The Week That Was

March 12, 2006

BGE rate rise put at 72 percent

Regulators said a typical Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customer will see electric costs climb by 72 percent after regulated rate caps expire July 1, handing 1.2 million customers one of the biggest one-year price increases in the nation. Lawmakers criticized Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. for not doing more to lessen the impact on consumers.

NTSB finds Coast Guard erred

The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that errors by the Coast Guard permitted a water taxi to carry too much weight when it was struck by wind and waves in 2004 and overturned.

Senate passes stem cell bill

Giving hope to advocates that a stem cell research bill will finally reach the governor's desk, the Maryland Senate followed the House's lead in passing a proposal designed to put the state at the forefront of cutting-edge science. Because the two chambers approved competing bills, negotiations will soon begin to reach a consensus.

Fines promised in gasoline leak

Maryland's top environmental official pledged to impose stiff penalties on ExxonMobil Corp. and to tighten regulatory controls on service stations throughout the state after a 25,000-gallon gasoline leak in Baltimore County.

Shouting erupts at hearing

A City Council committee hearing that was to address a budget request turned into a shouting match between State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy and two council members who later apologized.

Officials return contributions

At least five elected officials, including Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr. and City Council President Sheila Dixon, have said they will return money donated by churches to political campaigns. Such contributions are prohibited by the Internal Revenue Service.

Kendel Ehrlich reveals salary

Maryland first lady Kendel Ehrlich disclosed that she receives a $55,000-a-year salary from Comcast but said her part-time job producing anti-drug programs creates no conflict of interest with her husband's duties.

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