Morning Read: Big Week for Maryland Legislature

It’s a busy week for the Maryland legislature.

On Monday, Gov. Martin O’Malley introduced his own transportation funding plan, which would generate an estimated $833 million over five years in new funding for transportation through a 2-percent sales tax on gasoline.

The sales tax would increase to 4 percent in 2014 and the current excise tax on a gallon of gas would decrease by 5 cents and then be indexed to inflation.

The Senate has also been debating O’Malley-backed legislation to repeal the death penalty in the state. On Monday night, senators in support of the bill rejected eight amendments that would create exceptions under which convicted killers could still be executed.

Debate will resume Tuesday morning and a final Senate vote could come this afternoon.

The fate of another flagship legislation this session — gun control — will be shaped this week. The Senate already passed its version of the bill to tighten gun laws and ban assault weapons and the House committees are expected to put their versions on the House floor this week.


* Another day, another story about Virginia Lt. Gov Bill Bolling flirting with an independent gubernatorial bid. (Politico)

* A Washington City Paper writer has been named the new Washington Post ombudsman… kind of. (Washington City Paper)

* Former D.C. Councilman Kwame Brown leads a bus of D.C. students every year to attend a college fair in North Carolina. He wanted to keep the tradition alive this year, but a judge denied him permission to loosen his home-detention conditions for 24 hours. (Washington Post)

* Mayor Vincent Gray wants to use some of the District’s surplus money to delay welfare cuts by six months to families who have been receiving public assistance for more than five years. This could impact up to 7,500 families. (Washington Examiner)

* A dozen people from the D.C. area made Forbes magazine’s annual list of the world’s billionaires. (Washington Business Journal)

* Facing a $1 million funding cut and a growing elderly population, Maryland’s Department of Aging is focusing on providing more at-home services to keep people out of costly nursing homes. (Maryland Reporter)

* Something maybe, potentially fishy was revealed when Washington City Paper investigated why a fired staffer for Councilmember Anita Bonds had filed a complaint with the Board of Ethics over issues involving requests for her to work on Bonds’ campaign. (Washington City Paper)

* A federal judge ruled that the EPA had overstepped its bounds in trying to regulate storm water in Northern Virginia — a victory for AG Ken Cuccinelli, who said that it would have cost the state and Fairfax County more than $300 million. (Washington Times)

* A new audit of the Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp — the government-funded nonprofit from which former Councilman Harry Thomas Jr. admitted to stealing $350,000 — unsurprisingly reveals that there were major flaws in how the trust monitored its finances. (Washington Examiner)

* The Virginia transportation plan earned high marks from Moody’s bond rating firm, which called the plan a “credit-positive” for the state. (Washington Post)

* With a new report, the Coalition for Smarter Growth wants to engage residents in a campaign to win a new District transit vision and the funding to implement it. (Greater Greater Washington)

* Gov. McDonnell issued an executive order Monday to reconstitute a commission that will examine the impacts of the sequester defense cuts on Virginia and recommend the best course of action in light of these cuts. (Alexandria News)

Photo courtesy of Alex Wong/Getty Images

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