Baltimore City Council Threatens Gov’t Shutdown Unless Rawlings-Blake Increases Youth Funding

Leaders on the Baltimore City Council are threatening a government shutdown unless Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake restores more than $4 million in funding for youth programs.

As about 200 students and activists rallied for more funding Monday outside City Hall, council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and the council’s budget chairwoman, Helen Holton, said they will refuse to approve the mayor’s $2.6 billion spending plan — leaving the city without authorized funding for the next fiscal year — unless the mayor restores millions for youth programs.

“Does the mayor and her administration want to shut government down?” Young asked. “For kids, I’ll shut this whole city down.”

At issue is $4.2 million the city allocated last year to pay for 2,500 children to participate in after-school programs. The money was also used to operate six community schools. Many of the programs help youths near the site of rioting in West Baltimore last year.