Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, visiting Annapolis to make the case for the city's $2.4 billion school construction plan, has finished her meeting with House Speaker Michael E. Busch and has arrived at the State House for talks with Gov. Martin O'Malley.
Rawlings-Blake, accompanied by Baltimore schools chief Andres Alonso, met for about an hour with the speaker in the House office building. The two were expected to outline Alonso's plan to finance the massive rebuilding of the state's oldest school system by converting the city's annual allocation of school construction money into a guaranteed block grant that would let it issue bonds.
Del. Keith Haynes, a Baltimore Democrat who sat in on the meeting with Busch, said the discussion was "very encouraging."
"We have to do something at an accelerated rate," said Haynes. "If it's going to get done, this is the year it's going to get done."
After meeting with O'Malley, Rawlings-Blake and Alonso are expected to sit down with Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, who has been openly skeptical about the plan. Busch and O'Malley have been reserving judgment.
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