DAYBREAK DAILY: O'Malley seeks tax credits for film, cybersecurity industries
ABC7 WEATHER: Sunny but bitterly cold with highs in the low to mid teens. http://wj.la/72e8x6
‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Exhaustive coverage of the potentially record-breaking cold; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.
INDUCEMENTS: Of Maryland tax credits, per the Baltimore Sun, “Tax credits for the film and cybersecurity industries could expand as part of the Maryland legislative session that starts Wednesday. Gov. Martin O'Malley is interested in adding money to the programs, said aides, who declined to provide details. The governor will release a budget and legislative package later this month, as lawmakers work to address a budget shortfall of about $500 million.
"House Speaker Michael E. Busch said he shares the governor's interest in expanding the cybersecurity credit, as a way to encourage what he called an "emerging industry" in Maryland. The first-come, first-served incentive, which targets companies less than five years old, started last year. Department of Business and Economic Development program manager Mark A. Vulcan said he expects the $3 million allocated for fiscal 2014 to be used up by June; the governor is required to appropriate at least $2 million each fiscal year.” http://bsun.md/1gd5tdK
THORN IN THEIR SIDE: No more, per City Paper, “Here's a New Year's gift for D.C. Mayor Vince Gray and Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier. After eight years leading the Fraternal Order of Police, union chairman Kris Baumann says he won't run for re-election to his position later this year.
“As union head, Baumann has scrapped with the police brass and two mayoral administrations over everything from the All Hands on Deck initiative to the botched firings of cops. He pushed Freedom of Information Act requests in court fights and became a go-to media quote-meister, weighing in on everything from a private gym for police management to police escorts for the likes of Charlie Sheen.” http://bit.ly/1ehHl80
ETHICS REFORM: In Virginia, per the Virginian-Pilot, “House Republicans and Democrats have brokered a "bipartisan ethics reform agreement" and scheduled a news conference for today at the State Capitol to share particulars of a plan sources say includes a proposed $250 individual gift cap. In addition to a gift cap with some exceptions, sources said the plan would create a state ethics advisory commission, require that elected officials' spouses and immediate families report gifts, make lawmakers disclose gifts twice a year instead of once and compel them to undergo ethics training.
“Lawmakers of both parties are focused on reforming Virginia's ethics rules in the wake of a gift scandal that marred the final year of Gov. Bob McDonnell's tenure. Media reports have revealed that federal and state investigators are looking into whether the governor sought to improperly aid a donor generous to him and his family. The governor has not been charged with any wrongdoing for receiving more than $150,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie R. Williams Sr. McDonnell repaid the gifts and apologized for embarrassment caused to the state, but he maintains that neither Star nor Williams received any special benefit.” http://bit.ly/1lyIjCv
REDSKINS AND RICHMOND: City takes in a haul, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The first year of the Washington Redskins training camp had an estimated $10.5 million economic impact on the Richmond region, according to numbers released by the city on Monday that officials touted as surpassing early estimates. Of that money, about $2.5 million went to the Redskins through on-site food and merchandise sales.
“The city also profited, beating its own pre-camp projections by 27 percent and generating an additional $230,979 in taxes as a direct result of the camp, according to the report. Those numbers do not include a $500,000 payment owed by the city to the Redskins to help offset the team’s costs. City officials could not immediately say Monday how and when that payment had been made.” http://bit.ly/K0VjBL
CREIGH DEEDS: And mental health bills, per the Washington Post, “State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, determined to rebound from a personal tragedy that left him gravely injured and his son lost to suicide, returns to the Capitol this week on a mission to fix the state’s mental health system. Deeds (D-Bath) has proposed two bills intended to address what went horribly wrong in November, when his 24-year-old son, Austin, known as “Gus,” stabbed the senator and then fatally shot himself.
“The day before, Austin Deeds had undergone a psychiatric evaluation, and a magistrate judge issued an emergency custody order to allow mental health officials to evaluate him. But Deeds returned to the family’s Bath County home that evening because, mental health officials said, no psychiatric bed could be located before the order expired. Officials from three area hospitals later said they had beds but were never contacted.” http://wapo.st/199UDWy
UNLIKELY PARTNERS: Really unlikely, per the New York Times, “Even as the United States and Iran pursue negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program, they find themselves on the same side of a range of regional issues surrounding an insurgency raging across the Middle East. While the two governments quietly continue to pursue their often conflicting interests, they are being drawn together by their mutual opposition to an international movement of young Sunni fighters, who with their pickup trucks and Kalashnikovs are raising the black flag of Al Qaeda along sectarian fault lines in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.
“The United States, reluctant to intervene in bloody, inconclusive conflicts, is seeing its regional influence decline, while Iraq, which cost the Americans $1 trillion and more than 4,000 lives, is growing increasingly unstable. At the same time, Shiite-dominated Iran, the magnetic pole for the Shiite minority in the region, has its own reasons to be nervous, with the ragtag army of Sunni militants threatening Syria and Iraq, both important allies, and the United States drawing down its troops in Afghanistan.” http://nyti.ms/Kud1OC
UTAH: Gay marriage screeches to sudden halt, per the Salt Lake Tribune, “The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday put same-sex marriages in Utah on hold, granting the state’s request for a stay while it appeals a ruling that laws banning such marriages are unconstitutional. The court said the stay would be in place until the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver makes a decision on Utah’s appeal.
