Annapolis notes

March 23, 1997

Annapolis notes

Lawmakers cram work at the end

ANNAPOLIS - It happens every year. With two weeks left in the Maryland General Assembly's annual 90-day session, most of the work is still left to be done.

So like a college student staying up all night before a physics exam, lawmakers will cram some of the state's biggest decisions into a flurry of activity during the next 14 days.

Still out there for legislators to decide on is the state budget, a tax cut plan and the so-called Smart Growth plan aimed at curbing suburban sprawl. The future of the state's vehicle emissions program is also to be determined.


Locally there are several issues that must be decided, including the fate of several local bond bills, minor changes to the Washington County's tip jar gambling law, and final passage of legislation that would mandate a new tourism board in the county. A partial bailout of the city of Hagerstown's pension debt must also be addressed.

Members of the county delegation will also have to decide if they want to sponsor legislation to address the dispute between the County Commissioners and the union representing roads, landfill and County Commuter workers who saw their collective bargaining powers striped last week.

The legislative session ends at midnight on April 7.

March Madness hits Annapolis

The state capital has been inflicted with a case of March Madness, and even the governor is not immune to the illness.

After the first two rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament, an unofficial State House pool showed that Gov. Parris N. Glendening's bracket selections placed him 60th among 67 entries. That gives him no chance of coming in first when the tournament ends next week.

There's no word on what teams Glendening picked, but speculation is that he took the University of Maryland to go far. The Terps lost their opening-round game. In future pools he might just want to listen to his son. Raymond Glendening was in 18th place after two rounds.

Cloning issue comes to Capitol

It was bound to happen sooner or later: the cloning issue has come to the General Assembly.

A resolution, introduced by Del. David M. Valderrama, D-Prince George's, last week would express "the intent of the General Assembly of Maryland to ban state funding of cloning and cloning research that would replicate a human being."

So far there has been no support for amending the wording so that it only covers the cloning of politicians.

Lawmakers cry out for coffee break

The Senate held a unusual 8 a.m. session last Wednesday, and the early hour of the day showed in the less-than-exacting nature of the chamber's business.

At one point, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Prince George's, asked a clerk to read aloud the same bill not once, not twice, but three times.

Realizing the pointless repetition, Miller finally said, "Maybe we shouldn't have these eight o'clock meetings anymore."

Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell, D-Baltimore County, took to his microphone and joked, "Mr. President, can we take a break so everyone can get a cup of coffee?"

- By Guy Fletcher

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