Special session on gambling continues Friday in Maryland. Meanwhile, commerce property tax reductions for some downtown commercial buildings in D.C.are raising new questions about within the District.
Amid excitement with the 2012 Olympics in London, an effort continues to bring the 2024 summer games to this region.
Robert McCartney, columnist for The Washington Post, talks with Matt McCleskey, host for WAMU's Morning Edition about the this week's top local stories.
On why the issue of gambling expansion in Maryland has to go through a special session to reach an agreement: "It's taking a special session because there are big divisions among Democrats about whether to do this," says McCartney. "The fact that we're having this session now, in August, when everyone would rather be at the beach, is because almost entirely the work of one man who strongly favors gambling — Mike Miller, president of the Maryland State Senate. He basically held the state budget hostage earlier this year and wouldn't let it be passed unless there [was] a deal to have a vote on gambling."
What can be expected from this special session:"The Senate will definitely pass the bill and it goes to the House earlier next week," says McCartney. "The whole question is whether the House of Delegates is going to approve this."
On what the mayor and council are trying to find out regarding the property tax deductions in D.C. that didn't go through the Tax Appeals Board: "They're mainly trying to find out two things. The first is, did the city really lose a significant amount of money because of what the tax office did here. And that's still a little murky," says McCartney. "Second thing that the mayor and council want to find out is, basically more on how and why this happened."
What would it take to bring the Olympics to D.C.: "Some local business leaders and politicians are floating the idea of putting together a bid for the 2024 summer games of the Olympics. This would take a lot of time, money and commitment from business, political and sports leaders in our region," says McCartney. "We tried this once before 10 years ago, and bid to host the games that are currently underway in London. We did not fall flat on our face. We actually have a lot of offer that Olympic organizers like: three airports, advanced transit system, and a lot of existing stadiums and sports arenas."