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Afternoon Read: D.C. Council Rejects Measure to Repay City Workers

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The D.C. Council voted against Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown’s plan to repay city workers for four furlough days they were forced to take last year.

The Tuesday debates surrounding the plan to repay the workers from a $63 million surprise surplus fund quickly devolved to council members accusing each other of having misplaced spending priorities, according to Washington City Paper.

Ward 8 Council member Marion Barry and at-large Council member Vincent Orange slammed Jack Evans for caring too much about mostly wealthy District residents instead of city employees. Evans tried to abolish a municipal bond tax that has upset many of the wealthy residents in the District.

David Catania accused his colleagues of being part of the Tea Party for their refusal to support the repayment plan.

Gray and Brown’s plan would have spent about $22 million to repay city workers for the furlough days.

Councilmen Michael Brown and Catania proposed a compromise amendment that would have reimbursed employees for two furlough days and put the extra $10 million into affordable housing, health care and assistance to needy families.

According to The Washington Post, Gray and Brown signed off on the compromise to guarantee passage during a break in the council meeting, but the measure was defeated in a 7-5 vote.

Some members said they would only vote for a measure that included repayment for all four days. But when Brown reintroduced the initial proposal, members said they need more time to explore how to spend the surplus, The Post reports.

* President Barack Obama has a decisive lead over Mitt Romney in the key swing state of Virginia, according to the latest poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.

The poll shows that Obama maintains his lead—51 to 43 percent—with or without Gov. Bob McDonnell on the ticket.

Via Washington Times:

“We have polled Virginia six times this election cycle and have found Barack Obama with a decent sized lead over Mitt Romney every single time,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “Barring a big shift in the political climate, Virginia is likely to go for Obama again, and that’s going to make it very hard for Romney to score a victory in the Electoral College.”

Gov. Bob McDonnell wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal criticizing President Obama’s energy policies.

* Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley emailed supporters Tuesday asking them to contribute to a campaign that would uphold a law allowing in-state college tuition rates for children of illegal immigrants, according to The Post.

The tuition question for children of illegal immigrants will be on the ballot in November.

O’Malley is also raising money to uphold a measure he signed to legalize same-sex marriages in the state, which is also expected to be on the ballot in November.
 

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