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Residents won't have advocate on farm issues

January 04, 1999|By LAURA ERNDE

Washington County residents will lose representation this year on the Maryland House of Delegates committee that deals with farm issues.

Del. Anita Stup, R-Frederick/Washington, sat on the state's Environmental Matters Committee until she stepped down this year.

Last year, that committee hashed out a law that will require farmers to create runoff plans.

Farm runoff has been linked to pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and some scientists believe it led to last summer's Pfiesteria outbreak.

The committee also is assigned to review bills on vehicle emissions, health policy and planning, natural resources and utility deregulation.

Del.-elect Chris Shank, R-Washington, had lobbied for a seat on the committee.

Instead, House Speaker Casper Taylor assigned the freshman lawmaker to the Commerce and Government Matters Committee, which reviews bills relating to banks, elections, ethics, local government, minority business enterprises and transportation.

None of the other seven members of the Washington County delegation was appointed to that committee.

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Shank said that doesn't mean local lawmakers won't be responsive to farmers' concerns.

Members of the delegation will meet with the Washington County Farm Bureau to hear their concerns on Tuesday.

The delegation's other freshman delegate, Joseph Bartlett, R-Frederick/Washington, was appointed to the Ways and Means Committee.

Ways and Means deals with state and local taxes, education financing and the funding of health, welfare and transportation programs.

In the state Senate, Sen.-elect Alex Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, was appointed to the Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Sen. Don Munson, R-Washington, will remain on the powerful Budget and Taxation Committee.

The incumbent delegates also will keep the same committee assignments for the three-month session that begins Jan. 13.

Del. Bob McKee, R-Washington, is on the Ways and Means Committee.

Del. John Donoghue, D-Washington, is on the Economic Matters Committee and chairs its Health Care Subcommittee.

Del. Sue Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington, sits on the Appropriations Committee, which reviews the budget.

Del. Louise Snodgrass, R-Frederick/Washington, is on the Commerce and Government Matters Committee.

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