“The state’s stay application was filed with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who referred it to the whole court, according to the order issued Monday. Sotomayor is assigned to the 10th Circuit Court, which rejected Utah’s request for a stay three times. U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby also denied the state’s request that he stay his Dec. 20 order overturning Amendment 3 while Utah appealed.” http://bit.ly/1dc1Why
OBAMACARE: Positive side effects, per The Hill, “The White House on Monday said ObamaCare was partly responsible for slowing the growth of healthcare spending, even as the agency tasked with implementing the law said the impact was “minimal.” The new report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found healthcare spending rose by 3.7 percent in 2012, the fourth year in a row that the increase was at a near-record low.
“. . . The White House acknowledges that a slow economy has played a role in keeping cost growth low, but it argues that the trend persisted in part because of ObamaCare as the economy improved. Republicans immediately challenged this assertion and pointed to a section of the CMS report that described the law's impact on the healthcare spending slowdown as small.” http://bit.ly/1gcwQVe
POLITICO PLAY: “Janet Yellen will make history as the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve, becoming its chairwoman at a key moment for the central bank as it attempts to unwind its unprecedented efforts to boost the economy in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The Senate voted 56 to 26 on Monday to confirm Yellen to replace Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term expires Jan. 31. Yellen, who has been vice chairwoman of the Fed since October 2010, is expected to begin her new post Feb. 1.” http://politi.co/1dMO7Vp
GOP HAS THE BLUES: As in Maryland blue, per the Frederick News-Post, “A majority of state legislators from Frederick County are embarking on a 90-day campaign to stave off minimum-wage hikes, decrease taxes and tone down stormwater cleanup requirements. With the Maryland General Assembly session coming ahead of elections this year, lawmakers say there could be some bipartisan cooperation on tax cuts. However, the county's Republican legislators likely won’t see eye-to-eye with the majority party on a range of other issues when the Democrat-dominated Legislature convenes Wednesday.” http://bit.ly/K0YzNA
PETA BIKINIS: Really?, per the Daily Press, “As Hampton Roads gets set to haul out quilted coats and woolen mufflers in advance of the frigid air mass, called the polar vortex, forecast to hit the area Tuesday, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals volunteers are considering different attire. At noon on Tuesday, volunteers wearing "lettuce bikinis" will brave the icy wind chill to hand out veggie burgers at the Light rail system's Monticello Station in Norfolk.” http://bit.ly/1dsdhVA
ALEXIS MURPHY: Just the facts, per the Lynchburg News & Advance, “The man accused of abduction in the August disappearance of Nelson County teenager Alexis Murphy now faces one count of first-degree murder. Randy Allen Taylor, 48, was arrested Aug. 11, eight days after 17-year-old Murphy vanished. He initially was charged with one count of abduction but Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony Martin announced Monday a special grand jury indicted Taylor on charges of murder, first-degree murder during the commission of abduction, and abduction with intent to defile.
“The most pressing question — the whereabouts of Murphy — was not resolved at Monday’s proceedings in Nelson County Circuit Court. Martin declined to comment apart from a statement made outside the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office with Murphy’s family in attendance; her family also did not comment on specifics of the case or whether her body has been found. Michael Hallahan, Taylor’s attorney, also did not comment, citing a recent gag order that prevents law enforcement and legal parties connected to the case from divulging information.” http://bit.ly/19P7s9r
YOU CAN’T DO THIS: But they did, per Gazette.Net, “A party at a home in Damascus Saturday night ended abruptly after officers who had arrived to shut it down were attacked by the party’s hosts, Montgomery County police said Monday. Officers arrived at a house in the 9400 block of Damascus Road on Saturday evening, just before midnight, police said, and saw several teenagers in the backyard of the house in possession of alcohol, as well as a keg in an outdoor stairwell.
“At a press conference on Monday, Montgomery County Police Capt. Thomas Didone said police saw “many young people with beer in their hands” outside the house, and contacted the homeowners. Inside the house, they saw about 35 people who appeared to be underage drinkers, police said. According to police, the residents of the home denied their request to come inside the home, and when officers tried to seize the keg they had spotted, a person in the house came out of the building’s basement and tried to grab several cases of beer. “A struggle ensued,” Didone said.” http://bit.ly/199WRFF
FUEL FOR THE FIRE: Literally, per ARLnow, “Home oxygen tanks helped fuel Sunday morning’s three-alarm apartment fire near Columbia Pike, the Arlington County Fire Department said Monday. . . The cause is still under investigation, but the fire department says medical oxygen tanks “contribute[d] to the rapid fire spread.” http://bit.ly/1cLDayN
SPORTS, BRIEFLY: per the Associated Press, “For all Jameis Winston had done as a redshirt freshman for Florida State, he never had to pull the Seminoles from the brink of defeat.
“In the biggest game of the year, down by four with 79 seconds left, the Heisman Trophy winner put together the drive of his life, and the Seminoles proved they could take a punch to win a championship. Winston threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds left and No. 1 Florida State beat No. 2 Auburn 34-31 to win the BCS national title game on Monday night.” http://apne.ws/1dMIMxf
TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “Some great news for animal lovers: Fairfax County Animal Shelter is temporarily opening its doors to companion animals searching for warmth. They are welcoming any pet that cannot be brought indoors for whatever reason. For example, many homeless shelters do not allow animals. Cats, dogs and rabbits can stay in the Fairfax shelter until the cold snap ends Thursday.” http://wj.la/1ic3zv6
NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, who will be asked about Hillary Clinton's meeting with advisors, the Supreme Court decision to stay same-sex marriage in Utah and the prospects for the new term on Capitol Hill. Also, ABC7 political chief Scott Thuman will be asked about his interview with Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe.