DAYBREAK DAILY: McAuliffe rips Va. GOP for nixing Medicaid expansion
ABC7 WEATHER: Partly sunny with highs in the mid 80s. http://wj.la/72e8x6
‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Dramatic trench rescue in Falls Church; U.S. weighs help for Iraq in fighting militants; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.
IT’S OFFICIAL: Virginia passes a budget, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Senate Republicans on Thursday night used their new majority to pass a two-year budget that eliminates any opportunity for Gov. Terry McAuliffe or a year-old legislative commission to expand Medicaid or a private insurance alternative. They were backed by House Republicans who said they would not approve the budget -- even though Senate Democrats and moderate Republicans had removed an insurance marketplace -- unless it included language to prevent any expansion without the approval of the full General Assembly.
“. . .Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued a defiant statement that ripped the legislature's Republicans and he said he is considering his options on the budget. “This evening’s actions demonstrated how deeply committed Republicans in the General Assembly are to denying 400,000 Virginians access to life saving health care," he said.” http://bit.ly/1l74bH2
MEANWHILE: It wasn’t easy, per the Daily Press, “. . . Senate Republican Leader Tommy Norment, R-James City, said it was his most challenging night in 23 years at the General Assembly. He likened it to threading several moving needles at once as he tried to strike a balance his party's more conservative and moderate elements could embrace in a week that has seen a series of shakeups in Virginia politics.
“The state senate eventually passed a budget, with the amendments in place, shortly after 11 p.m. The vote was 21-18. The House followed suit shortly before midnight, 69-31.” http://bit.ly/1saOaUa
KING HENRY VIII: Not welcome, or something like that, per the Baltimore Sun, “One by one, they came to the microphone and made their case: The Maryland Renaissance Festival is fun, but it doesn't belong in a rural community. The festival annually attracts to Crownsville about 300,000 visitors who gobble smoked turkey legs, guzzle mead and are enchanted by jousters, musicians and artisans in a replica of an English village under the reign of King Henry VIII.
“Organizers say the festival has become a victim of its own success and needs more room to accommodate traffic, revelers and vendors than the 130-acre site can provide. But a proposal to relocate and expand it to a large farm in the southern Anne Arundel community of Lothian was opposed at a hearing Thursday by residents who fear it won't prove to be a renaissance for their neighborhood.” http://bsun.md/1kS6j4e
D.C. SCHOOLS: Yet another new idea, per the Washington Post, “D.C. officials on Thursday put forth a new proposal for public school boundaries that would maintain a system of neighborhood schools while providing a pathway for children, particularly those who are disadvantaged, to gain access to schools outside their immediate communities.
“The proposal would redraw the city’s boundaries for elementary, middle and high schools in an effort to adjust for decades of school closures and demographic change that created a patchwork of overlapping attendance zones, leaving some schools overcrowded while others were underused.” http://wapo.st/1l7AlSR
IRAQ: The latest, per the New York Times, “The White House, confronted by an unexpected crisis on a battlefield it thought it had left behind, scrambled Thursday to reassure Iraq that it would help its beleaguered army fend off militants who have overrun much of the country and now threaten Baghdad.
“Recognizing what one official described as an “urgent emergency situation,” President Obama and his aides moved on multiple fronts. A senior official said the president was actively considering American airstrikes against the militant groups. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. telephoned Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to express American support. And Pentagon officials briefed lawmakers about what one senator later described as a “grave situation.” ’’ http://nyti.ms/1xPZ9ms
CHURCH KILLING: Just the facts, per the Arizona Republic, “On the third Hail Mary of the fifth set of prayers in the rosary vigil for two of his brother priests, Father John Lankeit's voice started to quaver. As he started to say the line "blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus," Lankeit could no longer go on. The congregation at SS. Simon and Jude Cathedral in northwest Phoenix finished the priest's portion of the prayer, then continued the rosary in unison.
“Seventeen priests, deacons and altar boys participated in the prayer vigil for Father Kenneth Walker, 28, who was shot and killed Wednesday night in the small church he served near downtown Phoenix. Father Joseph Terra, 56, the senior pastor of Mater Misericordiae (Mother of Mercy) Mission, was badly beaten but administered the Last Rites sacrament to Walker.” http://bit.ly/1oWdlpL
BERGDAHL HOME: Amid questions, per the Los Angeles Times, “Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl landed in San Antonio early this morning, ending another leg in a journey that began when U.S. officials negotiated his released last month from the Taliban in exchange for sending five Afghan detainees to Qatar. Bergdahl, who had been held for nearly five years, arrived at Brooke Army Medical Center, according to the Associated Press.
