At yet another investigative hearing into Mayor Brandon Scott’s controversial deal with Baltimore Gas and Electric, finance officials told members of the City Council they have received the company’s first $14 million payment.

The agreement allows the private utility company access to the city-owned underground conduit that houses BGE wiring in exchange for paying for system repairs, a departure from the previous agreement, which charged BGE for each foot of underground network it uses.

The deal has drawn criticism by City Council President Nick Mosby and Comptroller Bill Henry, who say it could jeopardize a charter amendment approved by city voters last November that bans privatization or sale of the conduit.

Officials cashed the check on Tuesday, they told the council.

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Del. Attar’s bill seeks to change 2024 primary to May 14

State lawmakers have approved an amendment to a bill that would move the 2024 primary election from April 23 to avoid a conflict with the first full day of Passover. Jewish law restricts working on religious holidays, which includes participating in elections.

Del. Dalya Attar of Northwest Baltimore introduced a bill to move the election date last month. This week, she added an amendment to the Election Reform Act of 2023 that would change the primary date to May 14, 2024.

The legislation has received support from House Speaker Adrienne Jones, Senate President Bill Ferguson, Gov. Wes Moore, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. and Mayor Brandon Scott.

This story has been updated to correct that Del. Attar represents Northwest Baltimore.

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Gubernatorial hoops?

Maryland and Virginia are competing fiercely to win a new FBI headquarters building, and Gov. Wes Moore floated a novel way to make the decision: a game of hoops.

It all started earlier this week when Moore attended a Washington Wizards game and footage of him hitting a pregame jumper circulated online.

The next day, the Democratic governor posed a challenge to Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, tagging him on Twitter and writing: “let’s go one on one, winner gets the new FBI headquarters.”

View post on Twitter

Of course, this would definitely be in violation of government procurement laws. But let’s entertain the idea of a matchup for a moment.

Moore, 44, has youth on his side. And the video clip showed good form on his jumper. Moore played basketball growing up, once entertained dreams of going to the NBA and was even featured in The New York Times as a teen.

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He was recruited onto the Johns Hopkins University basketball team, but a knee injury put an end to his basketball career. He later switched to football and played wide receiver for the Blue Jays.

Youngkin is older, 56, but he’s got a few inches on Moore, with his height listed as 6-foot-7 when he was in college.

Youngkin also has a solid basketball resume: He was a high school hoops star and attended Rice University in Texas on a basketball scholarship. He played 58 games and averaged 1.2 points per game, according to stats archived online.

Youngkin said he’s game for a matchup, responding to Moore on Twitter: “Game on!” along with a clip of him draining a three while wearing his signature red puffy vest.

View post on Twitter

Even if a game of one-on-one or horse isn’t the best (or legal) way to settle the FBI decision, we think it’s safe to say we’d like to see these two go at it on the court.

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Comings and goings

Robert W. O’Connor will be the first-ever chief information officer for the state comptroller.

Comptroller Brooke Lierman, a Democrat, announced the hiring of O’Connor this week, giving him the responsibility of modernizing the office’s tech, “moving from an antiquated mainframe system to a cloud-based platform.”

O’Connor previously was chief information officer for Baltimore County’s government.

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