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NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | March 10, 2014
Key senators have put language in the state budget bill that would stall Maryland's efforts to limit one of the Chesapeake Bay's main pollutants, phosphorus. The amendment by the Budget & Taxation Committee would prohibit the state from issuing new regulations on phosphorus, pending the results of an economic impact study. And when that is done, the committee would have 45 days for review and to recommend further action. Sen. James N. Mathias Jr., an Eastern Shore Democrat who sought the budget restriction, says he wants to shield the state's farmers and the poultry industry from potentially very costly and disruptive regulations.
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NEWS
March 7, 2014
Why would The Sun wish to keep safety lower than could be the case with artificially-low posted limits on the safest types of roads, the interstates and equivalent freeways, when the number of fatalities on those roads averages one per year ( "Sixty-five (still) saves lives," March 4)? The Sun must be in the financial pocket of the groups that make money from speed traps on safe roads where the posted limits are set far below the 85th percentile speeds of free-flowing traffic under good conditions.
NEWS
March 3, 2014
Here's a number that ought to be memorized by every elected official in the state of Maryland: 485. That's how many people died in traffic collisions in 2011 in this state (the most recent year for which such statistics are available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). That's the equivalent of about 10 full motor coaches. Yet the number that's being discussed these days in the General Assembly is 70. That's how fast, in miles per hour, some believe motorists should be allowed to drive on certain state highways, and under the circumstances, it's more than a little surprising that raising the speed limit is even on the legislative agenda.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | March 2, 2014
Maryland's defense, considered in the preseason to be the team's strength after the graduation of four starters on offense, is living up to the billing. The No. 3 Terps held Duke to season lows in goals and assists and a season-worst scoring drought of 26 minutes, 26 seconds in Saturday's 10-6 victory over the No. 1 Blue Devils at Byrd Stadium in College Park. Maryland's goals-allowed-per-game rose from 4.7 to 5.3, but that was bound to happen unless the Terps (4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference)
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2014
The General Assembly will consider a handful of bills related to the mortgage crisis, but unlike in previous years, many focus on what happens to borrowers after foreclosure. The bills — most of which would limit the risks of debt that can linger after homeowners have lost their houses — are important, proponents say, but they are smaller in scope than in years past, a reflection of a system that has experienced drastic overhaul since 2008. "There's been significant improvement.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | February 27, 2014
Advocates and law enforcement officials called on state lawmakers Thursday to approve legislation that would limit the circumstances under which illegal immigrants could be held in jail - a proposal intended to curb a 5-year-old federal immigration program called Secure Communities. The proposal, similar to laws in California and Connecticut, would frequently require local jails to ignore requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold immigrants for 48 hours beyond when they would normally be released.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | February 20, 2014
The House unanimously passed a bill Thursday that would allow the State Highway Administration or the Maryland Transportation Authority to raise the maximum speed on expressways and interstate highways to 70 mph. The legislation, which now goes to the Senate, would not require either agency to raise speed limits. The current maximum is 65 mph. The bill would apply to parts of the federal interstate highway system and limited-access highways such as the Intercounty Connector. David Buck, spokesman for the highway administration, said parts of such roads as Route 32 and Route 100 are also classified as expressways and would be eligible, but noted that the agency has set their speed limits below 65 mph. Any changes to current speed limits would be made only after traffic studies showed the roads could handle higher speeds safely, according to the agency.
NEWS
February 18, 2014
At first, leaders of the General Assembly were promising as many hearings as it would take to get to the bottom of the failure of Maryland's health care exchange website. Then they decided to put off questions about what went wrong until an audit that wouldn't be completed until after this summer's gubernatorial primary, and instead to task a special committee with monitoring progress going forward. Now they're shifting gears again. Two committee chairmen are asking legislative auditors to review documents detailing the lead-up to the website's botched October launch and to report back before the General Assembly adjourns in April.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee and The Baltimore Sun | February 14, 2014
In what will be his first game in almost two years, Stephen Banick is slated to start in reigning Division III national champion Stevenson's season opener against York on Saturday. The sophomore attackman will play with no limitations on his role and playing time. Banick has not played since breaking his left leg in a loss to Salisbury in the NCAA semifinals on May 20, 2012. He sat out last season after suffering an undisclosed injury in the preseason. But he has played fully in the fall and preseason, and coach Paul Cantabene said that he has no questions about the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Banick's durability.
NEWS
February 12, 2014
With Tuesday's decision to bring to a vote an increase in the nation's debt limit without any conditions, House Speaker John Boehner reasserted himself as the pivotal figure in a badly divided Washington. He demonstrated again that he is able and willing to go against the wishes of the extremists in his caucus when he determines it to be in the nation's and/or Republican Party's long-term interests, and once again, he appears unlikely to pay much of a price. That doesn't mean we should expect a golden era of bipartisan deal making, but it does suggest the prospect of action on the nation's most pressing issues during the remainder of President Barack Obama's term is not entirely bleak.
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