"A Pentagon spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said Bergdahl will "continue the next phase of his reintegration process" at the Texas base. Bergdahl had made the journey from Germany via military transport. After his release, the 28-year old Idaho native was sent to a U.S. military hospital there to undergo counseling and receive medical treatment. He also has been questioned about whether he deserted his unit before he was taken prisoner.” http://lat.ms/1qEIIVc
CANTOR’S REPLACEMENT: Looks like Kevin McCarthy, per The Hill, “Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) ended his bid to become the next House majority leader on Thursday night, leaving Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as the only candidate to replace Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who was defeated in a historic primary loss on Tuesday.
“. . . Sessions is the House Rules Committee chairman and former head of the House GOP campaign committee. Barring a late, new challenger, McCarthy will become the second-ranking House Republican after the leadership election scheduled for June 19.” http://bit.ly/1oWepKh
POLITICO PLAY: “Hillary Clinton had a tense exchange with an NPR host in an interview airing Thursday over whether she made “a calculus” against publicly supporting gay marriage before endorsing it last year.
“It’s the first time Clinton, a potential candidate for president in 2016, has been extensively questioned about her support for gay marriage. She did not back it in her 2008 presidential campaign but she issued support for it by video in 2013, weeks after leaving the State Department.” http://politi.co/1hPy2mG
BOWSER’S PICKLE: Of tainted money, per City Paper, “Prominent charter school operator Kent Amos found himself in hot water last week when the District government sued him for allegedly using a for-profit management company to siphon away money from his nonprofit charter school. Along with threatening Amos' reputation and maybe more, the lawsuit also leaves mayoral hopeful Muriel Bowser with a conundrum: What to do with all this cash?
“According to the District's Office of the Attorney General, Amos used his for-profit company—Community Action Partners and Charter School Management—to illicitly funnel millions of dollars away from Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter School. Last July, Amos' company used some of its money to make a $2,000 corporate contribution to Bowser's run. Following the lawsuit, Bowser's campaign is considering whether to give the money back.” http://bit.ly/SSAxcd
NO HOOP FOR YOU: So get out, per Gazette.Net, “Some members of the Bowie Boys and Girls Club basketball program are upset they don’t have a chance to put the ‘practice makes perfect’ motto to the test. Out of around 80 basketball teams, only about third are able to practice each week because of a decreasing amount of available gym space.” http://bit.ly/1saTVS0
ETHAN SAYLOR: And a lawsuit, per the Frederick News-Post, “The state of Maryland has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the family of Ethan Saylor, who died in the custody of off-duty sheriff’s deputies moonlighting as security guards at a Frederick movie theater.
“Saylor, 26, of New Market, had Down syndrome and died Jan. 12, 2013, from a lack of oxygen while being forcibly removed by three deputies after he tried to stay for a second showing of the movie “Zero Dark Thirty.” In a lawsuit filed in October, Saylor’s estate alleged violations of his civil rights and of the Americans with Disabilities Act by the state, county sheriff’s deputies, and the companies where the men were moonlighting as security guards.” http://bit.ly/1p0qNah
DISTRICT WEED: And a public review, per DCist, “At a joint committee hearing of the D.C. Council (Thursday), several public witnesses testified in favor of two new bills they believe would greatly improve the city's medical marijuana laws.
“The Committee on Health, chaired by Councilmember Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7), and the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, chaired by Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), held a joint public hearing to let the public weigh in on the proposed amendments. The first bill proposes an amendment that would allow any medical marijuana cultivation center to possess up to 500 living marijuana plants at any given time. Currently, cultivation centers are only allowed to grow 95 plants. A second bill would expand the list of qualifying conditions able to receive a medical marijuana recommendation to "allow physicians to determine whether a patient would benefit from medical marijuana treatment." ’’ http://bit.ly/1jogfho
ICK: Sigh, per ARLnow, “Police are looking for a man who allegedly used his iPhone to photograph a woman using the bathroom. The incident happened Tuesday night on the 4200 block of Columbia Pike. Police say the woman looked out the window, saw a hand holding an iPhone and screamed, scaring off the suspect.” http://bit.ly/1saVmjp
SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals lose 7-1 at San Francisco.
TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “What Navy Captain Ed Zawislak learned as an Eagle Scout 30 years ago made him a hero at Navy Yard 1 year ago. After he rescued Jennifer Bennett, who was shot by Aaron Alexis, they hid up on the roof of Building 197 for over an hour. Then, Zawislak used his Boy Scout training to get the attention of Park Police and rush Bennett to safety. (Thursday), he was awarded with a medal: http://wj.la/1mOuspc
NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who will be asked about his race against former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie, the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap, the VA scandal and Eric Cantor’s defeat, among other things.