City State: Morning Roundup

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A D.C. SCHOOL-VOUCHERS MEASURE was passed Wednesday by the U.S. House of Representatives despite opposition from the mayor, D.C.’s congressional delegate, teachers and the White House, The Washington Times reports.

The move to revive the voucher program sets up a key test for the administration, as House Republican leaders have hinted they may go along with President Obama’s planned overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act — an education reform law signed by President George W. Bush — if the White House accepts the voucher bill. Supporters say the federally funded program gives underprivileged children an opportunity to avoid the Washington’s struggling public schools and receive a quality education. Opponents say it’s wrong to use taxpayer money to subsidize private schools and the money would be better spent to improve the city’s public education system.

A MAJOR ROAD INTO WASHINGTON will be under construction for two years, causing delays of as long as 30 minutes, according to The Washington Times. Repairs to the New York Avenue Bridge will impact the roughly 200,000 commuters, tourists and other motorists who each day make the frequent bumper-to-bumper trip in and out of the city on that road.

NATIONALS PARK officials have been mum on what new food and drink will be available this season. But the Washington Business Journal reports New York restaurateur Danny Meyer’s popular Shake Shack will open at the stadium after Opening Day.

D.C. COUNCIL MEMBER MARION BARRY’S silver 2002 Jaguar, which he as driven for more than six months, has “inactive” D.C. tags and is not registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles, The Washington Post reports. The plates are from a BMW owned by Mr. Barry, a Democrat and former D.C. mayor, according to records obtained by the paper. A Barry spokesperson said the dealership from which the council member bought the Jaguar has misplaced the title papers.

WASHINGTON’S WARD 8, the poorest part of the city, has a higher jobless rate than any other U.S. metropolitan area with a labor-force of comparable size, according to figures released by the city government. Bloomberg News reports Ward 8 unemployment climbed to 25.2 percent in January, the latest month of available data, from 23.1 percent in December, figures from the Department of Employment Services show. The next highest rate, as measured by the U.S. Labor Department, was 25.1 percent in El Centro, Calif.

VIRGINIA GOV. ROBERT F. MCDONNELL wielded the veto pen this year to reject measures on physical education, environmental penalties and a limit on medical-malpractice judgments. In all, he vetoed four efforts that passed the 2011 General Assembly, after not vetoing any in his first year in office, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

VIRGINIA DELEGATE ROBERT G. MARSHALL’s Prince William County district had the largest population surge of any in Virginia, according to a redistricting map drawn by Virginia House Republicans. Mr. Marshall, a Republican, represents 35 precincts right now. But the proposed map shrinks that to fewer than 10, according to The Washington Times. The map, released late Tuesday, is one of several proposals for redrawing 100 House and 40 Senate districts in the General Assembly and 11 congressional districts that Virginia lawmakers will consider when they meet for a special redistricting session beginning Monday.

THE MARYLAND SENATE voted Wednesday to approve an increase in the state’s alcohol sales tax, despite concern by some legislators that it could hurt small businesses and disproportionately fund some counties while neglecting others, The Washington Times reports.

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