Tue June 17, 2014
Early Voting, Baltimore’s Budget, The Attorney General’s Race, & A Code Orange Air Quality Alert
Early voting in Maryland continues. A profile of the three Democrats vying to be Maryland’s next Attorney General. Baltimore’s budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1st has been approved. A Code Orange Air Quality Alert is in effect today and tomorrow, with air pollution concentrations considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. And more…
Early Voting: Maryland’s primary election is a week from today, on Tuesday, June 24th. But there are still three days left to cast your ballot early; there are voting centers in all Maryland counties and in Baltimore City… and they’ll be open from 10am to 8pm today, tomorrow, and Thursday. More than 2 percent of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. If you need help finding an early voting center, the State Board of Elections has a list of their locations here.
The Democratic Attorney General’s Race: The race to be the next Maryland attorney general has gotten progressively more heated. Three democrats, all from the legislature, are vying to be the state’s lawyer. With the primary just days away, WYPR’s Christopher Connelly takes a look at the race.
Baltimore’s Budget: The Baltimore City Council has adopted Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s $2.49-billion budget for the coming fiscal year. The spending does not contain any cuts to services. No tax increases, either. WYPR's Kenneth Burns reports on what the budget does contain.
City Council Approves Crime-Fighting Funding: The City Council has also approved additional funding in the current budget to cover police overtime and several of the crime-fighting initiatives. The council signed off on spending $1.2-million on police overtime through July. It also approved more than $950-thousand to begin funding initiatives including the Youth Connection Centers and Operation Ceasefire. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says Operation Ceasefire began recently in West Baltimore where a very small percentage of people were responsible for a disproportionate amount of violent crimes there. The Baltimore Sun has more.
Historic Tax Credits: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has introduced a bill that would let the city hire their own assessors to decide the size of historic tax credits. This after some property owners were sent with inaccurate bills – some far higher than they’d expected -- amid errors that some have blamed on state appraisals. The Deputy Director of Maryland’s Department of Assessments and Taxation tells the Baltimore Sun that state officials are in favor of the change.
Baltimore Teachers Rally Against Evaluation Changes: Yesterday was the last day of school in Baltimore… and more than 200 City teachers took the occasion to rally at the district’s North Avenue headquarters to protest a last-minute change in how they are evaluated. Earlier this month the Baltimore Teacher’s Union filed a grievance over the changes. WYPR’s Gwendolyn Glenn has more.
O’Malley Signs Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement: Mid-Atlantic leaders have put pen to paper on a new Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. Governor Martin O'Malley, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and DC Mayor Vincent Gray were among the members of the Chesapeake Executive Council who signed the document yesterday. The plan is aimed at restoring, conserving and protecting the bay, its tributaries and surrounding land. Council members say the agreement includes ten goals and 29 measurable, time-bound outcomes. The Capital Gazette has more.
Zipcar Expansion: Zipcar is expanding in Baltimore. The car sharing company now has more office space in Harbor East and has added 20 vehicles, bringing the number of Zipcars in the city to 200. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says Zipcar has helped to keep three-thousand cars and trucks from parking in neighborhoods, saving the cost of building garages and keeping the city moving. There’s more here from the Baltimore Sun.
High Heat, High Humidity, And A Code Orange Air Quality Alert: The weather will be hot, humid and unhealthy for Maryland over the next few days. The National Weather Service is forecasting high temperatures in the 90s for today, tomorrow and Thursday. The Maryland Department of the Environment has issued a Code Orange Air Quality Alert for today and tomorrow, meaning children, older adults and those with respiratory or heart conditions should limit their outdoor physical activity.
Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles lost yesterday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays; the score was 5 to 4. The two teams play again tonight.