City State: Morning Roundup

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Bill would add Virginia to health-care opponents; Another guilty plea in D.C. corruption case; Issa calls hearing on Occupy D.C.; O'Malley budget includes tax hikes; D.C. Council reaches deal on medical marijuana; GOP withdrawals ‘loyalty oath’; Metro police sued on free speech; Occupy protesters toss apparent smoke bomb onto White House lawn.

A Virginia lawmaker is pushing legislation to add the state to an interstate compact that would exempt members from President Obama’s s health care overhaul — a budding movement across the country that’s providing states with another constitutional weapon to combat the landmark law — reports David Sherfinski of The Washington Times.

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged a second person accused of serving as a pass-through for public funds that former council member Harry Thomas Jr. stole for his personal use. James Garvin, a principal at the Langston21st Century Foundation, was charged with concealing a felony. The charges were filed at U.S. District Court in a criminal information, a document that typically signals a plea deal has been reached, reports The Times‘ Tom Howell Jr.

The GOP-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has asked the director of the National Park Service to testify next Tuesday on the decision-making process behind Occupy D.C.’s camp at McPherson Square. The hearing comes more than a month after committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa demanded answers to why  protesters have been allowed to live in the public park. The hearing is scheduled for the same day Mr. Issa set as a deadline for the Interior Department to answers questions on whether politics has played in letting the protesters remain in the park, The Times reports.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malleywill propose a budget Wednesday that calls for the state and counties to evenly split about $1 billion in teacher pension costs, much to the dismay of county officials who say the move will exacerbate their budget problems. The governor told county officials during a tense meeting Tuesday night that he will call for an immediate 50-50 split, said Howard County Executive Kenneth S. Ulman, a Democrat, reports David Hill of The Times.

The D.C. Council struck a deal on Tuesday to avoid the clustering of medical marijuana facilities in a single part of the city, grandfathering in applicants who got preliminary approval to grow the drug in Ward 5 but potentially altering the plans of companies who hoped to join them in the industrial slice of Northeast, The Times reports.

The Republican Party of Virginia will not require voters to sign a pledge of intent to support the party’s nominee in the general election before being allowed to vote in the March 6 primary, according to an e-mail from the state Board of Elections obtained by The Washington Times. The controversy over the pledge, often described as a “loyalty oath,” had been brewing since the board approved it in December, The Times reports.

A D.C. man is suing a Metro Transit Police officer, saying the cop violated his civil right to free speech for arresting him when he spoke up as police threw a friend in a wheelchair to the ground during an arrest last spring. Lawrence Miller, 33, filed the suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Metro Transit Officer Fred Price. The American Civil Liberties Union is representing him, according to The Washington Examiner.

An apparent smoke bomb was thrown over the fence of the White House as hundreds of Occupy protesters massed outside the gates. The crowds were dispersed Tuesday night, and U.S. Secret Service says there were no arrests in the incident. People inside the White House were being prevented from exiting on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the building. The president and his wife, Michelle, were at a nearby restaurant celebrating her 48th birthday at the time of the incident. There were 1,000 to 1,500 protesters at one point, according to the Associated Press.

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