Baltimore City Council votes to support Paris Climate Agreement

Calling President Donald J. Trump's recent decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement "ill-advised," the Baltimore City Council unanimously voted Monday to express its intention of upholding the agreement here. The approved resolution, which does not carry the force of law, says the all-Democratic council is committed "to practices that disrupt short-sighted trends in consumption of natural resources and degradation of human health to create a liveable, economical, equitable, and just energy future." Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, a Democrat, this month joined more than 1,000 elected officials, businesses and colleges in signing an agreement to honor the Paris deal. (Balt. Sun)

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Peroutka rejects racist comments by League of South founder

Responding to continuing questions about his past association with the League of the South, Councilman Michael Peroutka on Monday night distanced himself from racist comments made by the secessionist group's leader. At the start of the County Council's meeting, Peroutka, R-Millersville, said recent online posts from League of the South founder and president Michael Hill — in which Hill pledges "to be a white supremacist, a racist, an anti-Semite, a homophobe, a xenophobe, an Islamophobe and any other sort of 'phobe' that benefits my people" — were "outrageous" and "inappropriate." A recent editorial by The Capital pointed to the statements as evidence that the group espouses hateful views. Peroutka said he "categorically denounced these and any other racist statements." (Capital)

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Annapolis City Council approves operating budget

Annapolis City Council passed Mayor Mike Pantelides' $106 million operating budget, opting not to cut property tax rate cuts by $.005 after delaying the vote a week when last week's meeting went late into the evening. Passage of the budget came with few amendments as the council balked on increasing spending anymore than the mayor had. The budget was originally proposed as $107 million but that was based on estimates. After those estimates were adjusted and the council's changes were implemented, the amount settled at $106 million. The budget was passed with a 6-3 vote with Alderman Fred Paone, R-Ward 2, Jared Littmann, D-Ward 5, and Ross Arnett, D-Ward 8, voting against. (Capital)

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Pugh, Councilman Scott On Violence In Baltimore: Everyone Can Do More

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and City Councilman Brandon Scott are on the same page when it comes to the murder rate in the city. They both know everyone can do more.  "The question should be, especially at 11:00, is 'do you know where your children are?'" Pugh said to WBAL News Now host Bryan Nehman. "Everybody has to participate in this process if we're all going to be focusing on reducing crime. We have to do our part as a city, police department, the community -- all of us working together -- the faith-based community." She added that there are a number of programs going on throughout the summer and there's no reason for someone not to be engaged. (WBAL)

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June 19 // Pugh to travel to U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh plans to travel to the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Florida next weekend, her first trip to the gathering since being elected last year. The bipartisan get-together is a chance for mayors to discuss common challenges and opportunities they see for the nation's cities. Immigration, policing, health care and climate change are all expected to be topics of discussion. (Balt. Sun)

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Indicted state senator to stay on, wants trial date after 2018 General Assembly session

State Sen. Nathaniel Oaks, who is facing federal fraud charges, said he intends to remain a legislator as he fights the case. Attorneys for Oaks on Friday asked the judge overseeing his case to reschedule his trial for after the next General Assembly session to avoid a conflict. Reached Friday evening, Oaks said in a brief phone conversation that he will continue to serve: "I'm a senator. I have obligations to the constituency that elected me," he said. (Balt. Sun)

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Trump appears to direct anger at Rosenstein in tweet

President Donald Trump appeared to acknowledge for the first time Friday that he is under federal investigation as part of the expanding probe into Russia's election meddling, using a social media posting to criticize Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt," the president wrote on Twitter. His morning missive apparently referred to Rosenstein, the former U.S. attorney for Maryland, whose role leading the federal investigation has become increasingly complicated. (Balt. Sun)

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Grumbles elected chair of interstate air pollution board

Amid a petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for better air pollution control in five states, Maryland was selected to lead a regional air quality board. Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles was unanimously elected chairman of the Ozone Transport Commission on June 6. The commission is a 13-state collaboration created under the federal Clean Air Act to control interstate smog. (News-Post)

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