With the General Assembly session winding down–for real this time, just five or so days left–there are more than enough stories to rate their own heading for the next few days.
Large Employer Tax: Following the lead of its big brother, although succeeding, the state Senate passes a bill that would affect one entity. Except in this case it makes sense. The health-care tax, which already passed the House, would ding large employers–hint, hint: Wal-Mart–that fail to meet a specified level of health benefits for employees, and which the governor promises to veto. Lots of coverage on this one, as it’s the first of its type to be passed by a state legislature, and, well, you know, Wal-Mart.
The Sun‘s Andrea K. Walker had a follow-up story in today’s Business section, rounding up a great deal of the recent criticism aimed at the Bentonville, Ark., behemoth and the company’s response. The Post‘s Business section sent a reporter, Michael Barbaro, to Arkansas to get Wal-Mart’s reaction (hint: not positive).
Minimum Wage: Another bill sure to be vetoed is the minimum wage bill (AP story), which would raise it a dollar to $6.15, that just passed the Senate and now goes to Bob Ehrlich. Post story, Sun story.
Airport Renaming: On the other hand, a bill that really helps no one, the renaming of BWI Airport for Thurgood Marshall, is gaining more traction every day. This Sun story finds such a bill on its way to the Senate. The Washington Times seems to find it interesting that U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-7th) has come out in support of the bill. I find it interesting that he hadn’t sooner, but to each his own. And The Capital takes a look at the cost of renaming: depending on who you ask, $250,000 or $2 million.
Some Other Stuff: Stem-cell research funding (Sun: doesn’t look good in Senate); witness intimidation (Sun: Ehrlich’s bill could make it to House floor before end of session); speaking of which, the Sun‘s Jennifer McMenamin takes a look at witness intimidation in the suburbs; slots (Post: Gov. Bob travels to Calvert County’s Rod ‘N’ Reel to push his case); slots (Washington Times on same); slots (Sun‘s Dan Rodricks takes his shot at Bobby Slots, and really all you have to read on this whole ordeal).