School delays and closings updated 12:00 am Tuesday 3/4/14. 2-hour delay: Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll, Harford & Howard. Closed: Anne Arundel.
Full Weather Forecast here. Continued power outages are possible; BGE's latest outage map is here; an outage map for people served by FirstEnergy in Western Maryland is here. You can contact BGE about outages by calling 877-778-2222.
Monday's City Council Meeting: Weather permitting, the Baltimore City Council will meet at 5pm today. On the agenda: the so-called “ban the box” bill, a measure imposing limited bans on smoking at city parks, and confirmation of Niles Ford to be the city’s new Fire Chief. WYPR reporter P. Kenneth Burns talks with Nathan Sterner about the agenda.
Why Nancy Kopp Is Breaking With O'Malley On Pension Payment: WYPR's Joel McCord and Bryan Sears of the Daily Record talk about Governor O'Malley's proposal to divert $100 million out of a $300 million annual reinvestment payment into the state employees pension fund, and why Treasurer Kopp and Comptroller Franchot lobbied against the move. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.
Medical Marijuana Bills To Merge: Maryland lawmakers are gearing up to create a medical marijuana program to benefit children with health problems. Two such bills have been proposed so far, and their sponsors tell the Baltimore Sun that they plan to merge them into a single measure. Baltimore Delegate Cheryl D. Glenn is the sponsor of one bill; she tells the Sun: "It would be immoral not to allow our children to get medicine that could in many cases be life-saving." The sponsor of the other bill, Delegate Dan Morhaim, says that doctors “prescribe drugs that are more dangerous than medical marijuana every single day.” The General Assembly approved the creation of a limited medical marijuana program last year, but it’s not expected to be operational for 18 months – at the earliest.
Transgender Rights Bill Advances In The State Senate: A bill to extend rights for transgender people across Maryland is advancing in the state Senate. The chamber gave preliminary approval to the bill on Friday. The measure says people may not be denied jobs, housing, or access to public facilities based on their gender identity. The Baltimore Sun has more.
SRB Urges Arizona LGBT Community To Come To Baltimore: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is inviting Arizona's LGBT community to move to Charm City. The mayor appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press," saying that while Baltimore’s weather certainly isn't a draw, the city’s welcoming attitude toward gay residents should be. Mayor Rawlings-Blake was responding to questions about the recently vetoed legislation that would have allowed Arizona businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian patrons. The Baltimore Sun has more here.
Baltimore Homicides: Officials are trying to find ways to reduce the murder rate in Baltimore. Statistics show it's among the highest in the country. Advocates met on Saturday in West Baltimore and suggested one solution is to provide more employment. A plan was devised to create 235 jobs for young people -- one for each person killed in the city last year. The Baltimore Sun has more.