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Morning Read: O'Malley To Introduce Same-Sex Marriage, Offshore Wind Bills Today

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gov. Martin O'Malley has a big day ahead of him. Already in murky water with some of his colleagues because of his controversial budget proposal, Gov. Martin O’Malley plans to introduce two key bills today, one to establish offshore wind energy and another to legalize same-sex marriages.

    The offshore wind power plan, according to The Washington Times, would encourage utilities to buy energy credits from offshore wind farms– a revamped version of his previously failed proposal that forced utilities to enter into 25-year contracts with the firms.

    The gay marriage bill is expected to pass the senate but could face trouble in the house.

    The Baltimore Sun editorial board wrote Sunday that O’Malley’s agenda this year could define whether his time in the State House is judged as a success or failure.

    If there is a theme that ties together everything the governor is trying to do, it is his belief that through smart policy and diligent execution, government can help foster a better, fairer and more prosperous society. It doesn't fit easily on a bumper sticker, and it runs counter to the limited government rhetoric that has dominated much of the national political discourse since the rise of the tea party. But that was the philosophy Maryland voters chose when they elected him in 2006 and re-elected him by a landslide margin in 2010. Time is running out for Mr. O'Malley to put it into practice — by next year, his political capital will inevitably be on the wane as the state begins looking toward the election of his replacement in 2014. That leaves him 78 more days to determine his legacy — and the direction of the state for years to come.

    In light of his packed in-state agenda, the Sun also points out that O'Malley's got some big national responsibilities this year, too.  As head of the Democratic Governors Association, he has to be out stumping (and striking) for President Obama as well.

    Despite the full plate at home, national events are likely to tug at O'Malley's schedule over the next few weeks, particularly because his DGA role at times makes him a surrogate for President Barack Obama in attacking Republican presidential candidates. In addition, twelve governors are up for re-election this year. O'Malley noted that he's held a leadership position in the governors association for five years, and said the travel schedule does not feel much different than in the past. What's different, he suggested, is the attention it is getting.

    O’Malley is hosting a Tweetup, a digital gathering on Twitter, today at 10 a.m. To join the conversation, use the hashtag #MDGovTweetUp

    *On the other side, Virginia will be pushing a heavily conservative agenda in the coming weeks.

    The Washington Post reports:

    If the flurry of legislation they’ve introduced is any indication, Virginia’s most conservative Republicans aren’t holding back. They are pushing legislation to: wipe out corporate income taxes; mandate drug testing of welfare recipients; crack down on illegal immigrants; beef up gun rights, property rights, parental rights and fetal rights; roll back gay rights; and free the commonwealth from federal laws it doesn’t like. Those are the highlights of an 80-bill agenda that the Virginia Conservative Caucus unveiled last week in Richmond. It’s an ambitious lineup, with twice the number of bills the group backed last year.

    While many of these bills have previously failed, they stand a stronger chance of passing this year with the Republicans now in control of the Senate.

    *After an eight-hour marathon hearing, the Alexandria City Council voted Saturday to pass a revised plan for the city’s waterfront.

    The revised plan limits future development and establishes a citizens’ taskforce to review proposed plans. The plan also limits the possible new hotels that can be built on the waterfront from three to two. Read more here.

    *And in D.C. fender bender news, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton has dropped her lawsuit against the District after she claims a speeding police car without its sirens on ran a red light and crashed into her Ford Fusion Hybrid, Washington City Paper reports.