DAYBREAK DAILY: Critical vote today for Va. lawmakers on Medicaid expansion
ABC7 WEATHER: Cloudy and rainy with highs in the low 60s. http://wj.la/72e8x6
‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Northeast D.C. residents scour neighborhood in search of Relisha Rudd; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.
BACK TO WORK: Medicaid expansion tops the agenda, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “State lawmakers return to Richmond today to pick up where they left off last week — at odds over whether a new, two-year $96 billion spending plan should include a provision to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid in the commonwealth. Members of the Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate Finance Committee will meet this morning to consider and vote upon a version of the budget that includes an expansion provision — most likely a private option known as Marketplace Virginia that is favored by three Republican senators whose support is critical to passage in their evenly divided chamber.
“The committee also will weigh 104 budget amendments submitted by Gov. Terry McAuliffe that realign state spending from the budget he inherited from former Gov. Bob McDonnell and also factor in anticipated savings from Medicaid expansion that are used to spend more money on public education and public safety, and to provide 2 percent raises to all state employees. Later, the bipartisan but divided Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission will meet for the first time this year to resume its effort to accelerate cost-saving changes to the state Medicaid program as a step toward possible expansion.” http://bit.ly/1kBR3We
HOUSE OF CARDZZZZZ: The latest, per the Baltimore Sun, “Netflix's Capitol Hill drama "House of Cards" may receive millions more in tax credits to continue filming in Maryland, now that the General Assembly has agreed to make more funding available. But the local arts community may not like the politics. To secure the extra funding, the General Assembly authorized state economic developers to dip into a $2.5 million pot of money called the Special Fund for the Preservation of Cultural Arts. It was created in 2009 to support arts organizations.
“In a statement late Sunday, John Schratweiser, executive director of advocacy group Maryland Citizens for the Arts, said: "We're very disappointed that the General Assembly has taken away $2.5 million intended for Maryland based nonprofit arts organizations that serve diverse communities across the entire state to use for other purposes. Those being hurt by this decision are the Maryland arts organizations that serve Marylanders of all ages, day in and day out, that employ more than 12,000 Maryland residents and provide an annual economic impact to the state of over $1 billion. They were hit particularly hard during the recession and were looking forward to finally receiving these funds that were included in next year's budget by Governor O'Malley." http://bsun.md/1h6CUS7
MEANWHILE: Of other cards to play, per the Washington Post, “When the confetti falls at midnight Monday, the Maryland General Assembly will call it quits for 2014. Lawmakers still have plenty to do before they adjourn, however. That includes a final vote on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s top priority — an increase in the minimum wage — and action on a pair of marijuana reform bills.
“Scores of other bills hang in the balance, including measures to get tougher on handheld cellphone use while driving and to outlaw so-called “revenge porn.” . . . After a memorable debate Saturday in the House of Delegates on decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, final Senate action on the bill Monday could seem anticlimactic. The Senate, which passed its version of the bill last month, is expected to sign off on the House changes. The bigger question is whether O’Malley (D) will say if he plans to sign the bill, which would impose a $100 fine on those caught for the first time with less than 10 grams — about a third of an ounce — of marijuana.” http://wapo.st/1lFmWPn
MICKEY ROONEY: Obit, per the Associated Press, “Mickey Rooney's approach to life was simple: "Let's put on a show!" He spent nine decades doing it, on the big screen, on television, on stage and in his extravagant personal life. . . Rooney died Sunday at age 93 surrounded by family at his North Hollywood home, police said. The Los Angeles County Coroner's office said Rooney died a natural death.
“There were no further details immediately available on the cause of death, but Rooney did attend Vanity Fair's Oscar party last month, where he posed for photos with other veteran stars and seemed fine. He was also shooting a movie at the time of his death, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde," with Margaret O'Brien.” http://apne.ws/1iiUhv7
MISSING JET: The latest “promising” lead, per the New York Times, “The chief of the team coordinating the hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean said Monday that an Australian vessel had twice detected underwater signals “consistent with” flight data and cockpit voice recorders, possibly from the missing jet.
