Is Team Ehrlich ramping up for a campaign? Facebook might have the answer

Former Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is keeping much of the Maryland political establishment in suspense these days, as he ponders whether to sign up for a fall rematch with Governor Martin O'Malley. The latest word seems to be that he'll make an announcement in March. And many observers believe that this month's decision of Larry Hogan to give up on his potential gubernator bid is a clear sign that Ehrlich is leaning toward running. And now comes word to Center Maryland that Team Ehrlich has stepped up its campaign on another front -- Facebook. The "Bob Ehrlich" page is on a campaign to attract lots more friends and fans. The email being circulated to supporters promises that the Facebook page is "the best way to hear directly from Governor Ehrlich about what it will take to make Maryland strong and prosperous again. Bob has been busy meeting with folks like... Continue reading
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Bill introduced to modify new stormwater regulations

Lawmakers concerned about the impact of Maryland’s proposed new stormwater regulations filed legislation yesterday that aims to address the biggest complaints raised by developers and local officials. Under the bill -- sponsored by a bipartisan group of delegates, led by Del. Marvin E. Holmes Jr. of Prince George’s County – the rules would be made less stringent for redevelopment projects (including affordable housing and transit-oriented developments), and projects that have already received preliminary plan approval would be "grandfathered" by requiring them to only meet current stormwater rules. The state’s new stormwater rules are scheduled to apply to all projects approved after May. Environmental advocates and state environmental officials say the new rules are an important step to protecting the Chesapeake Bay from stormwater runoff pollution. But many developers and county officials have warned that the new rules could have the effect of discouraging redevelopment projects in urban areas by making them... Continue reading
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Center Maryland -- On The Air

Center Maryland Tuesday columnist (and Roll Call senior editor) Josh Kurtz, joined WYPR's Midday with Rodricks show on Wednesday to talk about the politics of snow removal. Listen to the show here. And if you missed Kurtz's column this week on the politics of snow removal, be sure to read it here: Snow Job... Continue reading
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Builders: What are the real facts?

By Thomas M. Farasy President, Maryland State Builders Association I read with great interest the recent OP ED by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s entitled “New Stormwater Rules won’t increase costs.” The editorial rightly calls for the "facts" and we totally agree, so here they are. Apparently CBF believes that the several hundred developers who are protesting the regulations don’t like to save money. The fact is that the construction industry, who is in the best position to judge the impact of the new rules, clearly understands that costs will increase significantly – in many cases to levels that will doom needed projects and the jobs they bring. The local jurisdictions have made similar conclusions. CBF’s op-ed relied heavily on an EPA study that did not review Maryland’s proposed regulations and, in fact, was done before Maryland even developed the regulations. When you look at the details of that study –- instead... Continue reading
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Price tag for clearing snow from state highways up over $100 million

By Tom LoBianco The historic snowstorms of this winter also come with a historic price tag of more than $100 million, the state transportation department said Monday. And that’s just an early guess, as road crews are still working to clear secondary lanes and literally remove snow from some of the areas which went untouched over the last two weeks of snow, Transportation Secretary Beverly Swaim-Staley told a state budget committee. “We’re already well over $100 million,” she said. Between December’s snowstorms, a few relative dustings in January and the past two knockout blizzards, the state is on track to almost double what it normally lays out for snow removal annually, Swaim-Staley said. The state normally budgets between $55 and $60 million a year, she said. And like the state government, the historic snowstorms have also forced virtually every local jurisdiction to spend far more on snow removal than had been... Continue reading
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