WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

A court ruling reopens the possibility that the District will hold an election for attorney general this fall. Virginia's governor mulls expanding Medicaid as the commonwealth's budget standoff continues. And Maryland candidates begin their final sprint to primaries on June 24. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies, and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

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Despite the largely negative public reaction to a proposal to tax certain city services, including gym memberships and classes at yoga studios, D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson said again Friday officials would likely not revisit the issue.

The proposed 5.75 sales tax, quickly dubbed the "yoga tax" by many residents, is part of an effort to broaden the city's tax base, Mendleson said on the Kojo Nnamdi Show's Friday Politics Hour.

Ultimately, he said, this year's package of tax reforms would actually save DC taxpayers some hundreds of dollars. If the tax was scrapped, officials would have to find another revenue source to replace it.

In response to a caller who suggested the tax could work against residents' efforts to stay healthy, Mendleson said "I don't know any tax administrator ... who would say that affects behavior."

He noted that even the tax on cigarettes, which can reach $2 per pack, hasn't done much to deter sales, nor has the tax on sugary beverages.

Watch the full discussion below

NPR

Once Outlaws, Young Lords Find A Museum Home For Radical Roots

Inspired by the Black Panthers, the Young Lords were formed in New York City by a group of Puerto Rican youth in 1969. Their history is now on display in a new exhibition.
NPR

Europe's Taste For Caviar Is Putting Pressure On A Great Lakes Fish

Scientists say lake herring, a key fish in Lake Superior's food web, is suffering because of mild winters and Europe's appetite for roe. Some say the species may be at risk of "collapse."
WAMU 88.5

A Congressional Attempt To Speed The Development Of Lifesaving Treatments

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act in a rare bi-partisan effort. The bill is meant to speed the development of lifesaving treatments, but critics warn it may also allow ineffective or even harmful drugs onto the market.

NPR

Oculus Uses 'Henry' Premiere To Wet Appetites For Its Virtual Reality Headset

The virtual reality company Oculus is close to releasing a headset for games, movies and other entertainment. The company premiered an animated short called Henry that will come with the headsets.

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