DAYBREAK DAILY: In Md. and Va., transportation front and center

ABC7 TRAFFIC: ‘Good Morning Washington’ has updates every 10 minutes beginning at 4:30 a.m.

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly cloudy and windy with highs in the upper 30s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories -- Ongoing coverage of the disturbing Forestville situation (see below); Robin Roberts returns to GMA; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: A double shooting in Forestville (Tuesday night) left a Suitland High School student dead, making him the sixth student in Prince George's County to be murdered this school year. The 18-year-old is the second Suitland High student to be fatally shot in just over 24 hours.

OF TAXES AND TRANSPORTATION: Virginia makes tentative progress, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Legislative negotiators broke for the evening Tuesday on a positive note after the House of Delegates team presented its Senate counterparts with an offer built on converting Virginia's 17.5-cent-per-gallon fuel tax to a wholesale levy. And they promised to resume talks this morning. The deal would turn the per-gallon motor fuel tax into a 3.5 percent wholesale gas tax; the wholesale tax on diesel would be 6 percent. That works out to about 10.5 cents per gallon on the gas tax, with the diesel rate at the pump remaining near where it is now.”

MEANWHILE: A different story in Maryland, per the Baltimore Sun, “As the General Assembly nears the halfway point in its 90-day session, Gov. Martin O'Malley and key legislators have yet to agree on a plan to pay for new roads, bridges and transit lines — a decision many consider critical to Maryland's economy. Business leaders and others are warning that a longstanding erosion of the fund that finances transportation projects is becoming a crisis. Without new money in the form of higher taxes and fees, they say, work on critically needed projects — including Baltimore's Red Line and suburban Washington's Purple Line — will come to a halt.”

VOTING ON THE VOTE: But do they have proper IDs?, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The Virginia House of Delegates is expected to vote today on two proposals, sponsored by Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, that would tighten voter ID laws and possibly grant the commonwealth access to a federal database to verify citizenship status of registered voters. The more controversial measure, Senate Bill 1256, would require voters to present photo ID at the polls and mandate registrar’s offices to provide free photo identification to voters who do not have it.”

AH, THE DISTRICT: Gotta love it, per City Paper, “Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham announced (Tuesday) from the D.C. Council dais that his lawyers are headed shortly to the D.C. Court of Appeals to fight the recent scolding Graham received from the Board of Ethics and Accountability over his conduct on two expensive public contracts. The announcement came as the Council was considering tweaks to the board's powers, including giving it the ability to issue advisory opinions on its own initiative.”

CUTS: And that pretty much says it all, per the Washington Post, “The fight between President Obama and congressional Republicans over the automatic spending cuts that start next week is shifting from one about stopping them to one about assigning blame if they happen. Obama on Tuesday surrounded himself with firefighters and other first responders at the White House, where he said Republicans would be at fault if the spending reductions take effect and cost the jobs of emergency personnel. The campaign-style event marked the beginning of what aides described as an intensifying push to pressure Congress to postpone the cuts — or to blame Republicans in Congress if it doesn’t.”

POLITICO PLAY: “In some lawmakers’ minds, there’s no stopping the sequester. So they’re making a plea to the Obama administration: Just don’t cut in my backyard. With the automatic budget cuts set to strike all aspects of the federal government March 1, members of the House and Senate are beseeching administration officials — both in private and during public hearings — to spare key programs and employment hubs back home.”

MONEY TO BURN: For some folks, anyway, per the New York Times, “The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a challenge to federal campaign contribution limits, setting the stage for what may turn out to be the most important federal campaign finance case since the court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United, which struck down limits on independent campaign spending by corporations and unions.”

GOOD READ: And a good watch, per WJLA – ABC7, “From the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary to a shooting in the District, if the police want to know who that gun belongs to, they call one place: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Tracing Center (NTC) in Martinsburg, W.Va. Just last month, President Obama signed an executive order requiring federal law enforcement to trace every gun they seize, but how that’s done is like taking a step back in time.”

SMILE: Just know that you’re, well, contributing, per the Washington Examiner, “Hours after a D.C. lawmaker offered a new proposal Tuesday that he said would curb the number of motorists who receive tickets from the city's web of traffic cameras, the District reported that it collected nearly $26 million last month from its controversial automated enforcement network.”

HUH?: Seriously?, per the Washington Times, “The rice paper and bamboo lights are known as Kongming lanterns in China. The English refer to them as Chinese lanterns. Canadians have dubbed them high-flying fireworks. In Maryland, they’re called “a serious threat to fire and life safety.” Last week, the office of the state fire marshal reminded residents that use of the “sky lanterns” is prohibited in Maryland.”

OBIT: Just the facts, per the Roanoke Times, “Clifton “Chip” Woodrum, who represented Roanoke in the House of Delegates for nearly a quarter century, died Tuesday in Florida, according to current and former legislators. He was 74. Woodrum served from 1980 to 2003 in the Virginia House, where his intellect and rapier wit made him one of the state’s most visible and effective legislators. There was no official word on the cause of Woodrum’s death Tuesday night.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Wizards lose 96-88 against Raptors.

DOESN’T SEEM LIKE A LOT: But. . . per ARLnow, “Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan will propose a 3.2 cent real estate tax rate hike when she outlines her proposed budget to the County Board Wednesday afternoon, has confirmed.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is D.C. Councilman Vincent Orange, who will be asked about government contracts, the search for a new CFO and the 2014 campaign.

--Skip Wood

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