Rawlings-Blake Vetoes Plastic Bag Ban and Body Camera Legislation

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Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake vetoed two pieces of legislation recently passed by the Baltimore City Council.  One, would have prohibited most retail stores from distributing plastics bags and the other would have required City police to wear body cameras.

As reported by the Baltimore Sun,

In a letter to the council, Rawlings-Blake said she supports having police wear body cameras but opposes the legislation, in part, she argues, because the council does not have the authority to impose the requirement.

“The council’s power does not and should not extend to legislating the operations of the police department,” she wrote. “I would be equally as concerned with an ordinance that mandated the use of a specific type of bullet.”

The mayor said she will ask the council to authorize funding for a body camera program early next year. She recently convened a task force to study the issue and said she wants to wait for the group to release its findings.

The Mayor also issued a letter vetoing legislation banning the use of plastic bags.

Rawlings-Blake said she has reservations about the policy and disagreed with the way council passed the bill.

The legislation originally called for 5-cent fee on the bags, but the bill’s supporters changed the proposal to a ban in the moments before a key vote. Rawlings-Blake said the last-minute action didn’t give the public the opportunity to weigh in on the change.