Monday by Rush Limbaugh as a “babe,” The Post reports.

The District of Columbia is illegally underfunding its charter schools by providing additional money and support services exclusively to D.C. Public Schools, states a new report, according to the Washington Examiner.

After months of hints about tax increases and more spending on infrastructure, the budget battle lines in Maryland will be clearer Wednesday when Gov. Martin O’Malley submits his proposal, according to The Times.

Emboldened by a new Republican majority in Richmond, some 200 people rallied on Capitol Square on Monday to push gun-friendly legislation, hours before a crowd occupied the same space to commemorate victims of gun violence, The Times reports.