Rawlings-Blake to meet with city lawmakers about gambling

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Gov. Martin O'Malley plan to meet with members of Baltimore's state legislative delegation at City Hall Wednesday morning to gauge their support for a sixth casino, a city hall spokesman said.

The meeting would be the latest step in renewed effort by the state's Democratic leaders to squeeze a summer special session on gambling before an Aug. 20 deadline.

The city's 18-member House delegation has, so far, committed to tying their casino support to an unrelated measure that would give the city school system additional bonding authority. That has not changed, said Del. Curt Anderson, who chairs the delegation.

"We are not giving up a vote for Prince George's without getting something for Baltimore," Anderson said.
Anderson said that the delegation also wants to be sure that a city casino would have some lead time to establish itself before any additional site was added.

Short of those changes, Anderson said, supporters of another site would be "lucky if there is one vote."

Anderson added that the delegation won't accept a "commitment" for the bonding authority during the regular session in January. "We won't accept a pledge," he said.

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