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After partnership bill fails, State Center lawsuit moves forward

After the General Assembly failed to pass a bill dictating state policy on public-private partnerships, plaintiffs in the State Center lawsuit are moving forward with their case.

An attorney for the group of Baltimore business owners who have been suing the state since December 2010 said the amended bill’s failure to gain passage was further validation for their case. They allege the $1.5 billion State Center development in the Bolton Hill neighborhood of Baltimore was not competitively bid and that the new complex would negatively affect already high downtown vacancy rates. Read more

O’Malley fosters trade with India, but two special sessions are on his mind

Gathering on a top floor of Baltimore’s World Trade Center with a panoramic view of the harbor, Gov. Martin O’Malley addressed more than 60 business leaders from India and Maryland in an attempt to strengthen trade and investment between the state and the South Asian country.

In an interview later, O’Malley also discussed the likelihood of two special sessions for the legislature — one in May to resolve budget issues and another in August to deal with gaming. He also suggested it might be time to create a new gaming commission to regulate gambling in the state. Read more

University students, administrators are anxious over possible tuition hikes

With still no word on a special session two weeks after the General Assembly adjourned having failed to pass a revenue bill to fund the full state budget, higher education officials and students alike have begun to worry.

On Friday, dozens of students at the University of Maryland urged lawmakers to return to Annapolis and rallied against tuition hikes that would likely result if the “doomsday budget” is implemented. Read more