State Roundup, October 11, 2017

LEGALIZING SPORTS BETTING: The issue of casino gambling, largely absent from the General Assembly’s agenda for the past five years, could return to Annapolis in 2018, reports Michael Dresser and Jeff Barker in the Sun. Joe Weinberg, head of the company that operates Maryland Live Casino & Hotel in Anne Arundel County, said Tuesday that he is “all in” for an effort to legalize sports betting at Maryland’s six casinos.

  • Gaming industry advocates and Maryland casinos are urging the General Assembly to prepare for a U.S Supreme Court decision that could open the door to sports betting in Maryland and other states, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. The ruling on a New Jersey case, expected next summer, could potentially mean hundreds of millions in additional gaming revenue to Maryland at the same time legislators will be hungry for additional money to cover expected recommendations for billions of more funds for school systems.

MO CO SCHOOLS SEEK CALENDAR FIX: As schools systems across Maryland struggle to meet the mandated school dates, the Montgomery County school board will send Gov. Larry Hogan a letter about their struggles with the academic calendar. Again. Bethany Rodgers of Bethesda Beat reports that the board voted 6-2 Tuesday to ask Gov. Larry Hogan to relax an executive order that schools begin classes after Labor Day and end by June 15. The school board is urging him to push back the mandated end of the school year statewide to June 22.

CONGRESS COULD DERAIL RX POT PROGRAM: Maryland’s medical marijuana program, finally about to launch, could remain grounded if Congress fails to extend limits on federal prosecutions for using and selling the drug, Michael Dresser and Evan Halper of the Sun report. Under pressure from the anti-cannabis Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the House of Representatives is balking at preserving an Obama-era provision that gives the states space to decide their own approaches to regulating the drug.