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By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | March 14, 2009
A City Council bill that seeks to slow foreclosures in Baltimore violates the state and federal constitutions, according to an opinion issued yesterday by the city's law department. The legislation, introduced by Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke and Councilman Bill Henry, would extend the time between foreclosure and eviction from 14 days to 365 days. The lawmakers believe that the bill would provide a strong incentive for lenders to negotiate with owners rather than foreclose. But the unfavorable legal opinion could halt momentum on the bill because, Mayor Sheila Dixon's spokesman said, it would prevent her from signing it. "Our legal department has found that this legislation is not in accordance with state and federal law," said Scott Peterson, Dixon's spokesman.
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NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2014
A renewed effort is underway in Baltimore to impose a fee on most plastic bags handed out in city stores - and supporters believe that charging a nickel for each bag, rather than a dime, will allow the measure to gain enough backing to become law. But some local retailers have joined environmentalists in saying that the city needs to put the charge on both paper and plastic bags. Environmentalists want to encourage city shoppers to carry reusable bags to preserve resources and reduce litter.
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NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | March 11, 2013
The City Council gave final approval Monday to a bill that would allow companies such as Ticketmaster to continue to charge unlimited fees when selling tickets to events in Baltimore. The 15-member council voted without discussion in favor of the bill, which exempts Ticketmaster and other ticket sellers from Baltimore's long-standing anti-scalping law. Only council members Bill Henry, James B. Kraft and Mary Pat Clarke voted "no. " The law will sunset in September. By then, council members say, they will have had enough time to draft permanent legislation.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | August 10, 2013
Two Baltimore City Councilmen are formally calling on the state of Maryland to cover the costs of erroneous historic property tax credits that have cut revenue to the city over the past several years. Councilmen Bill Henry, who represents north Baltimore, and James Kraft, who represents southeast Baltimore, plan to introduce a resolution Monday that will call on the state to "find an appropriate mechanism whereby the city of Baltimore can be compensated for lost property tax revenue, so as not to negatively impact blameless homeowners and not unduly burden the city's finances because of flawed calculations used by the state.
NEWS
By John Fritze and John Fritze,Sun Reporter | January 30, 2007
Calling for "leadership that's not soft," City Councilman Kenneth N. Harris Sr. officially announced his candidacy for City Council president yesterday, becoming the second candidate to enter the race. Harris, 43, has developed a reputation in recent months for questioning Martin O'Malley's mayoral administration, especially for its police policies. Harris represents the 4th District in North Baltimore. "When we say that we are serious about Baltimore, we mean that we are serious about giving government and its communities the resources and support they need to break the cycle of violence that is destroying our families and our neighborhoods," Harris said during his announcement at the Belvedere Square shopping center.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | June 3, 2013
A Baltimore councilman is seeking to limit the "convenience" fees Ticketmaster and other ticket sellers add to the price of admission to concerts and sporting events. Councilman Carl Stokes, chairman of the council's taxation committee, introduced a bill Monday that would limit the amount of fees ticket sellers can charge to no more than 15 percent of a ticket's stated price. The bill also would require businesses to disclose such fees in their advertising in Baltimore. "An average ticket has a convenience fee for Ticketmaster of 22 to 25 percent," Stokes said.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | June 25, 2012
The Baltimore City Council defeated legislation Monday aimed at requiring city agencies to be audited at least once every two years. The council voted 8-7 against the measure sponsored by Councilman Carl Stokes, who appeared disheartened by the outcome. "I'm almost too stunned to speak," Stokes said. "The young people, fire, police, citizens in general, they're asking me, 'You don't care enough to show us how you're spending the money we're entrusting to you? You won't be transparent?
