The Grand Prix of Baltimore is underway; we’ve got info about the race and related road closures and public transit schedule changes. Plus: tax revenues in FY13 were below state projections, a look at calls for a higher minimum wage and a lower corporate income tax rate, and more.
Grand Prix of Baltimore: The Grand Prix of Baltimore got underway Friday morning. Organizers are hoping for a better turnout for the third running of the street race, while local businesses are hoping to see a stronger economic impact. WYPR’s Kenneth Burns looks at what’s being done. Downtown street closures will continue through Tuesday of next week; information about all the closings is online here. The Maryland Transit Administration has some service changes in place because of the race – information about them is here – but MTA officials say public transit remains the best way to get around if you’re planning to attend the Grand Prix. There’s more here from the Baltimore Sun and the Baltimore Business Journal has more here.
FY 2013 Tax Revenues: The Maryland Bureau of Revenue Estimates says tax revenue in the just-finished fiscal year was about $62-million less than had been projected. State Comptroller Peter Franchot tells the Baltimore Business Journal that the figures show that Maryland’s economy remains fragile and uncertain, and is urging state lawmakers to chart a prudent financial course in the months ahead. There's more here from the Daily Times.
Calls For A Lower Corporate Income Tax: Attorney General Doug Gansler is calling for a reduction in the state’s corporate income tax. Gansler says the rate should be dropped from its current 8.25 percent to 6 percent – the same rate that’s in effect in neighboring Virginia. Similar plans have been proposed in the past, and the Washington Post reports that nonpartisan analyses say they’d cost the state some $300-million dollars a year in revenue. Gansler is expected to run for Governor next year; he’ll make his candidacy official next month. Already vying for the Democratic nomination are Montgomery County Delegate Heather Mizeur and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown. Brown was critical of Gansler’s proposal yesterday, and called on the AG to explain how he’d pay for a lower corporate income tax rate.
Calls For A Higher MD Minimum Wage: Attorney General Doug Gansler is set to announce today that he’s in favor of raising Maryland’s minimum wage. The Washington Post reports that Gansler will formally back legislation that will increase the state’s minimum wage from its current $7.25 an hour to $10 an hour by the year 2015. Such legislation was proposed during this year’s General Assembly session, but was rejected by state lawmakers. Earlier this month, 6th District Congressman John Delaney announced that he’ll use his own personal funds to push the bill forward in next year’s General Assembly session. And the Baltimore Sun reports that Governor Martin O’Malley and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown are considering introducing this minimum wage legislation next year.
Minimum Wage In Montgomery County: Montgomery County Councilman Marc Elrich wants his jurisdiction’s minimum wage to go up to $12 an hour; he tells the Washington Post he’ll introduce legislation that would make that happen when the Council returns from its summer break in September.
MD’s Infant Mortality Rate: Maryland's infant mortality rate has reached its lowest recorded level, ever. Governor Martin O'Malley announced yesterday that for 2012 the state’s infant mortality rate was six-point-three per one-thousand live births. That’s a six percent drop from 2011’s rate of six-point-seven. O’Malley tells the Washington Post that the declines are the result of the state working aggressively to save the lives of its youngest and most vulnerable citizens… but he adds that there’s “still more work to be done.”
Truck Driver Charged In Bay Bridge Accident: Maryland Transportation Authority Police are blaming distracted driving by a truck driver for causing last month's Chesapeake Bay Bridge crash that sent a car over the side of the span. Police tell the Baltimore Sun that the tractor trailer driver was distracted by flashing lights in his side mirror, and when he looked forward again, he slammed into a car in front of him. The car was pushed over the side of the bridge but its driver was able to free herself and swim to safety. The truck driver is facing four traffic violations – in all, fines could total $670, and could cause the driver to lose his commercial drivers license.
Baltimore Police Get Grants For DNA Analysis: Baltimore’s police department is getting more than half a million of dollars from the US Justice Department to reduce the backlog in processing DNA evidence. The grants were announced yesterday by Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin. The Baltimore Sun notes that a recent analysis by the state Office of Legislative Audits showed that Baltimore’s average processing time for DNA samples was 304 days.
Why The State Delayed New Farm Runoff Regulations: WYPR's Fraser Smith and Tim Wheeler of the Baltimore Sun talk about the state's delay of new farm runoff regulations and what the decision means for both environmentalists and Maryland's poultry industry. It’s this morning’s look Inside Maryland Politics.
The Lines Between Us: Today’s episode of “The Lines Between Us” on Maryland Morning will look at how “who you know” affects your economic mobility.
Baltimore Baseball: the Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 3 to 2 last night. The O’s play against the New York Yankees tonight.
Baltimore Football: the Ravens fell 24 to 21 to the St. Louis Rams, in the final game of the preseason. The Ravens go up against the Denver Broncos next week, for the first game of the regular season.