Maryland Senators Call for Federal Disaster Declaration for Crabbing Industry
Via the Sun, Senators Cardin and Mikulski and their counterparts in Virginia, Jim Webb and John Warner, have called on the federal government to declare disaster status for the Bay's crabs. Money would go to research, restoration, and support for those who are losing jobs because of the collapse of the bay's crab population.
The Real ID Act requires states to undertake expensive and substantive changes in the ways they license drivers.
But neither the act nor the federal government's final regulations on its implementation set out data security standards. Instead, they leave it to the states to determine and pay for the yet-unspecified level of security that will be required to protect residents' personal information.
In recent years, Maryland has invested more than $40 million to make our driver's license one of the most secure in the nation.
The Real ID law would force us to throw away that investment by Maryland taxpayers and supplant our existing security system with one that uses less-secure national databases and provides less protection of drivers' personal information.
The First congressional district has been added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's (DCCC) 'Red to Blue' program, which provides support in races where Republican-held seats are viewed as possible or likely takeovers. The addition of Democratic candidate Frank Kratovil (D-Stevensville) as part of the DCCC's third wave of Red to Blue districts.
According the DCCC's website, candidates earn their spot on the list "by surpassing demanding fundraising goals and skillfully demonstrating to voters that they stand for change and will represent new priorities when elected to Congress." Kratovil had raised over $435,000 this cycle by the last filing deadline at the start of April.
Maryland's legislators gave final approval this week to two landmark energy bills that together aim to reduce the state's energy consumption by 15% by 2015. The legislation, proposed by Governor Martin O'Malley, sets the stage for Maryland to become a leader in capturing the benefits of energy efficiency.
"These two bills provide a foundation for a clean and sustainable energy future for the state of Maryland," said Steven Nadel, Executive Director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). "Maryland's policies now recognize energy efficiency as the 'first fuel' for meeting its future energy needs.
A study released in February by ACEEE evaluated a suite of energy efficiency policies for Maryland and found that more than enough energy efficiency resources exist in the state to meet Governor O'Malley's ambitious 15 by '15 goal, and confirmed that reducing electricity consumption is the quickest, cheapest, and cleanest way for policymakers to bring consumer bills down and keep the lights on in the state.
Keith Washington, formerly a police officer and homeland security official for Prince George's County and a cmapaign worker on County Executive Jack Johnson's cmapaign, has been convicted of murder.
In addition to involuntary manslaughter, the former county police officer and homeland security official was convicted of two counts of use of a handgun in a crime of violence. That offense carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and has a mandatory minimum of five years in prison. The manslaughter charge has a 10-year maximum sentence.
"It demonstrates anybody can be held accountable for their actions no matter how high an official they may be," State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said later at a news conference outside the courthouse.
About 7,500 low- and moderate-income seniors in Maryland would be eligible for a subsidy for their prescription drugs under a plan announced yesterday by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and health-care leaders.
A deal reached with CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the region's largest nonprofit health insurer, would help senior citizens close a gap in Medicare drug coverage known as the doughnut hole. The Medicare benefit, passed by Congress in 2003, covers annual costs up to $2,510, but seniors then have to pay all of their drug costs until their total spending out of pocket hits $4,000. Coverage kicks back in after that.
The gap, designed to hold down costs, has proved unpopular. Health advocates say seniors are left with bills for vital drugs they cannot pay. Many are forced to go off their medication, endangering their health, critics say.
Gov. Martin O'Malley made a personal appeal yesterday for his proposal to collect DNA samples from suspects arrested for violent crimes and not just those who are convicted, appearing before two General Assembly committees to push for the centerpiece of his legislative agenda.
Joined by Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and other law enforcement officials, the governor told lawmakers that with Maryland's violent crime rate among the highest in the country, police need more investigative tools to get criminals off the streets and prevent them from committing repeat offenses.
"By adding one simple, noninvasive step to the booking process of an individual arrested for rape, robbery, shooting and murder, we can actually save lives," he told members of the House Judiciary Committee. He likened swabbing a suspect's cheek for DNA to taking their fingerprints and said Maryland needs to join Virginia and 10 other states in expanding its DNA database.
Ignore the partisan nature of this press release. O'm is now saying he hopes Obama or Clinton wins so he won't have to comply with REAL ID. I liked it better when he was straight up refusing to comply, come hell or high water. The civil libertarian in me does not want to see a National ID card, which is what REAL ID actually is. Funny to see Republicans battling to implement legislation that appears so repellent to civil libertarians.
Same-Sex Lobbying Diary at Daily Kos - Help Wanted
I have modified two recent diaries here on same-sex marriage laws into Daily Kos. Daily Kos is not the end-all be-all but if anyone would be able to help push this diary up, would be grateful. Not for my ego - don't need the Big Orange rahrah - but to get the word out when everybody is looking at how Bill and Hill got their clocks cleaned. Peace and thanks to everybody.
Pickets donned biohazard gear as a symbolic gesture to protest lead-based imports Wednesday in front of the Hagerstown office of U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-6th.
Jerry Ernest, a member of United Steelworkers Local 9477 and leader of the picket, said union members across the country spent the day protesting 100 congressional district offices as part of the National Day of Action on Toxic Trade. The event was intended to convince Congress to pass the U.S. Food and Produce Responsibility Act, which is designed to help safeguard Americans against toxic imports, like toys and toothpaste, he said.
"(Toxic imports are) undermining our safety," Ernest said. "We want to hold the manufacturers accountable for bringing these products into the country."
The Maryland League of Conservation Voters is looking for people to help remind voters of the upcoming Feb. 12 primary election. The hours are Monday through Thursday 5-9 pm and Saturday 10am-2pm. (A Friday canvass may soon be in the offing as well.) The pay rate is $55 per 4 hour shift. You can work as few or as many shifts as you can fit into your schedule. If you or anyone else is interested, call Danielle Walker at 423-596-8341. Good opportunity for students.