Lawmakers frustrated by disagreement over new stormwater regulations

By Tom LoBianco Sometime between April 2007 and now, the nearly unanimous political support for tougher stormwater regulations in Maryland evaporated, leaving developers, environmentalists, state lawmakers and administration officials at odds just a few months before the final regulations are set to take effect. And House Environmental Matters Committee Chairwoman Maggie McIntosh wants answers. “Somewhere in the next month we need to get back to that position [of agreement]. As close back to it as we can,” McIntosh, a Baltimore Democrat, said Tuesday at a hearing called to address the problem. Lawmakers called for tougher water runoff regulations in 2007. The regulations, drafted subsequently by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), include strict construction standards for new development and slightly more lenient guidelines for redevelopment projects. But questions about who would be grandfathered in under the current, more lenient regulations, and whether the proposal would undermine Smart Growth initiatives, have... Continue reading
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The Senate agenda

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and the Senate's Democratic leadership released their agenda of top bills for the 2010 legislative session. Read their statement on legislative priorities here: Senate Democratic leadership 2010 session priorities... Continue reading
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Poll: Queen Anne’s County voters support new training center

Queen Anne’s County voters support building a Foreign Affairs Security Training Center in Ruthsburg, even when presented with arguments from both supporters and opponents of the proposed project, according to a new poll. The State Department has selected Ruthsburg for a 2,000 acre project to train diplomatic security agents for work across the globe. While local officials had initially supported bringing the project, they have changed their mind in recent weeks, including a vote of opposition by the Queen Anne’s County commissioners in December. The poll was conducted for the Eastern Shore Leadership Council, a new group of business and community leaders seeking to promote job growth in the area. Hart Research Associates, a firm that has done dozens of statewide and local polls in Maryland, contacted 403 registered Queen Anne’s County voters on Jan. 16 and 17. The poll found that 49 percent have a positive reaction of the training... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Wayne’s World May Be Another Planet

Toward the end of last week’s big birthday bash for Wayne Curry, which so many Maryland political insiders are still buzzing about, the band played a long, soulful rendition of Marvin Gaye’s classic, “What’s Goin’ On?” It was a fitting coda to a perplexing evening. Just what is going on with Curry, the talented former Prince George’s County executive? Is he planning to challenge Gov. Martin O’Malley in the Democratic primary? Might he be tapped as the running mate for former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) if Ehrlich runs again? After reading a very political speech, with veiled threats to O’Malley and the Democratic political establishment for ignoring African-American voters and Prince George’s County in particular, Curry — who usually delivers speeches off the cuff — wouldn’t divulge his plans. One thing was painfully obvious: Curry was sure enjoying the limelight. And the event, which drew upwards of 2,000 people to the... Continue reading
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The Rawlings-Blake transition team

City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has announced the names of the more than 150 people who will serve on her six transition committees, as she prepares to take office Feb. 4. The Jobs and Economic Development Committee includes two co-founders of Center Maryland -- Tom Loveland and Steve Kearney -- and one of the committee's co-chairman is Center Maryland partner Donald Fry. The Public Safety and Essential Services Committee includes a third Center Maryland co-founder, Martin Knott. Check out the entire list of committee members here: City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's Transition Committees... Continue reading
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