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Baltimore City Council poised to override Rawlings-Blake veto

Tonight -- for the first time in more than three decades -- the Baltimore City Council is expected to override a mayoral veto.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake this month vetoed a bill that would force the city to spend 3 percent of its budget on programs for children and teens, if voters approve.

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The City Council voted 14-0 last month to approve the legislation. Just days after the mayor's veto, Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young began to campaign for the override.

If 12 of the council's 15 members vote to overturn the veto, Baltimore voters will be asked in November to approve a charter amendment that sets aside money for the account. In this year's budget, 3 percent would mean about $30 million.

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The mayor said she was worried earmarking the money would tie the hands of future mayors. She noted that the city will spend $372 million on services for youths this year — a 4 percent increase over last year's spending.

The last time a council overrode a mayoral veto was in 1982. Mayor William Donald Schaefer had opposed a bill to give increased pension benefits to Baltimore's firefighters and police officers.

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