Don't do an end run around the voters on sports betting, Maryland

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last spring striking down a longstanding federal ban on sports gambling has naturally set off something of a rush by states to consider legalized wagering on professional sporting events like National Football League and Major League Baseball games. Last month, the D.C. Council upped the ante when it voted to legalize such wagering, with the expectation that in the not-too-distant future, a mobile phone app will allow individuals to place a bet on sporting events whenever they are within the legal boundaries of the nation’s capital. (Balt. Sun)

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Bay is threatened by gas and oil exploration

The health of the Chesapeake Bay is declining for the first time in a decade. This news is especially dire as the bay faces a new threat: the Trump administration’s offshore oil drilling plan (“Maryland leading challenge to Trump administration’s decision allowing seismic testing off Atlantic coast,” Dec. 20). We’re awaiting the next draft of the plan and it’s quite likely it will open the southeast Atlantic to offshore drilling for the the first time in decades. (Balt. Sun)

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Surprise! We need the federal government.

EVERYBODY HATES the Internal Revenue Service, right? Well, yes and no. Americans love to gripe about the agency that collects their income taxes each year, but they also depend on it to do the job fairly and efficiently — especially the part that involves sending out refunds. And so, for all its rhetoric about the burden of federal taxes, the Trump administration has creatively interpreted a legal exception to the ongoing partial shutdown so as to order 40,000 IRS workers back to their offices in preparation for tax season. Their paychecks will arrive only when this shutdown ends, whenever that might be. (Wash. Post)


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Analysis: Hogan Aims to Stay Popular at Home, Relevant in National Politics

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) sketched out a vision for the future Wednesday – but it was more a vision for his own political future than a blueprint for how he plans to govern Maryland over the next four years. With his frequent calls for bipartisanship and his none-too-subtle denunciations of political disorder in Washington, D.C., Hogan’s second-term inaugural address, delivered outside the State House under chilly gray skies, won widespread praise for its tenor and tone. (Md. Matters)

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Hogan's second inaugural and the politics of self-sacrifice

Racial profiling. Illegal arrest. And now a suspect detention.

First, Roxana Santos was racially profiled by sheriff’s deputies in Frederick County, Md., who took it upon themselves to approach and question her in 2008 as she sat on a curb eating a sandwich outside the restaurant where she worked as a dishwasher. Then she was illegally arrested by the deputies. who, despite having no training in immigration law — the violation of which is a civil matter, not a criminal one — decided they were empowered to serve as deportation agents. A federal appeals court, which ruled that her arrest and 45-day detention ran afoul of the Constitution, held the county government liable for damages. (Wash. Post)

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Council takes a shortcut on stormwater rules

While we see promise in the ideas behind the new stormwater management philosophy adopted by the City Council, we see peril as well. It’s just not clear at the moment which one is the more likely prospect to be fulfilled. The City Council adopted a proposal by Alderman Rob Savidge that will require builders to treat 125 percent of stormwater on newly developed properties and 75 percent on redeveloped properties. There’s only one problem. It really doesn’t. Because the council passed this measure as a resolution, it doesn’t have the same force of as a bill. (Capital)

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Del. Brooke Lierman: How Maryland elects its leaders remains stuck in the past

In his Jan. 14 column, Frank DeFilippo spends quite a bit of time discussing my father’s legacy in building up the Democratic Party in Maryland — a legacy that I am very proud of. Unfortunately, Mr. DeFilippo — who did not call me to discuss his op-ed — then veers off into a screed against allowing fair representation for voters and a bill I have introduced, managing to insult me, the entire Baltimore City Council, the state of California and a Montgomery County municipality. I’d like to offer Mr. DeFilippo and the readers of Maryland Matters the opportunity to learn more about how to allow Maryland voters a greater chance to make their collective voices heard at the ballot box. (Md. Matters)

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