.

Miller: School Construction Needs State Oversight

State Sen. Allan Kittleman wants voting sessions recorded, a Prince George's County senator suffers a basketball injury and two Baltimore County legislators team up to shorten the wait to get a divorce.

A proposal by Baltimore City to secure hundreds of millions in state money for school construction is missing a key ingredient, according to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr.

"The state needs to have a role in school construction," Miller said.

Baltimore City wants the state to guarantee as much as $30 million a year for 20 years in the form of block grants for school construction and renovations. The city will then use that promise to leverage borrowing $1 billion for its plan.

Miller rejects the plan saying it's a lot of money and that the state is needed to provide a check and balance to potential malfeasance and corruption.

"I'm a historian, I study all history, OK," Miller said. "Whenever you have a one-sided government you need checks and balances some how. You need a two party system if Republicans control you need Democrats and if Democrats control you need Republicans or if everybody is controlled by one party you need the state. So, if a county is controled by one party then you need the state to look in."

Kittleman Wants Voting Sessions Recorded

Senate committees already record bill hearing sessions by rule but Sen. Allan Kittleman wants to take it a step further.

The Howard County Republican proposed a change to Senate rules that would require each of the Senate's four standing committees to audio record voting sessions.

"I've had quite a few people say they'd like to listen to our voting sessions," Kittleman said, adding that the change "would make us more transparent. I think it's a good idea."

The Senate could vote on Kittleman's proposed rule change as early as next week.

Miller said the proposal "was not a difficult issue" but hedged on whether such a change was desirable.

"I'm not sure it's doable," Miller said. "It's a laudable goal but if we can do it we should do it."

Not As Dirty As It Sounded

Sen. Ronald Young invited a Frederick County Rabbi to perform the morning prayer but it was what came after that drew an uncomfortable laugh.

Following the invocation by Rabbi Dan Sikowitz of Congregation Kol Ami, Young asked for the prayer to be journalized as part of the Senate records and added a personal note.

"I'd like to say Rabbi Dan Bat Mitzvahed my wife," Young said.

It's not clear what the Senate president heard.

"Rabbi Dan what?" Miller said.

The Rabbi leaned over to Miller to repeat what Young had said.

"OK, OK. You have to enunciate more clearly," Miller said looking out at Young. "Wow, whoa, whoa!"

Greetings from Turtle Island

In the House, delegates were greeted with a brief lecture on Native American culture and its connections with Maryland by Del. Heather Mizeur.

Mizeur, a Montgomery County Democrat, was charged with leading the morning invocation in the House and offered a Lakota Tribe Prayer of the Great Spirit.

"Maryland has a lot of connection to our native ancestors," Mizuer said. "Sometimes unkowingly."

Mizeur explained that Native American cultures some times refer to North America as "Turtle Island."

"Of course we have the turtle as the mascot of our flagship university," said Mizeur, who then held up a Navajo prayer weaving, which she noted predominantly featured the colors of the Maryland flag.

Senate Passes First Bill

The Maryland Senate is off to a blazing start passing it's first bill of the year on the sixth day of session.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill that extends the deadline on an annual report by the Public Service Commission on all power shutoffs by utilities during the previous heating season.

Current law requires the commission to file the report with the Maryland General Assembly by June 1. The bill passed in the Senate extends that deadline to Sept. 1.

The bill now heads across the hall to the House of Delegates.

On The Disabled List

One notable absence from the Senate's Wednesday morning session was Sen. Paul Pinsky.

The Prince George's County Democrat suffered an injury in a basketball game the previous night.

"The senator thinks he's still young," Miller said of the 62-year-old Pinsky.

The injury to Pinsky's eye reportedly required stitches, according to Miller.

No word on who delivered the injurious blow though Miller playfully suggested that the number of suspects might be large.

"I'm sure it was probably everyone on the court," Miller said.

Brochin, Zirkin Team Up On Divorce Bill

Breaking up is hard to do but two Baltimore County senators want to make it a little easier in Maryland.

Sens. Jim Brochin and Bobby Zirkin, Democrats, have introduced a bill that would reduce to six months the amount of time a legally separated couple must wait before filing for a divorce.

The current waiting period in the state is a year.

If passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor, the law would take effect on Oct. 1, 2013.

 

Maryland General Assembly Notebook 2013 is a round up of the notable and quotable from Annapolis.

Craig January 17, 2013 at 04:52 AM
Ahhhh, Mike V. Miller. Probably the one time, ever, that I agree with him in principal. I doubt much transparency or "checks" come of it but kudos to him for at least ad libbing it. But again, just to hopefully reach the eyes of someone, anyone in this once-great state, I want to re-iterate the awesome diversity of our state leaders in progressive Maryland. Mike Miller (white guy - been in power 26 years). Marty O'Malley (white guy - been in power 7 years, plus many more as mayor). Michael Busch (white guy - been in power at least four years). Maryland is truly moving forward!
John Clarke January 17, 2013 at 04:27 PM
Yes Craig, I also agree that there needs to be more transparency in government other than just mouthing it as most politicians have a tendency to do. But then I also knew that someone would somehow bring the race card into play with their comment about the article.
JDStuts January 17, 2013 at 04:32 PM
I agree. But then I also knew someone would bring the "someone always plays the race card" card into play with their comment. This is so meta!
Lily January 17, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Does this mean BCPS needs state oversight for school construction as well as Baltimore City? Just asking.
G-Man January 17, 2013 at 06:37 PM
If I understand correctly the article, isn't Baltimore asking for grant money so they can turn around and secure a billion dollar loan? That makes no sense.
patricia January 17, 2013 at 06:52 PM
Are you kidding. Mike Miller, one on the most progressive socialists this state has ever had the misfortune of being stuck with, talking about one party keeping check on another party. Maryland has always been progressive, conservatives have never been able to stop their tax and spend agenda, and he's worried about checks and balances? Sounds more to me like he doesn't trust millions of dollars going to Baltimore City. What a joke, Mike Miller insinuating corruption from someone else.
Mike H January 17, 2013 at 07:14 PM
I dislike Mr. Miller for the most part, but he is dead on with this. Baltimore public schools have had years of misuse of funding, worse than their own normal government. About 15 years ago some genius realized that if you siphoned money from schools and demanded more, people would give it to you because no politician wants to be branded an education hater. I would love to see a state building oversite board for all projects over a certain dollar amount.
JD1 January 18, 2013 at 02:44 AM
Can't believe I actually agree with this tool!
DHAMMER January 18, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Finally!! Miller is right on about Baltimore Government and the imbalance of Political Parties in the State. Did he go on the WAGON?
Buck Harmon January 18, 2013 at 01:38 PM
He really doesn't want the audio recordings...makes a lot of perceived cute statements..he knows it but can't help himself....
Buck Harmon January 18, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Nice coverage Bryan..
qwert March 09, 2013 at 06:20 AM
http://www.coachoutletonlineusa2013.com/ Coach Outlet USA Coach Outlet Online http://www.monstervbeats.net/ Beats By Dre Pro Moster Headphones Outlet http://www.guccishoesuk.net/ Gucci Shoes UK Gucci Outlet Online http://www.new-michaelkors.com/ Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Handbags http://www.mk-michaellkorsoutlet.net/ Michael Kors Outlet Online http://www.northfacejacketsoutletonline.net/ North Face Jackets North Face Clearance
kevin April 11, 2013 at 03:40 AM
No he found a couple relatives relatives needed state jobs.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something