“Clearly this is a most promising lead,” the official, Angus Houston, said at a news conference in Perth, Australia. He called it “probably the best information that we have had” in the search.” http://nyti.ms/1iou3bP
RELISHA RUDD: Just the facts, per ABC7-WJLA, “Dozens of volunteers worked their way through a Northeast D.C. neighborhood Sunday, handing out flyers and asking people if they remember seeing Relisha Rudd or her suspected abductor Kahlil Tatum.” http://wj.la/PCMxgI
OBAMACARE: Statistical success, per the Los Angeles Times, “The share of Americans without health insurance has dropped to the lowest level since before President Obama took office, according to a new national survey that provides more evidence the healthcare law is extending coverage to millions of the previously uninsured. Just 14.7% of adults lacked coverage in the second half of March, down from 18% in the last quarter of 2013, the survey from Gallup found.” http://lat.ms/1h6GNXg
POLITICO PLAY: “The California congressional candidate sat patiently for two hours as the questions just kept coming. His soft-spoken, bearded inquisitor took handwritten notes as he probed every aspect of the candidate’s past: where he had lived, the schools he attended, his grades, any run-ins with authority. The only thing missing from the interrogation was a naked bulb swinging from the ceiling. For David Harmer, a cerebral banking compliance attorney running an underdog House race, the scrutiny was worth it: At the end of the process, he was a Club for Growth candidate.
“Among the conservative outside groups that have shaken up GOP politics over the last half-decade, no organization matches the intensity of the Club’s endorsement process. Nor, for that matter, does any group match the Club in its ability to upend primaries and drag the Republican Party and its candidates to the right.” http://politi.co/QW6MqA
RIGGED?: Of a complicated scenario, per The Hill, “Renowned author Michael Lewis’s charge that the stock market is rigged against regular investors is making waves in Washington. Liberal lawmakers in particular believe that Lewis is bringing critical attention to an issue that could boost their efforts to assign a tax on all financial transactions.” http://bit.ly/PEc4Gm
BIG WHEEL: With cocktails, per City Paper, “The ferris wheel coming to National Harbor this spring isn’t a design standout—“Giant operation wheels all look like this, if you will,” says Kent Digby, the National Harbor’s senior vice president — but its VIP gondola promises wonders, and possibly booze. The Capital Wheel features 42 climate-controlled gondolas, each built to accommodate eight passengers at $15 a pop. Only one, however, will include red bucket seats, a glass floor, and potentially a drink.” http://bit.ly/OqkmR3
EXORCISM: Whatever, per Gazette.Net, “Trial dates were set for Germantown roommates charged in a botched exorcism that left two young children dead. Zakieya Avery, 28, and her roommate Monifa Sanford, 21, the self-proclaimed “demon assassins,” were in Montgomery County Circuit Court for a hearing Friday. A five-day trial is scheduled to begin July 28 for Avery. Sanford’s trial is scheduled to start Aug. 25.” http://bit.ly/1hkq97E
SEXUAL ASSAULT: Foiled, per the Frederick News-Post, “State police were searching Sunday night for a man who tried to sexually assault two joggers at Walkersville Community Park. Two women, who were not injured and refused medical treatment, were jogging at about 3:30 p.m. on a path when a man grabbed one of them from behind, Maryland State Police said in a news release.
“The woman fought back as the attacker tried to pull down her running pants, the release says. According to state police, the second woman came to her aid and fought the man. The second woman called 911 and was also assaulted. The man then ran toward Walkersville High School. State police troopers and Frederick County Sheriff's Office deputies searched the area on foot, by car and with a police dog, but did not find the assailant.” http://bit.ly/1jnmO6h
SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals beat Atlanta 2-1.
TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “Two NORAD F-16 fighter jets intercepted a general aviation aircraft in restricted air space over D.C. Sunday afternoon. As the NORAD jets identified and intercepted it, the aircraft was exiting the restricted area. The aircraft resumed communications with air traffic control as it exited the restricted area.” http://wj.la/1oEFZO9
NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan, who will be asked about his comeback bid.