//TO BE CLEAR: Added school bonding did not pass. Died when budget deal collapsed.//
Del. Curt Anderson, head of the Baltimore city delegation, told Baltimore lawmakers to hold their votes on the Prince George's casino until they are sure that the goodies they've requested pass.
At the top of the list is a tenative deal to allow the city to have an extra $100 million in school construction bonding authority -- money that the schools leader has said could fund air conditioning in all of the city's schools. Anderson said the House-Senate budget writers have included the provision in their final draft.
Also, the city is set to get the $2.5 million they wanted to study the expansion of the city's convention center.
Anderson said that the budget bills are set to come to the floor before the gambling legislation, and asked members of the delegation to hold off on committing a yes vote to gambling until those bills are finished.
Delegates were locked in a heated debate about how they should vote. Some expressed concern that they had not gotten enough for their votes and worried that the city casino would never be able to compete with the Prince George's location.
Baltimore city mayor Stepanie Rawlings-Blake made an unexpected appearance in the meeting, and offered an impassioned plea for Baltimore. She referred to National Harbor as a "fabricated city" and said that many would prefer to visit Baltimore because of it history.
Rawlings-Blake made one stunning admission: She told lawmakers that if they don't pass the gambling expansion bill now, Caesars is likely to build a "slots barn" in Baltimore. Previously her administration has said a "world class" facility would be doable with only slots.