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | May 18, 2012
Three members of a key City Council committee say they oppose Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's proposal to more than double the city's bottle tax — enough to kill the bill. That has angered supporters of the bill, who accuse Councilman Carl Stokes, the chairman of the council's Taxation, Finance and Economic Development Committee, of holding back public education. The tax increase is part of the mayor's plan to fix dilapidated schools. Stokes is one of the three council members on the five-member committee who oppose it. "Councilman Stokes is standing as a roadblock toward improving the quality of our schools for our children," said Bishop Douglas Miles, chairman of the interfaith group Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2014
A renewed effort is underway in Baltimore to impose a fee on most plastic bags handed out in city stores - and supporters believe that charging a nickel for each bag, rather than a dime, will allow the measure to gain enough backing to become law. But some local retailers have joined environmentalists in saying that the city needs to put the charge on both paper and plastic bags. Environmentalists want to encourage city shoppers to carry reusable bags to preserve resources and reduce litter.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | August 10, 2013
Two Baltimore City Councilmen are formally calling on the state of Maryland to cover the costs of erroneous historic property tax credits that have cut revenue to the city over the past several years. Councilmen Bill Henry, who represents north Baltimore, and James Kraft, who represents southeast Baltimore, plan to introduce a resolution Monday that will call on the state to "find an appropriate mechanism whereby the city of Baltimore can be compensated for lost property tax revenue, so as not to negatively impact blameless homeowners and not unduly burden the city's finances because of flawed calculations used by the state.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | June 3, 2013
A Baltimore councilman is seeking to limit the "convenience" fees Ticketmaster and other ticket sellers add to the price of admission to concerts and sporting events. Councilman Carl Stokes, chairman of the council's taxation committee, introduced a bill Monday that would limit the amount of fees ticket sellers can charge to no more than 15 percent of a ticket's stated price. The bill also would require businesses to disclose such fees in their advertising in Baltimore. "An average ticket has a convenience fee for Ticketmaster of 22 to 25 percent," Stokes said.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | March 11, 2013
The City Council gave final approval Monday to a bill that would allow companies such as Ticketmaster to continue to charge unlimited fees when selling tickets to events in Baltimore. The 15-member council voted without discussion in favor of the bill, which exempts Ticketmaster and other ticket sellers from Baltimore's long-standing anti-scalping law. Only council members Bill Henry, James B. Kraft and Mary Pat Clarke voted "no. " The law will sunset in September. By then, council members say, they will have had enough time to draft permanent legislation.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | June 25, 2012
The Baltimore City Council defeated legislation Monday aimed at requiring city agencies to be audited at least once every two years. The council voted 8-7 against the measure sponsored by Councilman Carl Stokes, who appeared disheartened by the outcome. "I'm almost too stunned to speak," Stokes said. "The young people, fire, police, citizens in general, they're asking me, 'You don't care enough to show us how you're spending the money we're entrusting to you? You won't be transparent?
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | May 18, 2012
Three members of a key City Council committee say they oppose Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's proposal to more than double the city's bottle tax — enough to kill the bill. That has angered supporters of the bill, who accuse Councilman Carl Stokes, the chairman of the council's Taxation, Finance and Economic Development Committee, of holding back public education. The tax increase is part of the mayor's plan to fix dilapidated schools. Stokes is one of the three council members on the five-member committee who oppose it. "Councilman Stokes is standing as a roadblock toward improving the quality of our schools for our children," said Bishop Douglas Miles, chairman of the interfaith group Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | March 14, 2009
A City Council bill that seeks to slow foreclosures in Baltimore violates the state and federal constitutions, according to an opinion issued yesterday by the city's law department. The legislation, introduced by Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke and Councilman Bill Henry, would extend the time between foreclosure and eviction from 14 days to 365 days. The lawmakers believe that the bill would provide a strong incentive for lenders to negotiate with owners rather than foreclose. But the unfavorable legal opinion could halt momentum on the bill because, Mayor Sheila Dixon's spokesman said, it would prevent her from signing it. "Our legal department has found that this legislation is not in accordance with state and federal law," said Scott Peterson, Dixon's spokesman.
NEWS
By John Fritze and John Fritze,Sun Reporter | January 30, 2007
Calling for "leadership that's not soft," City Councilman Kenneth N. Harris Sr. officially announced his candidacy for City Council president yesterday, becoming the second candidate to enter the race. Harris, 43, has developed a reputation in recent months for questioning Martin O'Malley's mayoral administration, especially for its police policies. Harris represents the 4th District in North Baltimore. "When we say that we are serious about Baltimore, we mean that we are serious about giving government and its communities the resources and support they need to break the cycle of violence that is destroying our families and our neighborhoods," Harris said during his announcement at the Belvedere Square shopping center.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger and Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | April 28, 2014
Controversial legislation intended to help ex-convicts find jobs is headed to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for her expected signature after the City Council gave the measure final approval Monday. The "Ban the Box" bill will force Baltimore employers to wait to ask about a job candidate's criminal history until a conditional offer has been extended. The bill passed despite an intense lobbying effort from business leaders, who said they should have the right to vet prospective employees early in the process.
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